Armed with just a ukulele and a webcam, Julia Nunes is taking the world and internet by storm. By Stephen Johns
irst impressions of Julia Nunes are she’s a cute, blonde, upbeat, quirky New Yorker, who loves playing the ukulele. She still goes to college despite being more popular than Beyonce, Avril Lavigne and Madonna. Well, online she is. Her videos have been watched over 15 million times and she has more ‘subscribers’ than most pop stars. In person, the 20 year old YouTube star is exactly how she appears in her videos. But then why shouldn’t she? YouTube fame is a fairly new phenomenon and Julia Nunes belongs to a group of ‘YouTube A-listers’ such as Michael Buckley and Tay ‘Chocolate Rain’ Zonday. Their videos are watched by millions around the world, they can turn into a sensation over night. If you saw one of them in the street, you would probably recognise them but wouldn’t know why. “I didn’t set out to become a YouTube celebrity. I put the videos up in private and got a small following, and then I was featured on the YouTube homepage and it exploded” said Julia.
disillusioned teens playing guitars on YouTube. For such a small girl it must be easier to carry as well. The first video she uploaded was an original song she wrote called ‘Welcome vacation’, at the end of 2007. Originally meant for circulation amongst friends, like all good viral videos, it spread further than she intended. In May 2008 she was spotted by Ben Folds, who is Julia’s favourite musician. He asked her to open for him at his shows, a dream come true for Julia. Like many stars of internet fame, her popularity started to snowball and she has even inspired actress Molly Ringwald (The Breakfast Club, I think) to take up the ukulele. “Molly was on Good Morning America and she said ‘this girl Julia Nu-nes - which is not how you say my name inspired me to pick it up and she’s just so cute and funny’ and I freaked out.” said Julia. Since then she has supported Kevin Bacon (who has a band?) and was asked to play at YouTube Live in November
“Katy Perry came and sat down and started talking about the drag queens” So how has she made the step from music-wannabe to mixing with Katy Perry and Akon, when so many before her have failed?
Julia Nunes: Behind blue eyes
The best investment Julia ever made was a $20 ukulele she picked up when bored in a music store one day. It gives her a unique sound and is a bit of a novelty when there are so many
2008. It was a big convention of pop stars and YouTube celebrities, that was streamed live on YouTube. “I met MC Hammer and Katie Perry. She came over and sat down for a while and started talking about the drag queens.” said Julia.
In January she was featured on Radio 1 and she is hoping to come back to the UK in the summer. She’s gaining fans at such a rate that she may become the internet’s most recognised face of 2009. So watch this myspace, or is it Youtube? Julia’s website: www.junumusic.com Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/jaaaaaaa