Words by LargeUp Crew, Photos by Arnaldo James—
Amidst the surge of soca tunes released for this year’s Trinidad Carnival, you may have noticed, on tracks such as Bunji Garlin’s “Truck on D Road” and Machel Montano’s “Junction,” the emergence of a fresh yet nostalgic sound that immediately commands your attention with signature percussion and authoritative bass. If you were paying attention, you might have even sampled a bit of this phenomenon last year when Bunji Garlin released the song “Savage.” We decided it was time to unmask the masterminds behind this new evolution in soca: Trinidad’s Keshav Singh aka LAZABeam and the UK’s Sam “Interface” Chadburn, collectively known as Jus Now.
The pair, driven by a genuine passion and love for West Indian music and culture, are paying homage to its history with eyes bright towards the future. Their material, distinct from current trends governing the direction of soca yet right on time with a movement towards new directions within the genre, diversifies the playing field while still appealing to the West Indian spirit. Their deviation from the norm has thus far proven favorable, gaining respect from colleagues and fans alike, not to mention clients like Machel, Bunji and Beenie Man.
While it might seem as though they have already found their place in soca, the inherently explorative nature of these musicians promises even more innovative Carnival seasons to come. With a mixtape and a European tour in the works for this summer and production work for Trinidad’s famed Laventille Rhythm Section, the duo are definitely keeping busy during the post-Carnival season. We linked Jus Now to find out where they come from, and where they’re going.