Words By /Robert Frezza
Photos By/Jon Macaopdi
Stellar vocals, Alicia Keys swagger, and lyrics that will make you tear up. Meet the next rising R&B star, JUJ. Born and raised in Philly and now based in Los Angeles, the singer writes and sings stories that are compelling and full of passion. Ladygunn is premiering “Barricades” and recently sat down with the singer to talk about her Vic Mensa duo, fashion sensibilities, and how she is overcoming a crippling disease that inspired the beautiful “Barricades”.
You have an incredible voice. Did you know you wanted to sing your entire life? Did you have vocal training?
Yes I grew up singing since a very early age. I pushed my parents to let me join a choir at a young age to be able to sing. Then one thing led to another I worked on some musicals, did some competitions and knew my whole life this was the only career possible for me.
How and when did your music career initially take off? Where did you get your name from? What does it mean?
I just released my first work of music , my EP JUJITSU. It is completely my life story and I feel is a really good introduction to people of who I am. I have been JUJ my whole life. I was born “Julia” then at 5 months old after going back to Brazil for a little, JUJ stuck.
How did you hook up with Vic Mensa for your single “Mood”?
Vic was the perfect feature for “Mood”. His similar story and upbringing in a city like Chicago and also as a child of an immigrant, was so cohesive to my story. Julian Nixon is a producer who worked with me on the EP who’s also worked with Vic before.
Your single for “Barricades” is out now. What is the song about?
Barricades is about overcoming obstacles. And in my case: my story was about my Lyme disease which is chronic and I’m still overcoming.
Your fashion sense and swagger reminds of Alicia Keys. Whom do you look up to for inspiration for your style?
NO WAY! I loveee her. Her raw performances of her on the keys and her beautiful voice .. I’m a fan. But style! I kinda just do my thing. I like street urban style. I dress more Tom boyish and usually will wear a graphic tee, never dresses, and definitely my hoops.
What is up next for you?
More music and performances.
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