Meet Julie from HAVVK
Happy Feminist Wednesday, Julie can you introduce yourself for our Bettys?
I’m Julie! I do a bunch of music-related things. I play bass and sing for HAVVK. We’re an indie grunge band based in Berlin. I also help to run our label, Veta Records and last year, I co-founded an organisation called SelfMade, which gives a platform to artists to discuss and learn about the various DIY and industry elements of developing a music career through discussion, performance, art and zines. We’re all about empowering artists to learn from each other’s experiences and create a healthier, more collaborative music scene, especially for women.
Tell us how you got started in your craft?
I’m from Galway but I moved to London a few years ago and started out by playing open mics there. I met a bunch of lovely and super supportive musicians through that, including the guys from the band. We spent a couple of years in London developing our sound and running label nights.
Then two years ago, we moved to Berlin for a change of scene and it’s become our home away from home. I have been singing pretty much my whole life, and played guitar and piano in the past, but I’ve only been on the bass about a year now. I love it. It’s such an immersive instrument, being so connected to the percussion, which was really interesting for me as I’d mostly been performing toplines before that.
Why is feminism important to you and how does it influence your work?
So many reasons. But specifically in music, feminism important to me as it reminds me that women have so much more to bring to the music industry than we’ve been lead to believe.
Feminism makes me set my bar so much higher in terms of how much energy I can put into my job, how much I own my role, and what I choose to write about.
It reminds me to look around and be inspired by other women in music and not see them as competitors. And it reminds me that the more we live by that mentality, the healthier a music scene we’re creating for young female and non-binary musicians.
What do you do to avoid feminist burnout? What’s your favorite self-care practice?
Moving to Berlin came at the perfect time as I really needed to check in with myself at the time and I didn’t even realise it. I find the quality of the time I have to switch off is much more effective than it was in London, even though I’m still working really fucking hard.
This has given me time to connect with so many women in music both in Berlin, and ironically back in London and Ireland too. Talking to other people in a similar both to me really keeps me grounded and gives me perspective that helps to avoid burning out.
I prioritise self care much more these days too. Swimming on my own in the lakes around Berlin is my ultimate break. But I can’t do this all year round. I’m really precious about my mornings too – I love getting up early and I find having that hour to myself to exercise, eat, and listen to podcasts really effects my headspace for the rest of the day.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?
One of the best things I’ve gotten better at over the last few years is reaching out to other musicians, asking questions, and sharing skills, whether that just with the guys in the band or with other musicians in my community or online.
Music as a job is multi-faceted. It’s so much more than song-writing and playing, and there will be parts of it that you’re great at and parts of it that you’ll need to practise at.
Whether it’s production, understanding live setup, composing an intro email, managing your time, putting together visuals or ding socials – there’s a lot to juggle and so much to be said for building a little team of support around you.