Julia started writing her own songs and performing them at local folk clubs in the south coast of England when she was 14. A few years later she was invited to be a guest singer with the UK’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra which sparked a lifelong love of the Jazz genre. When she was 16 Julia started working at Radio Victory in Portsmouth where she loved being in the studio singing jingles and doing the voice overs for commercials.
In 1988 Julia signed with Virgin/Circa Records and released her debut album simply titled, Julia Fordham. The album, which featured her top 40 single Happy Ever After, reached No.20 in the UK chart and earned her a platinum disc. The album also charted in the US reaching No.118 on the Billboard 200 chart. The single Happy Ever After reached the No.1 spot at the top of the charts in Japan, where she has recorded TV adverts for Toyota and where she still regularly tours.
In 1989 Julia’s follow up album Porcelain became her landmark work, charting not only in the UK (No.13) and Japan, but also the US (No.74 in the US top 100) and Europe. The album featured some of her most well known songs including Porcelain, Girlfriend and Lock And Key. Already a big name on the live circuit, Julia’s fan base continued to grow and her Porcelain tour saw her sell out the biggest halls in the UK, including dates at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.
Julia’s third album Swept reached No.33 in the UK chart in 1991 and featured her biggest hit to date, (Love Moves In) Mysterious Ways. It was also chosen as the theme song for the Demi Moore film, The Butcher’s Wife and became a big hit in the UK, the Philippines and the US, where Julia has appeared on the David Letterman Show performing and being interviewed. With the success of Swept Julia undertook her most ambitious tour yet, performing in Japan, America, Ireland and culminating in the UK with a date at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall.
Julia’s first 4 albums all went Gold in Japan. She has a huge following in the Philippines and regularly performs there. Her song Invisible War became something of an unofficial anthem for the people during the Marcos regime.
Successive albums followed with Falling Forward in 1994, produced by legendary producer and husband of Joni Mitchell, Larry Klein. The Grammy Award winner went on to produce three further Julia Fordham albums. The 2005 live CD, That’s Life and DVD That’s Live, features Klein as producer and bass player as part of an all-star band including the Academy Award-winning trumpet player/composer, Mark Isham. On the soulful song Concrete Love (from the album of the same name), Julia performs a stunning duet with another Grammy Award winner, India Arie. It was around this time that Julia relocated to Los Angeles where she continues to reside with her daughter, Marley Rose. As well as being a practicing Reiki healer and mother, Julia has a passion for loose-leaf tea.
After 2004’s devastating tsunami struck in Asia, Julia became closely involved in a charity project to help rebuild a school in India, by donating the proceeds from a Happy Ever After remix. It featured a children’s choir from Portsmouth. This beautiful production brought Julia back full circle to the place where she first started writing and performing as a teenager.
In 2007, Julia’s Baby Love EP, a set of unconditional love songs dedicated to her daughter, Marley Rose, was released. Her China Blue album, released the following year in 2008, is predominantly a collection of original jazz compositions but also features a reinterpretation of Michael McDonald’s I Keep Forgetting, with Michael himself contributing his amazing vocals. The album Under The Rainbow (2013) is a simple piano/voice recording of all of Julia’s hits, and includes the song Skipping Under The Rainbow.
Julia’s more recent projects include Mixed, Shaken & Stirred (2016) - a unique album featuring some of the songs from Julia’s much loved first album (all of which have been remixed, reworked and reconstructed by some of today’s leading and cutting edge producers of dance and electronic music), and Live & Untouched (2017) - an eclectic mix of fan favourites recorded at recent shows.
Recently signed to JVC jazz label in Japan, Julia released The Language Of Love, which was produced and arranged by her long-time collaborator and pianist Grant Mitchell. The album covers some of her favourite contemporary songs with a jazz interpretation. Supported by an outstanding ensemble of leading Los Angeles musicians and Latin jazz aficionados, this seductive collection includes swing, bossa nova and traditional trio interpretations of familiar chart-toppers. The Language of Love (2017) also debuts two original songs written by Julia, Like You Used To Do and The Morning After (The Night With You), and includes a new World Music-flavored rendition of Happy Ever After.
Julia Fordham continues to enchant audiences around the world with her extraordinary vocal range and heartfelt songs. A luscious contralto that she wields with an almost operatic command, it is one of the most strikingly beautiful voices to be heard in pop - New York Times.
From 1988’s Happy Ever After - her first release and an international hit - and throughout all of her 15 albums, Julia’s unique voice and exquisitely crafted compositions strike an everlasting chord.
2018 marks the start of a new venture for Julia Fordham as she embarks on an 18-date UK tour in November with fellow female singer songwriters Judie Tzuke and Beverley Craven.
Julia’s latest release Magic, is a collection of songs inspired by Motherhood.