“You Don’t Get To” is out via 19 Recordings

Whether you watched Kelly Clarkson clinch the inaugural title or are tuning in for the show’s reboot twenty years later, there’s no denying American Idol continues to be a coveted launching pad for its standout talent. Now, up next is 2020 season three finalist Julia Gargano.

Today, the 22-year-old breakout artist is once again proving her journey to Hollywood is just getting started as she unveils her new single and music video, “You Don’t Get To,” on 19 Recordings. Check it out below.

Gargano first stunned Idol viewers and judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryant, and Lionel Richie with a piano-led audition of her original song, “Growing Pains.” A show-stopping performance that inspired Perry to rise out of her chair to hug Julia. “It was the best day of my life – which is not hard to believe,” she shares. “I felt like I was in the middle of the weirdest and best dream I’d ever had. It was simply crazy to have three legends hype me up.”

The experience was a catalyst moment for the New Yorker. “Before the show, I never really thought I could do this, honestly. I’ve always struggled with confidence issues, and that experience taught me that I am my own worst enemy, which scared the crap out of me! It was a much-needed wake-up call and made me see myself as an artist, not just a songwriter.”

Like millions of hopefuls that have lined stadiums and audition rooms dreaming of receiving a golden ticket, Julia’s American Idol moment was the culmination of years of tireless work. “I’ve been in music lessons since I was six years old and made it my entire life since. Like many, I turn to writing and music in general as an outlet. I struggled with intense anxiety growing up and never felt like I was ‘complaining’ or ‘being dramatic’ when I vented through writing lyrics or songs. It was the one place where I didn’t care about the judgment. Now doing this for a career, I still hold those elements close, but at the same time want the world to hear it and also say, ‘this song is for me.’”

Emerging as a must-hear solo artist just one year later, Gargano’s soulful voice and powerful songwriting are once again at the forefront with the release of “You Don’t Get To.” “I think this single was an important stepping stone for me getting to know myself as an artist. The synergies get stronger and stranger with each writing session I have, and I’m starting to just let go and dive into the music.”

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photo courtesy of Julia Gargano

Inspired by a toxic relationship, the song captures the rising star’s raw talent with laser precision. “I was in a relationship that seemed to be never-ending. He would break up with me, give me no space to heal, and then sneak his way back in and want me back – guilty as charged for always going back to him.”

Years later, the song is “another chance to say, ‘you’ll never be able to hurt me again, even if you tried,’” a poignant and relatable sentiment for anyone that has ever navigated treacherous young love. Julia’s first solo release since Idol, “You Don’t Get To,” follows her song “Swollen” with fellow contestant Francisco Martin, which has quickly amassed over 2 million streams.

Concentrating on “creating music people haven’t heard before and, most importantly, music they can relate to,” Gargano is poised for a blockbuster year you won’t want to miss. Recognizing her story will inspire millions of songwriters, a starry-eyed Gargano reminds us to never “let the fear of ‘no’ stop you.” The sage advice empowering the young star to seize her power on and off the stage.

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