What’s a place you can learn about anything in the world and also see someone publicly embarrass themselves in the span of five seconds?
If you answered “a UConn lecture hall,” you’re close. The internet is a magical invention that transformed the planet and how we connect with each other. For my money, the best usage of this universal tool is finding musicians from all corners of the globe.
Juliaplaysgroove, as the title spoils, is a 19-year old Polish girl. She has 84,000 subscribers on YouTube at the time of writing and is one of the best bassists I have ever seen. She has a couple dozen videos of her jamming on her black bass to songs, both to recent hits like “What’s The Use?” by Mac Miller and jams from past eras like “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross.
The “What’s The Use?” cover is how I found out about her. Uploaded in February of this year, the video opens with Julia (last name unknown to my best knowledge) leading off the Mac track with a ripping original bass solo, before settling into the funky groove of the track about 15 seconds in. As she bobs back and forth as Mac delivers his verses, she puts in microfills between bars like someone who’s been a booth instrumentalist for decades. She’s only 19. This shouldn’t be technically possible. The comment section overwhelmingly agrees.
“She’s hitting licks that I’ve only heard from top R&B/Jazz bass player’s like Stanley Clark, Patrice Rushen and Larry Graham; she would make them proud,” says user Anthony Ponee.
“Hello you’re one of the biggest reasons why i picked up a bass,” says user Eivy Andnda.
The video was shared on Twitter by Thundercat — bassist extraordinaire and the original player on “What’s The Use?” — and it caught fire. It is now the most watched on her entire channel at over 826,000 views.
There is something exceptionally satisfying about a YouTuber who knows what people want. Every single one of Julia’s videos has her smacking the everloving life out of her bass within the first few seconds. No intro, no opening monologue paying homage to bassists of yore. Just immediate music. On the flipside, she doesn’t end her videos with a plea for you to subscribe, donate to her Patreon or anything of that matter. The videos just fade out, either with silence or with Julia continuing to shred, quieter and quieter. Minimalism on YouTube is an art that’s losing traction as the platform grows more and more mainstream, but Julia knows what people want: Bass.
There’s only one caveat to following Julia’s channel like a hawk: She uploads about four to five times per year. The thing is, I and the rest of her audience wouldn’t expect anything different. Each and every one of Julia’s videos is masterfully performed with no errors; it makes sense that the videos come at a trimonthly or so basis, just like you wouldn’t expect a perfect steak to come out of the kitchen in two minutes.
A comment by user John Smith on a Daniel Caesar cover summarizes why her channel is so transfixing better than I ever could. “The best thing about YouTube is watching a teen girl from Poland kick 99% of so-called good bassists’ ass.”
Daniel Cohn is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.