On Aug. 23, Otter Media collaborated with the Otter Student Union (OSU) to showcase a new event on campus known as “Otter Spotlight” as part of their Monte’s Music series. The first in the spotlight was a fourth-year communication design student from San Jose, Julia Bozzo, also known as “planttvibes.” She is a self-made, jazz-indie bedroom pop musician who now has over 30,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
Bozzo began her music career in the eighth grade on SoundCloud, recording covers like Steven Universe’s “Love like you” in her bedroom. After gaining a following she began writing her own songs, inspired by classic female jazz singers, her friends, and her own personal life experiences. Bozzo added being a lesbian also heavily influences her music.
“Another thing that inspires me is being queer, thats really important to me and its always been important for me to use female pronouns in my songs and make music for queer people,” said Bozzo. “So shout out to the queer people, I love you guys.”
These themes were reflected in her appearance in the Spring 2022 Cinematic Arts and Technology Capstone Festival. Alongside close friend and director Kelly Dam, they adapted a music video for her song “Just a Dream.” The elegant film portrays a lesbian couple, paying tribute to Bozzo’s sexuality. The music video can be found on YouTube by searching “Just a Dream planttvibes.”
Bozzo’s ethereal energy became apparent as she sang original songs such as “Heart on a Shelf” and “Your Love” off of her EP, Bedroom. Otter Media interviewer Derek Rasmussen, described her sound as “infectious” and everyone in the room was “just vibing.”
Before performing her most popular song, “One Sided Love,” Bozzo explained how even with no experience or training one may still be successful creating music.
She advised anyone trying to create a name for themselves in the music industry to “just start small, post anything and everything and it will hit or resonate with people. Just put yourself out there even if you don’t think that it’s worth listening to, someone will want to listen to it.”
The hit “One Sided Love,” was recorded on a pair of Apple’s original earbuds, developed with GarageBand, and now has over one million streams on Spotify.
Bozzo announced that she no longer recognizes herself with the Planttvibes name she created in the eighth grade. With nothing set in stone, she said she is debating on changing her name to match her Instagram, “Mother Mercury” emphasizing that she identifies with it more. To stay updated and keep an eye out for new music from Bozzo, you can follow her on Instagram @mthrmercury.
If you are interested in being the next “Otter in the Spotlight,” apply through the link on Otter Media’s Instagram, @om_csumb.