The North Carolina native’s ambitious new project solidifies her position as one of the hottest rising stars coming out of the south. The project’s lead single, “My Alien,” has become a certified fan favorite, displaying Jewels’ unique, one-of-a-kind voice which transforms deeply personal observations into songs that feel intimate and relatable. The song’s official music video sees an intergalactic Jewels entering outer space, in search of love and asks the question to viewers, where do we need to go to find love these days? The video also features a cameo, Jewel’s love interest (disguised in an alien outfit) has many speculating this to be a notable name in the entertainment industry… with Jewels neither confirming or denying the rumors.
Hailing from Charlotte, Jewels was raised in a ministry home, getting her start singing in front of the church. In 2020, she officially shifted her focus to her musical career, with an undeniable passion for creating meaningful, heartfelt ballads for audiences all around the world.
In describing herself, Jewels states, “I’m a singer, I’m a songwriter. I do makeup, I do hair. I engineer my own music, I mix and master it. I record myself. I’m an influencer at the same time. I’m everywhere. I like to have fun, all things fun. I like to be really hands on with my art in general.”
Beyond her musical talents, it’s Jewels’ beauty and personality that fans gravitate towards most. Whether she’s rocking bright pink or purple hair, Jewels naturally demands attention in any room she walks into — bringing nothing but good vibrations along with her.
AllHipHop spoke with Jewels, who was enjoying her Tuesday in Charlotte. Read below as we discuss her roots, love for Rihanna, the inspo behind “My Alien,” the new project, studio essentials, goals, and more!
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
Jewels: I’m the mix between pop and R&B, then sometimes I’m a rapper. My flow and my cadence likes to speed up. I like to give Hip Hop in the midst of what I’m doing.
AllHipHop: Being from Charlotte, what was that like growing up?
Jewels: Honestly Charlotte, it’s really calm. It’s growing right now, but I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest of cities. It’s pretty calm. There’s a lot of different things going on, just being in North Carolina in general. There’s different sides. I’m in the South as well, so Hip Hop is definitely really popular in the South. But I’m still in North Carolina, so there’s the country. I grew up listening to a lot of pop music. There’s gospel. Church is really big in the South too, so I grew up singing in church. North Carolina for me is a big umbrella of things, then the rain is sprinkling down around everybody with all the different vibes.
AllHipHop: Do you have favorite artists?
Jewels: Probably Rihanna. I love her.
AllHipHop: Favorite Rihanna song?
Jewels: That is so hard honestly to say, it’s really my vibe. She has music for all emotions, and that’s what I try to do with my music too. I can’t say I have a favorite. [laughs] I like so many.
AllHipHop: When did you realize this music thing was real? That you could do it professionally.
Jewels: When I was younger, I wanted to be a fashion designer at first. That’s when I was doing a lot of sketches and having these sketchbooks, playing a bunch of fashion designer games. Growing up, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I was just singing around honestly. My mom and my dad say I’ve been singing since really young. They said that I’ve always had a voice, but I never really tapped into it until I was… ooh, I can’t really say.
I guess I’ll go look at the songs of what year they came out. I was singing “Love the Way You Lie” by Rihanna and Eminem. I was singing that song and somebody’s like, “You really have a voice Jules.” I’m like oh thanks. I’m playing around with it, trying to teach myself piano. Just having fun with it. But I’d just been singing in church, all the way up until 2020. 2020 is when I made my first song. I was a cover artist. I’d drop covers on my Instagram, sing on Snapchat, do different talent shows in school. But I didn’t really tap in professionally as an artist until 2020, when I dropped my first song. That was called “Over You.” I just got my heart broken and that’s why I started making music. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Speaking of, “My Alien” out now. Who or what inspired this record?
Jewels: I’m a lover girl. I just dropped a project called Works For Me at the time. It was very R&B, very in your feelings. I was in my sad girl bag. I’m like there’s more to me guys, I’m not always sad. I’m making songs months ago guys, I don’t even feel like this anymore. Let me give the other side. I want to hop on the pop side, because that’s what I grew up listening to. I’ve always wanted to make that music, but I didn’t feel I had the right production when it came to the producers. I guess what’s being sent to me, or the sessions I’ve sat into.
One night, I posted on Instagram: I need some beats. I want pop beats. Send me all pop beats, upbeat vibes. Somebody sent me that and that was my favorite beat of the night. So I hopped on that beat. I decided I want to do something completely different. Different? It gives out of this world. I’m like, let’s go to space. When I’m making the song, I’m recording literally in my bed. Like criss-cross applesauce. Holding the mic, seeing where I want to go with it.
I let it flow naturally. Listening to the beat, it’s very, very pop. Oh, I love this. I wanted to start it with a very sweet intro and let it build, make it that astronomical vibe that I was going for. It naturally came out like that. It was technically really a freestyle, because it wasn’t really written. I was there in the mic, so that’s really how it came about.
AllHipHop: Talk about your vision with the music video. Are aliens and space more your vibe?
