Chicago based artist, JUJU creates atmospheric sounds that set a perfect backdrop to take your mind and body somewhere else. Always sets the mood and tempo effortlessly in every room he plays. He’s appeared in multiple Chicago venues and has played one of our Deep Down Under parties in Miami. JuJu is head DJ of Collective Management Chicago. A team that throws events, fundraisers, and unforgettable parties. He plans to expand his routes in this upcoming year of 2020, along with new music and collaborations. Make sure to keep an eye on this artist because JuJu is in the works!
What genre would you describe yourself as? Why?
It honestly depends on the time and vibe but mainly Tech House, I’ve been discovering Minimal Deep which is my favorite Jackin House and Juke.
Who would you say are your biggest inspirations within the industry?
It ranges from The hometown heroes like Green Velvet, Gene Farris, Lee Foss, K Alexi Shelby, the whole Spybar team, John Summit Dead Space of course. The style of The Martinez Brothers, artists we may not get to see as much in the states such as Ben Rau, Pawsa, Max Chapman, Mason Maynard, Mason Collective, Chris Stussy, Aron Verlta. They really bring a vibe and a sound you can’t help but love.
What was the moment you wanted to take the leap in this lifestyle?
I was at Green Velvet at the Mid in April of 2017 changed my life just his presence his energy unmatched. I never had something made me feel like that ever in life.
What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
It normally depends on the set time and venue as well as who I’m playing or opening up for. You want to leave some energy for the rest of the artists.
What are currently your main challenges as a DJ?
It used to be being way too excited to just play music but with time I started to learn to let the vibe come to me now.
What is your proudest moment so far (blogged/signed/etc..)
Playing the MyHouseMusic Festival last year in front of my entire family who’ve never seen me play til that day. I’ll never forget that!
You’re a part of Collective Management Chicago. What’s the story behind how you got discovered and became apart of the team?
It all happened pretty fast it originally started as me just appearing on one of their Afters lineups to me helping out with that you know bringing people in to eventually becoming a vocal part of everything we’ve done within the past two years. I thank Alex and Luis For putting me in a position to be able to do what I’ve been able to do as an artist and I’ll forever be grateful for them for that.
What future shows do you have lined up?
I have a couple shows coming up in the city I’ll also be playing at grasshopper in Detroit which is one of my favorite venues.
What are you top three tracks right now? Why?
I Want You- Tommy Vercetti Just hits heavy and soulful all at once
Smile – Reblok
And I have an unreleased by the homies Dead Space and John Summit.
If you were stuck in an elevator, what album/record would you have playing to keep you sane?
Anything by Jay-Z off of the Beanie Sigel Truth album. It was a bonus track on the CD I was about 8 when it came out. Still slaps.
If you had to do something else (outside of music), what would it be?
Would still be involved in the game of basketball somehow either coaching or training the youth. I still try to when I can.
What’s your favorite Chicago venue to play at? Why?
Spybar just because it always feels like home.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Chicago?
Flavor Brunch in Country Club Hills.
What was your favorite show that you’ve played in Chicago?
Opening up for Eli Brown for sure was a lot of fun. All the homies were there family was there it felt good.
What’s your favorite thing about this city?
The hustle, the diversity, the willingness to be who you want to be.
What is a quote or phrase that you try to live by? Why?
Control what you can control. My grandmother taught me that.
What advice do you have for producers trying to make it in the music industry?
Support local, be authentic, keep grinding, take time to yourself the scene can get overwhelming and have fun doing it
Tell us something that you’re doing now and are excited about.
Excited to be making my own music just embracing different obstacles and challenges
What should we expect from you in 2020?
A smile and some dope music
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just want to thank Everyone in this city who’s been nothing but supportive and had nothing but positive energy and positive vibes throughout this journey that I’ve been on so far my sister Val, my girlfriend Jessica all my family and friends who come to shows whether it’s two people there are 200 people there. As I continue to grow as an artist I’ll never forget those who’ve helped me along the way! I love everyone of you all!
WRITTEN & CURATED BY MARIAH M. VAZQUEZ