Dorothy was right – there was no place like home.
As Julian sat in the backseat of the cab from the airport, he passed by everything he knew – and changed – about his hometown of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. As gentrification took over in other parts of Brooklyn and Harlem, Sunset Park remained mostly Latino, though the real estate prices went through the roof in recent years. The home he grew up in was recently estimated to be around a million dollars. It was just worth under two hundred and fifty thousand a few years ago.
It was a bittersweet time returning to New York. He had a lot of great memories being there and a few of his friends still lived there. It was also a painful reminder of what was. It was hard being the son of a world-famous chef and Julian felt the pressure even as young as elementary. One would think the teachers would be nicer because of his status but it wasn’t the case; they were actually harder. Julian later figured out, they wanted a meeting with his famous father so they could drool and flirt with him in person.
At every turn, his father discouraged him from pursuing his dreams, which made Julian pursue them even harder. He cut his hair, traded his torn jeans for slick suits, and worked two jobs to have a cushioned savings. Under no circumstances was he going to ask his father for a dime.
Once he graduated from high school, he went to USC on a full ride and graduated with top honors in business. During his college years, he DJ’d at local nightclubs and house parties while he interned at the Golden Triangle. If he found a few acts he was interested in, he gave them his business card. Over time, he booked shows, photo shoots, free and paid gigs for the exposure. Julian barely slept but it was worth it. He was going to be successful or die trying.
Under a year, everything came to play.
Two of his artists were signed to major record companies and Julian ended up becoming an A&R director of New Classic before working his way up to CEO in record time.
Now he was back home where it all began.
He’d visited Sunset Park on and off throughout the years as he made L.A. his permanent home. While he adapted relatively easily to L.A. living, Julian couldn’t deny his heritage just because he hobnobbed with those who didn’t look like him. He made it a point to speak Spanish whenever he could when he was not at work and kept a tight-knit relationship with his friends he grew up with.
He understood his father was all for assimilation and becoming like them but Julian knew he could adapt without completely forgetting about his past and his heritage.
Cover reveal coming this week! Eek! So excited!!