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Track & Trace: Juliette Poulisse

"The fact that I have the privilege to be involved with music that’s meant to reinforce a message is a beautiful thing to me. Especially when images come into play. Music moves people. It’s like a beautiful translation of the soul. It possesses the power to set any mood and using that power can even influence consumer behavior. Just like a certain scent can pull you in, music can do the same."

Juliette Poulisse

Some memories are influenced by the music that was around at the time. I can hear a song and it can instantly transport me back to a specific moment in my life. That’s the exact reason why my playlist is structured the way it is; starting with music from my childhood, evolving all the way to the present day. Let’s use Alors On Dance by Stromae as an example. The first time I traveled abroad with a friend, to visit the Sziget festival in Hungary, I would hear that track playing everywhere. Stromae wasn’t playing at the festival at the time but I eventually saw him perform at AFAS Live, instantly becoming the best concert I ever saw. It was all put together so well, taking every detail into account. The lighting arrangement perfectly blended in with the music and he had an amazing way to interact with that as well. Each indivual element made the other one stronger. It all became like a piece of art you could watch and listen to at the same time.

Another band that I ended up discovering at a festival are called White Lies, who I still love to listen to till this day. The first time I heard them play I was mainly enamored with the beautiful deep tone of the frontman’s voice. Back in the day, visiting concerts would occasionally get me into interesting situations. One time, after a White Lies show, I ended up in the tour bus of their support act, a band called Anteros. I ran into the drummer in the audience which sparked a conversation. I told him I would love to interview them (this is back in the day when I still had the dream of becoming a music journalist). This all led to me and my friend joining them on their drive to The Hague to check out another White Lies show. This time around we had VIP access though.

The “interview trick” also got me into another noteworthy situation. I was on my way to a Jack Parrow concert with a friend of mine, but because of public transport issues we only got to see him perform the last three songs. This was obviously a massive bummer considering the fact that’s not what we came for. I ended up posting up near the backstage area and told the crew I had an interview planned with Jack Parrow. I guess my story was very convincing as I ended up enjoying a couple of beers with Jack and his band.

When I was still in high school I had my own band: FIERCE! We started playing locally around Gouda but eventually ended up branching out to other cities like Eindhoven, Den Haag, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

I never ended up going to music school but studied Russian instead. An interest that I slowly developed through the inspiration of my high school history teacher, Mister van Zoest as well as my love for languages. My Russian studies ended up bringing me to Sint Petersburg for an exchange program. I only have fond memories of that time. It was a total adventure! Music never felt far away because certain Slavian traditions required me to perform around the holidays. Through these traditions one of my teachers ended up introducing me to the Ukrainian band BoomBox. In particular, the track Вахтёрам which loosely translates to ‘guard’ or ‘gatekeeper’. This song ended up becoming the soundtrack to my Russian student experience. I was never really able to fully ignore the music bug. That’s why I decided to minor in music as well. Eventually writing a thesis on using imperfection as a means of protest within Russian Pop music. This gave me a solid foundation to build upon as I transferred to a Masters in Arts, Culture and Media, where I ended up graduating. I researched the influence that major labels and globalization have on the music written for the Eurovision Songfestival.

Listen to Juliette’s favourites: