With a style The Sunday Times calls “catchy but complicated; a surprisingly rare combination,” Julian Velard turns the piano-pop tunesmith stereotype on its ear with a refreshing, urbane twist: a biting 21st century wit in a stylish package. Think Harry Connick, Jr. with the panache of a Brooklyn hipster, recalling Stephen Sondheim or Randy Newman at the peak of their talents.
For over a decade, Velard’s cockeyed, hook-filled musings on love and loss have set him apart from a host of sleepy-eyed, bedheaded adult contemporary acts. An underground following in his native New York City led to a bidding war between major U.K. record labels in 2007. Velard recorded two of his four albums (2009’s winning The Planeteer and its 2011 follow-up Mr. Saturday Night) in London before returning to his birthplace for If You Don’t Like It You Can Leave, his 2014 jazz-pop tribute to the five boroughs.
But his albums only tell one side of the story. Julian Velard’s versatility gives him a Zelig-like presence across an ever-evolving musical landscape. He’s the occasional musical sidekick on NPR’s hipster trivia show Ask Me Another. He covers yacht-rock favorites as half of The Jewbadours. Both Buzzfeed and The New Republic tapped him to create theme music for their popular series, Whine About It and Intersection. He has also guested on The Howard Stern Wrap-Up Show, and penned the songs for HA! The Musical, a sensational review about stand-ups which premiered at the New York Comedy Festival in 2014.
And when he’s not bouncing around the Big Apple, he’s on the road, literally going anywhere to entertain, from a never-ending series of intimate house concerts to international opening slots for singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum and blue-eyed soul legend Paul Carrack. Velard’s all-around entertainer status has found its greatest notoriety in The Netherlands, where he’s become something of a cult figure, headlining the main hall at Amsterdam’s legendary Paradiso.
Velard’s passionate dedication to songcraft has led him to an ongoing partnership with Lynda LinkedIn, the world’s largest online learning company. His gifted songwriting and producing abilities have made his courses on the site, from computer-assisted music composition to songwriting theory, exciting tools for aspiring and dedicated musicians alike.
In a city of 8 million people packed with more than a few hidden treasures, Julian Velard – a motormouthed smart-aleck and hip-yet-timesless songsmith – may be the brightest of them all.
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