Before the eyes of her YouTube subscribers, Julia Nunes went from being a teen covering her favorite artists to a young woman playing live shows with them. She began to post original songs and covers of her favorite bands — Say Anything, Ben Folds, the Beatles, among many — to her YouTube channel "jaaaaaaa." Before she knew it, the young artist had accumulated 45 million views to her YouTube account, was raking in awards for her musicianship and songwriting, and in 2008 Ben Folds asked her to open for him after seeing her cover one of his tracks.
Nunes has released three albums independently and is about to release her fourth, Settle Down, on Mordomo Records on February 28. Over the six years since she began her YouTube channel, Nunes' style has evolved from punk pop to mellow ukulele pieces that showcase her voice. In a recent cover of Nat King Cole's "When I Fall in Love," Nunes layers her recordings to harmonize with herself, supported by only sparse strumming on her ukulele. Hear Nunes' tracks "Stay Awake" and "Lookout For Yourself" from Settle Down on this episode of World Cafe: Next.