Originally from West Penn, PA, Jacob Kulick who now goes solely by his surname, turned his tiny closet into his own private music studio at age 12 and began writing and recording songs as a way to cope with his anxiety and the loneliness of being an outcast. Kulick co-founded a high school band Story of Another, self-produced his own album and went on to study audio engineering at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. He got a job at CBS Radio in New York City and crossed paths with a fellow musician who had a connection at RCA Records. Once he’d landed an introductory meeting with the label, Kulick devoted the next two years to building up his solo material and collaborating with other writers. In summer 2017, those two years of intense creativity led to Kulick signing a deal with RCA/Gold’n Retriever Records. He released his debut EP Hydroplane in 2018 featuring his powerful single “Ghost.” In March 2019, he released a new track titled “Scatterbrain,” which he explains is a song about, “today’s busy society, both young and old, and the battle to stay true to who you are.” Since releasing his debut EP, Kulick’s garnered almost 3 million streams worldwide and counting.
We first saw Kulick in Dallas when he and his band were touring with Andy Black and were instantly drawn to his powerful lyrics, and the energy he gave off on stage.
What inspired you to make music?
I started writing journal entries first, and then tried to sing some of those in the form of songs. I really wanted to write to get emotions and feelings out of me from multiple places in my life; bullying, home life, general world view, and so on. I also always wanted to be a radio star when I was growing up, which was difficult for me to admit, but is absolutely true.
We saw you with Andy Black in Dallas and were really impressed with your show. How did you end up on tour with Andy?
Thank you! We loved playing Dallas. And we love touring. We hope to be able to do it as much as possible. I am not sure the specifics of how we got the tour with Andy Black. What I do know is that we have amazing management and an amazing booking agent, and they get things like this done for us all the time and I couldn’t be more grateful.
What to you was the most important thing you learned on the tour?
I think we all learned how to be a family and how to perform on stage together. Every night’s show got better and everyones energy got closer.
If you have to describe your music to someone what would you tell them?
The music is something real and emotional. Its style can range from rock to alternative to pop, depending on the mood and vibe of the song. And it’s music that I hope can be universally understood.
We read that you began writing songs at an early age as an outlet for anxiety and bullying. How did writing help with these problems for you?
Honestly it helps a lot, and I recommend anyone going through anything difficult to write down your thoughts. It doesn’t even have to be artistic. Make lists, notes, doodles, anything. It takes it out of your head and into the world, which is relieving. It makes you feel like you dont need to hold on to those thoughts and over obsess about them anymore. A step after that process was songwriting for me. I wanted to put it into a package that other people would want to consume and relate to. I also wanted to not feel so alone in what I was feeling and it turns out that everyone feels the same as I have and do at one point or another.
You have done some pretty cool things the past few years, such as the H project where you focused on the heroin problem in your home town. Could you tell our fans about this and perhaps the reason you focused on it?
Sure, Alex’s parents reached out to me with a poem their daughter wrote about heroin a few months before she died and wanted it made into a song. I thought it would be meaningful and challenging so I said yes, and I always hear how much the song has helped people which was the main goal. I have never done heroin and plan to stay away from anything like it. I fear I would enjoy it and would continue to want more and more, like so many stories about heroin go. Alex’s song shows how it can grip and trap you, and how emotionally depleting the whole process can be.
Do you feel it is one of your jobs as a public figure to bring awareness to your fans?
I think it is my job to show people that public figures are normal ass people. We are you. Like everybody else. And you can do what we do if you really feel a passion for it and are willing to never give up. Perseverance is the key. I am still not even close to where I want to be, and there is no finish line. Just keep moving. So I hope people are aware of that, and all the rest of the “buzz topics” you can form your own individualized opinion on.
What are the three songs you think are essential for any road trip?
Angela by The Lumineers, Everything is Alright by The Glorious Sons, and Clairvoyant by The Story So Far.
What is the first song you ever remember hearing, you know other than something like Baby
Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ Da Vida Loca” or Tom Petty’s “Listen to Her Heart”
· What are Kulick’s plans for the near future…
I am writing alone and with the band as much as I possibly can to get an album out by late fall (is the hope and plan). We also are planning to have a few more shows and are looking for tours for the late fall as well!