1/ So First Off - Tell Us your Name, City and Country and what you currently do for a living?

Julia Maehner - Music to Curator

Julia Maehner - Music to Curator

My name is Julia, and I live in Munich, Germany. I’m a trained journalist and I do a lot of things - play guitar and sing, make awesome salsa and bread, write about music and hiking. My job is working as a marketing specialist for .objective Software, an IT company based in Munich. They build software for the automotive sector - autonomous driving, car-sharing and all that - as well as smart cities. 

2/ Is This Something You Always Wanted To Do?  What Do You Enjoy About It?

Actually, no. When I was a little girl, I really wanted to live on a farm, have horses, be a vet and moonlight as a PI. But I figured out pretty quickly that my two passions were writing and music, so since I was 13, I wanted to be a music journalist. With the media being what it is nowadays, Musicto is providing me with the perfect way to stay in touch with my true passion. 

3/ Tell Us About Your First Musical Memory - Why Do You Think You Remember It?

I have two musical memories. The first one is my mom singing me to sleep, she’d always sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to me. And then I also remember loving “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” on the Lion King soundtrack. I had the story as an audiobook on a cassette tape, and at the end of the tape was that song. I would rewind it dozens of times to play it over and over again and jump around the house singing. 

4/ Who Did You Make Your First Mixtape / Playlist For - What Was The Result -  Did They Dig It?

I must have been 14 or 15 and I had just discovered Led Zeppelin. I made the mixtape for my family and myself, because we would always go on these long car rides to visit my grandpa in Hesse (that’s the state Frankfurt is in). Believe me when I say: German radio sucked. I couldn’t stand it. So I put “Whole Lotta Love” and a bunch of other classic rock and folk songs on a cassette - our car didn’t have a CD deck back then. The Who, Dire Straits, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Stones, Beatles… needless to say, it was epic. My mom didn’t enjoy it that much, though. She’s a softer soul. 

5/ What Made You Go Online And Search About Music Curation?

I came to Musicto via A Song A Day, where I had been curating songs pretty much from its start in October 2014. So technically I pretty much stumbled upon it. I loved having my folks over at ASAD, who would give me feedback on the songs I sent out. Some of them have become Internet friends of mine. I would love it, if Music to Conquer Mountains could become a similar community. Because that’s what music is about - sharing it with others. It’s a celebration of everything and reflection of the most intimate feelings. 

6/ Tell us about the name of your Playlist - where did that come from?

When I considered joining Musicto, I was looking at all the playlists and thought to myself: Wow, there are some awesome themes here. My playlist would have to be me, essentially, and since I listen to so much music, that can be kind of hard. I wanted to be able to play all kinds of songs from all kinds of genres. And I wanted to have them mean something. Since I had just hiked across the alps that year, it was kind of obvious: Music to Conquer Mountains. It popped into my head and stayed there. 

7/ What does a track have to have to make it onto your list, is there something special that you look for?

Basically, I have to like it. I listen to a lot of genres, so there isn’t a limit on that - even though I know my picks so far have been pretty heavy on the rock side of things. It helps if the story behind the song is about overcoming something, or achieving something or it really motivates you. But honestly, I’m a journalist. I can and I will interpret your songs however the fuck I want. 

8/ What can an artist do in their track submission to your list to ensure that you'll listen to their track?

Submit it. I listen to all submissions eventually. 

9/ We know - these change all the time - but as of this week - what are your all time top 5 favorite tracks.

These are all pretty recent! I’ve been vibing on a bunch of tracks this week. But these are probably the ones I really dig the most right now: 

  • Editors - Magazine 
  • The Dig - Moonlight Baby
  • José Gonzalés - Killing for Love
  • Childish Gambino - Be Alone
  • Sylvan Esso - PARAD(w/m)E

Bonus: Unknown Mortal Orchestra - American Guilt 

10/ And finally - which Music to Curator should we interview next?

Wow, this one’s probably the toughest question. I’m really curious about so many curators! But when I looked at our page of playlists - jeez, we’ve grown so much since I’ve joined! - my heart immediately went out to Ada's Music to Cross the Bosporus. Turkey has a really complicated past and present, and nonetheless the music down there is so vivacious, passionate. 

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