Alumni Make Music Together: Miami to Berklee and Back Again
For over a year, the band Soulpax has eagerly anticipated the release of its first album, Inside Outside, but the group's story reaches back nearly a decade.
Soulpax's beginnings can be traced to a performance seminar by Livingston Taylor that the band's cofounders, Julian Harris B.M. ’16 and Julia Camayd B.M. ’16, attended in Miami. “We were 16 years old at the time and it was like, 'You want to go to Berklee? I want to go to Berklee. We should hang out and play music together sometime.' I had never met someone that had the natural talent that Julian has,” Camayd said. As fortune would have it, they were both accepted to Berklee in 2012 and continued playing music together.
In their early days, they played acoustic sets on small stages. It was during this time that Harris and Camayd started writing songs for an album. Harris felt they were onto something but should delay recording anything until they could refine their sound. “The thing that works for Julia and I is that we both trust in each other’s ability to create good work. We allow each other the room that we need to write and to feel our most comfortable, and then things just come together,” he said.
Harris and Camayd continued to refine their style, moving from their acoustic duo to the first incarnation of Soulpax, a four-piece band with a progressive rock sound. As the two neared the end of their time at Berklee, they decided to move back to Florida to continue developing their artistry. Today, Soulpax is a roots-based R&B band featuring Camayd’s soulful vocals and Harris’s blues-inspired guitar riffs. On the new album, the duo is complemented by a full band, including a horns section.
While many bands see an album release party as their first big step onto the scene, for Harris and Camayd it marks a years-long journey of learning and growth together. Last weekend, they debuted Inside Outside at a show in which they invited other R&B bands to play. “Music is communal. It’s about bringing people together, not only to just listen but to enjoy spending time with each other,” Harris said.
As Harris and Camayd continue to promote their album, they hope their music can inspire other artist in the way they've inspired each other. “I think what makes us special is [that] if we've made one person’s day a little better, then we’ve done our job. We see that beginning to happen and it warms my heart,” Camayd said.
Listen to the title track from the debut album by Soulpax, "Inside Outside":