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Julien Chang

A classically trained singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer with an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music, Julien Chang's shape-shifting songs balance experience and wonder. Though he was just 19 when his debut album, Jules, was released in 2019, its kaleidoscopic mix of jazz, folk, R&B, and pop boasted a refinement beyond his years. This sophistication extended to 2022's The Sale, which balanced philosophical questions and intricate musicianship. Born and raised in the Baltimore area, Chang (pronounced "chong") was known during his time at the Baltimore School for the Arts for his prowess as a trombone player and for occasionally making hip-hop beats. During his senior year, however, he began making his debut album in secret, having taught himself to play a wide array of instruments and built a studio out of gear he paid for with his part-time job at the local grocery store. The songs he recorded combined the classical theory he was learning at school, his own musical discoveries like Pink Floyd and Afro-funk, and his experiences on the threshold of adulthood. When he self-released Jules in 2018, it came as a surprise to many, but word of mouth spread from Baltimore's music scene to London's Transgressive Records, which signed Chang -- then a university student -- soon after meeting him. The label gave Jules a wide release in October 2019. Three years later, Chang returned with The Sale. Recorded in Baltimore as well as his dorm room at Princeton, his second album explored the complexities of identity, creativity, love, and capitalism.
© Heather Phares /TiVo


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