Julian Fernando Casablancas is a singer and songwriter best known for being the lead vocalist of the rock band ‘The Strokes’ which also has the musicians Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond, and Nikolai Fraiture in its line-up. The indie rock band is an active force in the garage rock revival movement and has a large and scattered fanbase all over countries like the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Ireland, Brazil and Australia. The success of the band prompted the members, including Julian to explore solo careers as well. Even as a child, he was always interested in music and grew up listening to Phil Collins influenced music. He was introduced to different musical genres by his step-father whom he credits for developing his taste in music. He met and befriended several other music enthusiasts as a student with whom he would later collaborate on a professional level. He formed a band along with his friends which played around at nightclubs in New York. The youngsters released an EP which became a huge hit and soon several record companies were vying with each other to sign with the band. They signed with RCA and released their debut album ‘Is This It’ which won the group critical praise and made them a popular rock band.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born to business mogul, John Casablancas, the founder of Elite Model Management, and Jeanette Christiansen, a former Danish beauty queen. He is of mixed ancestry.
His parents divorced and his mother later remarried painter Sam Adoquei. His step-father exposed him to different types of music and helped develop his musical taste.
He went to The Dwight School where he met Nick Valensi and Fabrizio Moretti. At the age of 14 his father arranged for him to go to Institut Le Rosey, an elite boarding school in Switzerland. There he met Albert Hammond, Jr.
He attended the Lycee Francais de New York from where he graduated in 1996. During his time at the college he met and befriended Nikolai Fraiture.
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Along with his friends Nick Valensi, Fabrizio Moretti, Albert Hammond, Jr. and Nikolai Fraiture, he formed a rock band called The Strokes in 1998. The band released its debut EP ‘The Modern Age’ in 2001. The EP became so popular that record labels started a bidding war to sign the band.
The band signed with RCA and brought out its debut studio album, ‘Is This It’ in 2001. The album debuted at No.2 on the U.K. Albums Chart. It spawned the hit singles ‘Hard to Explain’, ‘Last Nite’ and ‘Someday’.
In 2003, their next album, ‘Room on Fire’ was out. The album had a smoother sound and contained the singles ’12:51’, ‘Reptilia’, and ‘The End Has No End’. The album was reviewed positively and reached No.2 on the U.K. Albums Chart. It went on to be certified Gold.
Julian wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the band’s next album ‘First Impressions of Earth’ which was released in 2006. The lead single of the album was ‘Juicebox’. The album had a Parental Advisory Label—the first Strokes album to have so.
In addition to being a singer, he also plays musical instruments. He played a casio guitar and also sang the backing vocals for the song ‘Sick, Sick, Sick’ by Queens of the Stone Age.
Julian began exploring a solo career during the late 2000s when The Strokes were on a hiatus. His debut solo album, ‘Phrazes for the Young’ was released in 2009. It had the singles ‘Out of the Blue’, ‘Left & Right in the Dark’ and ‘11th Dimension’.
In 2010, he collaborated with Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse on the song ‘Little Girl’ from the album ‘Dark Night of the Soul’. He wrote the lyrics, provided vocals and also played the guitar.
All the individual members started embarking on solo careers during this time and did not record together for a long time. The band released its album ‘Angles’ in 2011 after a period of five years. The album peaked at No.1 on the Australian Albums Chart.
He has been involved in several advertising campaigns as well. He composed an original song ‘I Like The Night’ for an endorsement of Azzaro’s new men’s fragrance, Decibel, dB. The advertisement featuring him was aired in France in 2011.
The Strokes’ most recent album is ‘Comedown Machine’ which was released in 2013. The album was named among the NME’s 50 Best Albums of 2013.
The Strokes’ debut album ‘Is This It’ was a huge commercial as well as critical hit. The album featured a melodic pop-influenced sound and was praised for its rhythm. It was named on the lists of the best albums of the 2000s by several magazines and publications.
Awards & Achievements
The Strokes won the BRIT Award for the Best International Newcomer in 2002.
The Strokes’ debut album, ‘Is This It’ won the Meteor Music Award for the Best International Album in 2002.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married Juliet Joslin, the assistant manager of The Strokes in 2005. The couple has one son.