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Interview: Jus Now Cyah Help It…

Jus Now is a transatlantic production link-up between the UK’s Interface and Trinidad’s LAZABeam with long standing Toddla T Sound MC and godfather to the scene Serocee on mic duties. We chatted to the gang about how Jus Now started and where they get their inspiration.

 

OK guys, how did a Drum & Bass DJ from Bristol end up making music with a producer based in Port of Spain, Trinidad?

We linked in Bristol about 5 years ago at RUN, a legendary DnB and Jungle night at Motion (where our Studio currently is). We’ve been visiting each other’s countries since and after experimenting a bit during the first couple years, the project was further developed when we signed our first EP to Gutterfunk Records. At the time, one of us was making Drum & Bass and the other Soca, but now we’re making something totally new and it’s great for both of us to be part of something so fresh and new.

This exciting cross-over of styles is nothing new to the UK but it seems to be gaining wider popularity across Europe and the US. Why do you think that is?

Most of the Caribbean influence in Europe over the last 30 years has understandably come via Reggae music, as a lot of the diaspora is made up of Jamaicans in particular. Although Notting Hill was started as a way to unite the Caribbean Community in London via a Trinidad-Styled Carnival it has morphed into the unique beast that it is.

What we’ve done so far is utilise more traditional elements of Trinidadian music and percussion, which was present in the era when Calypso was actually popular across the globe. Through our palette of both Bass and Soca-friendly sounds, arrangements and topics, we seem to be able to communicate the music to the European and American market a little more easily than the purist soca or bass music.

We definitely pay attention to the elements that the world enjoys about each other’s cultures. The soca-infused sound also provides an alternative Caribbean style of party music which people seem to be gravitating to more and more.

There’s also a clear South-East Asian influence coming through. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

LAZAbeam is from Trinidad & Tobago, where the population is just over 50% of East Indian origin.This has a big influence on the sound of T&T. In addition, he lived there as a boy when his Dad was the Ambassador of Trinidad there. As in with all other cultural elements in our music, it is bound to appear.

We’ve been fortunate enough to play in India 3 times over the last 2 years. We’ve been to Brazil recently as well and that was quite impacting!

LAZABeam & Interface

“Now we’re making something totally new” LAZABeam & Interface of Jus Now


Your new track ‘Cyah Help It’ features Ms. Dynamite and Bunji Garlin, furthering that UK-Trinidad connection. What was it like working with two such iconic artists?

They are both quickly gaining legendary status in their respective scenes, and both have come from a street-heavy sound to a place where they are now globally recognised. Bunji has been a friend for years and understands our out-of-the-box thinking. When we get together it’s pure trouble. Ms. Dynamite has been wonderful to work with. For a woman with such experience and accolade, she is easy to work with in the studio because she’s creatively adventurous.

When it comes to the both of them, there’s definitely more where that came from.

Bristol has always had a strong reputation for Drum & Bass amongst many other styles. Coming from a city that produced Roni Size and DJ Die, what made you decide to switch genres with this project?

With Drum & Bass and so much more, Bristol has definitely provided a foundation for the sound of Jus Now. We actually aren’t overly concerned with genres and although we both have been influenced strongly by our peers, we believe fully that if we stick to what each other does best, that the music will come out the way it should. Rather than a genre specific sound, we realise that we’ve been able to develop a stylistic sound that is just as identifiable as a genre. What we do has been called many things but who knows what it will eventually be known as.

It’s been over a year since the anthemic ‘Tun Up’ dropped and it’s still getting battered at our raves. It’s a song that encapsulates Jus Now’s raw, tribal-like energy – was that always the intention when making this track?

That’s a pretty accurate description. Put simply, it’s the coming together of both of our influences in a big bang with no frills. It’s designed to move people without apology.

 

 

You guys have played out all over the World including the Caribbean. How was your music received out there?

The crowds in Europe vs the Caribbean are a little different in the way that they react to a tune they like. On both sides, they seem to be in tune with a lot of what we’re doing now, but still don’t entirely get it. It’s almost like the people that come to see us play expect to hear something somewhat unexpected.

In a basic sense though, European crowds show their appreciation by putting their hands up in the air, whereas in the Caribbean it’s all done from the waist down.

What’s next for Jus Now?

As usual we’ve been in the studio quite a bit, but even more so right now as we’ve got something sizeable coming soon. Add us on instagram @Jusnowproduction as well as Facebook and Twitter to find out!

 

Jus Now’s new EP Cyah Help It feat Ms Dynamite and Bunji Garlin is out this October on Gutterfunk and Feel Up Records. Catch them at LSS on Saturday 10th October. Tickets available here>