Fri 10/11 @ 8:30PM
Exactitude isn’t Jul Big Green’s strong suit.
The Twinsburg-native, Bedford-resident entertainer doesn’t care to be boxed in when it comes to age, genre and his work schedule.
“I’m going to start telling people I’m 23,” said Jul Big Green (real name Julien Huntley), 29. “I don’t feel 29. Everybody doesn’t believe me when I tell them my age. I’m going to start telling people I’m one of these young kids again.”
In a way Green is following the path of his influence Pharrell Williams. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter-producer, who clearly with good genes appears to be 25 when he’s more than 20 years older, bounces seamlessly from genre to genre, project to project.
That’s exactly the approach Green explores with impunity on his full-length debut album, 5am to Midnight, which boasts a pop, rock and hip-hop vibe.
“I like to play all over the place just so I don’t get boxed in,” said Green, who was the 2017 winner of Akron’s High Arts Festival Music Juried Award. “Rock is a big element and hip-hop is a big element, but I don’t like to stay in those.
“This body of work I started to hone it in more like scenes. That’s why I called it 5am to Midnight, those are the hours I operate. But to be honest, I go more from like 5am to 2am.”
The songs on the new effort range from the John Bellion-inspired “As Long as You’re with Me” to ’90s hip-hop-esque “Model, Walk and Pose.”
5am to Midnight is actually a follow-up to his 2015 EP All Things, which set the table for unabashed genre-jumping.
Green is excited to play his new tunes with his six-piece band October 11 at his Grog Shop album release show. That set could also include a unique interpretation of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Also, don’t tell him that Kanye recently reinvented the tune at one of his Sunday praise service performances.
“We just do the choruses, and I wrap over the verses,” Green said. “Kanye is one of my biggest influences for his earlier stuff, but we’ve been playing ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ since 2011.”
Even though Green tours frequently around the midwest, which included a previous hometown gig at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, looking ahead, the multi-talented said he wants to concentrate on songwriting. Similar to Pharrell, he’d be content writing songs for other artists.
The last thing about Green has to do with the singer’s stage name. Just remember, it’s Jul not to be confused with juul, the vape pods.
“I hated it when those things came out,” Green said. “I’m Jul, don’t forget it.”
[Written by John Benson]