Jewels: Yeah, lately it has been. I have literally so many unreleased songs that go in the same flow with the space vibes. Cool, let’s call the project Galaxy Baby and set the tone that I’m not stopping this right now. This is a new angle I want to take. It’s really original to me, for someone who’s stamping oh, let me be the galaxy girl and really come with that. I have a lot of different songs using space as the metaphor of love. Like in “My Alien,” so different but so for me.
Honestly when recording the song, because I didn’t really write it out, I said we really have to get specific with this video. Because of what I’m saying, I don’t want to shoot a video unless I’m really with the alien. Really in a spacesuit. I really want to go and shoot it like that. Because love songs, you can shoot them anyway. I could’ve been somewhere, could’ve been a really pretty video and got some high quality with it. But no, I want to really express how I’m coming with it. Then my cover art for my project reflects the spacesuit and the crazy eyes. It’s fun. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Who’s in the astronaut suit?
Jewels: Ooh, there’s a lot of speculation. Everybody’s asking. I don’t know if I want to say yet. Everybody wants the tea. Everyone’s been trying to figure it out ever since I first came out with it.
AllHipHop: Are you going to reveal it at any point?
Jewels: I probably will, yeah. But there’s more visuals to come. It’s probably going to be a buildup.
AllHipHop: What’s one thing you want people to get from Galaxy Baby?
Jewels: Honestly, I want people to listen to Galaxy Baby and feel a positive vibe in the midst of every stage of life. Because I’m listening to these songs, some of these songs lyrically are pretty sad. I’m like ohh. But if you listen to the music, it sounds so happy all the time. I don’t know how I made sad songs sound so happy. “My Alien” is obviously a love song, it’s really positive. But some of the songs on there, I’m saying I hate you. You’re the worst, this that and the third. But the music itself, ehhhh.
So I want people to really tap in with their emotions, and realize that even in the midst of sadness, you can find joy in it. Because I’m growing. I’m still here to even say that I’m sad, and that’s a big deal. A lot of people can’t even face or really open their mouth and express what’s going on right now. I like to drop music and hit every emotion. I don’t want to just drop sad songs or positive songs, or I’m in love or I’m heartbroken. Or I’m a girl, I’m a guy. I’d rather make music for everybody, so everybody can grab something from what I’m putting out there. Galaxy Baby itself is a project I wanted to show just different and all over the place, but so centered at the same time sonically. That’s where I was going with it.
AllHipHop: How’d you get your name?
Jewels: My real name is Julia. Most people, their nickname is Jules, but I decided to spell it like that. When I was younger, I was like no, I want to be extra. It was Jules. This is before I even was making music, my nickname’s been Jules my whole life. Oh, it’s cute. Let’s go with it for my music too. I always have it in the back of my head: at a certain age, I want to go black hair and say I’m Julia now. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Hey, you have the freedom to do that!
Jewels: Yes, it’s exciting. Art is so fun.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Jewels: I am addicted to caffeine. Either I came in with my cold brew from Dunkin, I’m obsessed. Or if not that, a Celsius or a Red Bull. Of course, I need my water, then some type of snack. I like candy. I like Twizzlers. A lot of people say I’m nasty for liking Twizzlers, but I love Twizzlers. [laughs] I definitely pull up to the studio with some Twizzlers, some caffeine, and some water.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?
Jewels: Honestly, I want as many people to see me as possible. Not even in a sense of be the biggest and outshine everybody who’s out there. But really, I want to reach people. A lot of the songs I’ve put out, I’ve had so many of my supporters come in my DMs or my comments letting me know what this did for them. I’m just being real, expressing what I’ve been through. It means so much more to me when someone says, “Wow, you helped me. I’m going through the same thing right now.” Or “oh my gosh, I wish I had this song last year when I was going through this. You’re telling my whole story right now.” That means so much to me, when people feel it beyond what they’re hearing or seeing. Of course, I want to reach more people. Helping and let my lyrics be like ministry for some people.
AllHipHop: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
Jewels: Well I have my dog and a cat, I love pets. My cat’s name is Larry, he’s right here. I love animals so much. I’ve literally rescued so many dogs. Every time I see a dog outside, oh no. I’m going to figure out where this dog is supposed to be. People hate it. They’re like “no Jules, we have to go.” I can’t leave the dog, I will drive away crying. I love animals so much. I’m a coffee addict, so I love coffee. Trying different drinks, going around doing that. Of course, I’m into fashion, makeup and hair. I was a makeup artist before I was a singer, so that’s all fun to me. I’m a chill girl. I love watching YouTube, of course making TikToks. Just fun stuff.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?
Jewels: My project Galaxy Baby is six songs. I dropped the video for “My Alien,” but I have videos to every song of the project. I’m coming and dropping visuals back to back, I’m really excited for that. Some of them are going to tie in with some older videos that people might have seen before, they might connect it to if they’ve been watching and supporting. Or if they go back and watch like oh my gosh, that’s the same guy from here. Oh my gosh, this time they did this. That’s so fun. More and more fun coming soon, different collaborations coming very soon too. I’s exciting.