For many people around the world, March 13, 2020 will forever be remembered as the start of COVID-19 lockdowns. For Juliana Maria, it stands out for a different reason; it was the day she bought her prom dress. What began as a day full of hope and teenage romanticism would end by launching Juliana into a completely different reality, not just because the world was shutting down but because by evening her mom was feeling ill. Not long after, she would be diagnosed as one of the first confirmed cases of the virus in her area. Forced to quarantine away from her family, social life, and senior year dreams, Juliana’s artistic expression blossomed inside the four walls of her childhood bedroom.
What started as just a TikTok of her singing snowballed into a wave of enthusiasm and interest in Juliana’s unique perspective, one she expresses with cheeky confidence in her debut single “Loverboy.” Her music is a coming-of-age story displayed against the backdrop of a global pandemic. The song focuses on a character who is an amalgamation of many of the boys she’s dated (or tried to date) and follows the game of love/hate that results from the pursuit of teenage love. “Sometimes the chase is so fun you don't even care about the result,” she confesses. “The red flags look a little green when you like somebody enough - that's exactly what ‘Loverboy’ embodies.”
Her flirtatious vocals embody both the joys and pains of young romance. This feeling of infatuation is only accentuated by the giddy teenage phone call she recorded with her best friend for the song’s bridge - a snapshot of youthful connection.
So much of the world has changed over the last two years, and yet Juliana’s “Loverboy” reminds us what has stayed the same. Young love, hopeless romanticism, and testing the limits of playful seduction will forever be a part of growing up.
Listen to "Loverboy" below: