Julian Velard

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Julian Velard
Julian Velard at Paradiso Grote Zaal in Amsterdam, NL, November 2014
Background information
Birth nameJulian Adam Velard
Born (1979-10-06) October 6, 1979 (age 39)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active2001–present
LabelsLucky Number (2007)
Angel Music (2007–2008)
Virgin Records (2008–2009)
Planeteer Records (2010–2012)
Chloebro Records (2014-Present)

Julian Velard (born October 6, 1979), is an American pianist and singer-songwriter, born and raised in New York City. In addition to releasing albums of original material, he is a regular guest on NPR's Ask Me Another,[1] The Wrap Up Show, and has created musical content for BuzzFeed and The New York Knicks. Velard teaches songwriting on the online training site Lynda.com.[2]

Early life[edit]

Velard was born in New York City on the Upper West Side on Manhattan. His mother, Margaret, is a former actress turned Real Estate Agent. She is also a 4-time Jeopardy! Champion and queen-sized pantyhose model.[3] His father, Maxime, was a hidden child during the Holocaust.[4] He emigrated from Paris in 1963 and worked in computers and designed the technology for the first ATM for Citibank.


Velard attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. He then attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts where he majored in composition. There he studied with Jazz legend Yusef Lateef. During college, he spent a semester abroad in Paris where he studied with pianist Kirk Lightsey from The Leaders.

Musical career[edit]

Upon graduating college, Velard moved to Brooklyn and began his career as a professional musician. Gigging at night, he supported himself by working as a nursery school gym teacher.[5] In 2003 he released his debut album, Nitetime.

In the fall of 2006 Velard released an EP entitled The Movies Without You, produced by Roger Greenawalt. The EP garnered buzz in UK Record Industry Circles and in 2007, Velard signed a multi record deal with Angel Music Group and subsequently moved to London.[6] The following year he was the opening act for Amy Macdonald on both legs of her This Is The Life UK Tour.[7]

In London he used the songs on the EP to create what would should have been his first major label release, The Planeteer. Produced by Steve Power, the recording process took close to a year. On June 18, 2008 EMI eliminated 2,000 positions worldwide including the Charisma imprint.[8] The Planeteer was shelved and Velard was moved over to Virgin Records. In May 2009, Velard was dropped by Virgin and subsequently moved back to New York. In November 2009 Velard released The Planeteer independently. Soon after Olly Murs recorded Velard’s song Hold On for his debut album, Olly Murs (album) which went on to go 2x platinum in the UK.[9] During this time he opened the first half of Jamie Cullum's 2010 US Tour.

In 2011 Velard reemerged with a new album, Mr. Saturday Night. The album was well received in the UK, with Velard appearing on ITV’s This Morning as well as The Alan Titchmarsh Show and BBC’s The Review Show. The album was also released in the Netherlands due to an online discovery by radio and TV host Gerard Ekdom. After connecting with Ekdom on Twitter, Velard subsequently signed a deal with Go Entertainment. He has gone on to success in the Netherlands, playing Serious Request, and headlining his own show at Paradiso (Amsterdam).

On November 26, 2012, Velard taped his first show of Ask Me Another. He has since become the go-to substitute for house musician Johnathan Coulton.

On June 16, 2014, Velard released a New York City concept album titled, If You Don't Like It, You Can Leave. The album was well received by critics.[10] Velard opened a tour for Paul Carrack that July.

On October 5, 2015, Velard released his single, The Night Ed Sheeran Slept On My Couch. The song was featured on Popcrush and The Guardian.[11] The song is based on actual events.

On November 18, 2015, Velard appeared for the first time on The Wrap-Up Show. Velard has since become a regular on the show, and several of his original, improvised songs have been played on The Howard Stern Show.

On June 16, 2017, Velard released a 9 song LP entitled, Fancy Words For Failure. The Wall Street Journal [12] published a profile of Velard and his year long residency at Joe's Pub.

In January 2018, Velard's H.P. Joelcraft, a mash up of Billy Joel's Pianoman and H.P. Lovecraft's Nemesis, was featured on The Nerdist,[13] Polygon,[14] The A.V Club,[15] Mashable,[16] and Bloody Disgusting[17] among others.

Velard recently announced the release of a 3 song EP about fatherhood titled Sad Dad. The EP will be available worldwide October 12, 2018.


Studio albums

EPs, singles and live recordings

  • 2003 Make Me Feel
  • 2006 The Movies Without You
  • 2009 Another Guy's Song
  • 2012 The Mighty Lin
  • 2012 Person Of Interest
  • 2013 Tiny Aeroplane
  • 2015 The Night Ed Sheeran Slept On My Couch
  • 2017 Sweatpants on the Living Room Floor
  • 2018 Sad Dad


  1. ^ "Blurred Rhymes". NPR. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "Julian Velard". Lynda.com. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  3. ^ Paul Lester, New Band Of The Day, No 312 Julian Velard, The Guardian, (April 29, 2008)
  4. ^ Paul Lester, Julian Velard: Sad, Lonely… and loved by Housewives, The Jewish Chronicle (June 20, 2008)
  5. ^ Dan Kane, Julian Velard to Perform Heartfelt Songs at Auricle, Cantonrep.com (October 28, 2011)
  6. ^ Gary K Julian Velard, (May 27, 2008)
  7. ^ Lyndsey Ure, Saturday 24/5/08 Amy Macdonald, Julian Velard, Pete Du Pon @ Carling Academy Glasgow, (May 28, 2008)
  8. ^ Tim Agrango, EMI’s New Boss Sees Cracks in Music World, (June 16, 2008)
  9. ^ Alan Jones, "Official Album Chart analysis: Olly Murs becomes 10th X-Factor No.1". Music Week. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  10. ^ Dave Lifton, "CD Review: If You Don't Like It, You Can Leave", (June 10, 2014)
  11. ^ "This Week's New Tracks", (October 2, 2015)
  12. ^ "Brooklyn Musician Taps Failure As His Muse", (July 11, 2017)
  14. ^ "Enjoy this H.P. Lovecraft poem sung to the tune of Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man’", (January 22, 2018)
  15. ^ "We have unlocked the deep, terrible heart of evil lurking within the so-called “Piano Man”", (January 22, 2018)
  17. ^ "H.P. Lovecraft Poem Sung Like Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” is Pure Magic", (January 22, 2018)

External links[edit]