"Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."
Jules Galli knew from a very young age in his native France that he was destined to be an artist. With no one else in his family being involved in entertainment, however, it is all the more incredible that by 23, Jules would already be fronting a popular 9-piece band in Los Angeles and living the embodiment of the American dream. Looking back on his remarkable life experiences to date, it seems clear that fate had a decided hand in leading him down this path from the very beginning.
Jules grew up dancing to his father's American and British records from the time he could stand up in his playpen. At age 11, when world-renowned tennis player and musician Yannick Noah happened to visit his father's restaurant, Jules got up on the bar and sang a song that impressed Yannick enough to invite him to perform at his own concert the following night, in front of 3000 people. That experience cemented Jules' feeling that he was meant to be a performer. A schoolteacher overheard Jules casually sing some high notes and recognized his natural vocal talent, and recommended that he be enrolled at a classical conservatory for music in Lyon, 2 hours away from where he lived in the French countryside. Thus, at just 11 years old, Jules began the process of growing up far earlier than most kids his age--waking up at 5 a.m. daily to board the train by himself and travel the 30 miles to school and back.
Shortly thereafter, the opportunity arose for Jules' father to follow his own dream of moving his family to the U.S., leaving the safety of a successful restaurant position in France to become an independent private chef in Miami against the advice of his peers. In so doing, he set a strong example for his son not to be afraid of pursuing happiness in the face of adversity. Upon enrolling in an American high school for the first time, Jules soon realized that he was in a whole new world. With English being completely foreign to him, he started a band with classmates as a way of connecting using music as a common language, but it never became a serious project. Because Jules had always loved to draw and paint, and was conveniently good in math, after graduating high school, he was accepted to the highly esteemed Pratt Institute School of Architecture in New York City. It wasn't until he was firmly ensconced in the proverbial ivory tower designing buildings for individuals whom he would never meet that Jules recognized that he was unhappy without music, being so far removed from the personal connection with people that he enjoyed so much.
Jules' fate was sealed when he happened to read Jack Kerouac's famous "On the Road," and he recognized he needed to pursue the cultural and spiritual ideals of independence presented in that novel that were not possible as an architect in Manhattan. Every time Jules went back to Miami during school breaks to play music with his band of friends, it became clear that he was enjoying himself more and more expressing his feelings through music while simultaneously achieving increasing recognition for his performances. People were truly loving the sound of his voice and his feel-good songwriting, and in turn, Jules felt progressively compelled to write more songs to reach more people. He even taught himself how to play the guitar to aid himself in these endeavors.
Jules soon knew he needed to be where the heart of the music industry was, and thus, he made the decision to leave Pratt and forgo a potentially successful career in architecture in order to move to Los Angeles on his own as a musician, at age 19 in order to "follow his bliss." And indeed, once he arrived in Los Angeles and was able to immerse himself fully in the constantly evolving culture of artistic expression there, Jules felt like he finally belonged to the party to which he always had an invitation. He learned to listen, to lay out, and to improvise on the infamous L.A. "jam" scene, and quickly developed a reputation as a fiercely versatile and sophisticated vocalist. Within a short period of time, he met the rest of his band members through a series of equally uncanny coincidences that also seemed like they had been predestined, with one event leading to the next.