After Opry Debut, Houston’s Upbeat Country-Music Starlet Julia Cole Eyes Streaming Milestone
KNOWN FOR HER rhythm and attitude, rising recording artist Julia Cole joined the elite circle of talent that includes legends such as Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn earlier this month in Nashville. She performed in the Grand Ole Opry to a full house.
“It felt like a wedding, it was so beautiful and epic,” says Cole, who grew up in north Houston. “There were flowers everywhere, and relatives traveled far to see the performance.” She wore a sparkling floor-length gown embellished with “upcycled” fabric from her late grandfather’s western-style shirt and jewelry made from the shirt’s pearl snaps.
In addition to performing “White Pearls,” a tribute to fearless mothers, Cole also performed her streaming hit “Thank God We Broke Up,” which was rush-released in April after her TikTok tease exploded. The single is on Cole’s new Whole ‘Nother Margarita EP, and the video has been added to CMT rotation.
She’s on track to reach 100 million music streams by fall, thanks to her honest, raw, often-humorous songs that encourage self-worth. Her breakup anthems take a glass-half-full approach to dodging a bad relationship bullet, while her love songs inspire millions to pull their special someone even closer.
Cole got her start by singing the anthem before her Klein High School volleyball games, which led to performing at NFL, MLB, NASCAR and ESPN events. An avid soccer player since childhood, she credits athletics for her team-player mindset and determination. As a women’s athletics advocate, she has fundraised for women’s sports initiatives for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. She is an ambassador for Mizuno Athletic Wear, who uses Cole’s song “Honey Child” in its women’s empowerment campaign.
“I got my sound from all the different influences in Houston, but mostly in the locker room where I was introduced to many kinds of music from diverse teammates who came from various places,” says Cole. The compassionate singer loves lyrics that are empowering to women and that create confidence and writes about things she’s going through in her personal life. “But I also like to move, dance and just have fun performing,” she says.
“It has been a whirlwind of things I couldn’t have guessed would be happening,” says Cole, “like my streams going to 100 million, my first song getting on Sirius XM The Highway, and the Opry invitation.” (Photo by Alejandro Medina III)
At the Opry, Cole performed her song “White Pearls,” a tribute to fearless mothers, and her new streaming hit “Thank God We Broke Up.” (Photo by Chris Hollo)
Cole’s career exploded after meeting songwriter Chuck Cannon in Houston who encouraged her to move to Nashville and learn the biz. “He and his late wife Lari took me under their wing, showed me a publishing opportunity and helped me navigate all my first deals,” says Cole.
The year 2022 is big. “It has been a whirlwind of things I couldn’t have guessed would be happening, like my streams going to 100 million, my first song getting on Sirius XM The Highway, and the Opry invitation.” Now she’s focused on putting out a song every week, a duet, and planning a full album. She’s hosting upcoming TV series, The Ultimate Fanfeston Circle TV debuting in 2023 about attending music festivals around the country.
A few pinnacle moments for Cole would be a No. 1 on country radio, a CMA award, an ACM award, and a Grammy. “I grew up watching my idols like Kelly Clarkson, Whitney Houston and Steve Perry of Journey winning these prestigious awards.” Cole adds: “Another idol is Dolly Parton for her brilliant business sense.”