Julie Crochetiere is a veteran, and while it’s hard to think of such a young woman in those terms, she has been practicing her craft since she was 7, playing classical piano and then trumpet. She spent hours in a bean bag in her parents Montreal basement listening to LPs of Roberta Flack, Bill Withers, Carole King and Nina Simone and begging her parents to buy her the sheet music. She would listen to a record for a year, not off and on for a year mind you, but twice or three times everyday for a year. She was trying to unlock its code. Her parents are both engineers, (albeit engineers who love to dance), so science and rational thought is close to home.
When Julie was growing up searching for her music in the age of Platinum Blonde and Duran Duran, she knew it wasn’t what her friends were listening to and she kept returning to the beanbag chair and the old vinyls in the basement.
When she was 17 her music teacher swung her an audition with a society band. She got the gig, quickly learned a repertoire of 200 songs and how to walk in heels for five hours a night pretending it didn’t hurt. By the time she was 18 she was doing a 100 dates a year.
At 18, after a gruelling audition process in Montreal and Toronto Julie won one of five places in the band Sugar Jones for the first Canadian reality TV show, “Popstars”. The group signed to Universal, had a number of radio hits including “How Much Longer” and “Days Like That”. Tours took her from Canada to England and in the process the group went platinum. When it all ended, as these things invariably do, Julie remembers finding herself dead broke in a tiny apartment in Toronto far away from home thinking about selling her keyboard, when her manager and friend Chris Bennett told her, “that’s not a keyboard it’s a songwriting machine, I wouldn’t sell it if I were you.“
Julie started writing with serious intent. She befriended the late Haydain Neale leader of Jacksoul and he became a sounding board for Julie’s sounds, constantly reaffirming his simple rule, “if it feels good, do it!”
In 2007, she released her first full-length, soul-jazz album, “A Better Place,” which included the hit single “Precious Love” which climbed to #18 on the Canadian AC charts and made A Better Place the top downloaded album of April 2008 on iTunes Canada’s Soul/R&B charts. “Precious Love” was a finalist in the category of “Best Song at the 2009 Canadian Radio Music Awards.
In 2011 Julie released her third solo CD, Steady Ground and the ground shifted from the soulful intimacy of her previous works to a tougher more impactful hook filled dance groove, recalling Chic and the work of Nile Rogers. Laden with one soulful hook after another, Steady Ground was indeed fertile ground for music supervisors and was licensed for numerous films and television shows in North America, Europe and Asia.