Rising artist Juliana Madrid released her debut EP this past August via Neon Gold, a solid collection of songs that showcase the twenty-one year-old’s songwriting prowess. The EP features the single “Pretend”, which was also included in the soundtrack for the hit Netflix movie ‘Do Revenge’. The song, about the feeling of walking into a party without knowing anyone but the person who had invited the protagonist, Madrid explained the process of how it came to be, stating, “I was at home in Texas and had been trying to write something all day and was getting frustrated. Then I got a text from my producer Ben, and he had sent me this fast drum beat. Instantly, I picked up my guitar and started playing this progression, and this melody with these lyrics that started to flow out. It is SO rare for me and I think a lot of musicians get that instantaneous connection and love for a song that hasn’t even been fully written yet.” Her producer is Ben Ruttner, who’s also known as “B-Roc” as one half of The Knocks. It was a chance meeting during one of The Knocks shows in Dallas that Madrid met Ruttner and started talking music that eventually led him to helping produce her music. Madrid always had the passion for a career in music, having been featured on season 16 of ‘American Idol’ and was featured on a broadcast, however, did not advance further. The experience with such a large production was something that Madrid wanted- “I always knew I wanted to make music and I wanted to sing for a bunch of people,” she shared. And even though she didn’t get to compete she expressed gratitude stating, “I don’t regret it. It was cool and it’s definitely something I will never experience again.” Madrid spent this past year touring with Cannons and The Knocks and is now working on music for her second EP.

Juliana Madrid spoke with B-Sides host Pete Mar about her debut EP, how she’s growing into her voice as a songwriter, plans to move to New York City and more.

Juliana Madrid - Pretend (Official Video)