Alum goes full time in music industry

May 30, 2018 — by Daniel Bessonov and Ava Hooman

It hasn’t even been a year since Class of 2017 alumnus Julius Woods walked on the graduation stage at Benny Pierce Field, and in that time he has begin to forge his path as both a performing artist and music promoter.

Woods remembers walking into a sold-out Catalyst club on Dec. 22, 2017, in Santa Cruz and proudly watching as artists from all around the globe performed songs from their debut albums.

The event, called Lucid Monday, is Woods’s brainchild — an opportunity not only for the performing artists to showcase their music, but also for Woods to bootstrap his career in the music production and management industry. These performances are held every third Monday of the month.

What started off as a side-project in Kristoper Orre’s physiology and anatomy class during a 20 Time project has now grown into a nationwide event — with Lucid Monday hosting shows across the country. One show was in Denver in April, while others are planned for Brooklyn, Los Angeles and San Jose.

In 20 Time students spend 20 percent of their time in class pursuing their interests them and connecting them to what they are learning in class.

Woods said that Lucid Monday, however, is more than an event; Woods’s main goal with the show is to not only build a popular show, but a brand. Doing this, he believes, is the most effective way to both mold a name for himself in the music industry, and at the same time give other up-and-coming artists the opportunity to showcase their work.

Woods has always had a passion for music, learning to play the drums at the tender age of 4 and DJing at parties since middle school. Since Woods wasn’t able to attend as many  classes as he would have liked due to his booking schedule, he recently dropped out of the University of Colorado-Denver to pursue his passion full time.

According to Woods, deciding to pursue music was a difficult choice, especially coming from Saratoga where college is viewed as being as necessary to life as water. Even so, Woods said, the people he surrounds himself with are completely supportive of his decision.

“As long as I had a solidified plan on how to bring in income and work 100 percent on Lucid Monday and not attend school, my parents were OK with the decision,” Woods said.

With over 400,000 plays of his content on YouTube and Soundcloud, 5,000 followers on Soundcloud and has opened for renowned rapper “Waka Flocka Flame” at a concert, Woods is well on his way to making a name for himself in the industry. Dubbing himself as “sui.luj,”—Julius spelled backwards, Woods has even performed alongside artists such as Gucci Mane and Post Malone.

Even so, Woods said, his success has been difficult.

A large barrier in the music industry, Woods said, is a concept known as “leverage.” This step is critical because ultimately is it about how much fame artists can acquire and how that can help open doors. Although a smaller artist such as himself can have a multitude of gigs working for the likes of Lil Pump, Gucci Mane and others, these larger names can often not even credit him for his work. As a result, Woods said, he prefers working on his own music.

“Although myself and other smaller artists have produced for some of these famous artists, it doesn’t automatically give you a ticket to success,” Woods said. “I’ve found that it’s always best to create your own gravitational force for other people to join and want to be apart of. It’s generally more effective for your own career and just more fun.”

Aside from the these struggles, however, Woods said that he could not be more excited for the future.

“I’ll be moving to Los Angeles and starting something new under Lucid Monday, which will be dubbed ‘LMTV,’” Woods said. “Although I can’t speak too much of it, what I can say is that it will be a reality show and media series about hip hop producers around the country. This whole experience has so far been amazing, and I can’t wait to continue down this path of making a name for myself.”

 

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