Large Up Interview: Jus Now Are Taking Soca Back to The Future

May 14, 2014


LU: What does Jus Now mean? How did you come to that name?

LazaBeam: Well, in West Indian Culture and in British Culture, they mean two completely different things. I’ll let Sam explain.

Sam Interface: On my first trip to Trinidad in 2011, I came to stay with Keshav. We met a couple of times in England and he said if you ever came to Trinidad you can stay with me. He was actually really busy at the time playing in a band called 3canal, in a big show that goes on for about 12 days, and I flew in during their intense rehearsal. Fell asleep in a band room. For the next couple of days I was kind of finding my feet in the country and living Keshav’s life going to rehearsals… one day I was just really hungry and was like, “K, you said we were gonna some food like jus now, man what’s going on? I’m starving.” And a friend said, “Jed, ‘jus now’ is a different ting here” so it might mean 20 minutes, two hours—it might never happen. You jus have to relax, its our culture.” I got here thinking I need to do this and experience places and, within a week, I realized a lot of that won’t happen because the culture is so laid back. You just lay back and relax, that’s the life.

LAZA: To him, Jus Now means something has already happened. For us it’s gonna happen, it’s a balance thing. The first thing we were working on was original, producing for other people and our own music. We got into a room and ended up doing a remix for our bredrin and live member, Serocee, We then produced our first track “One Time,” which later became part of One Time, an EP, and when we were working on that I just started shouting and screaming ‘Jus Now’ and ‘One Time’ on a track. In terms of the essence of the project, it was all about the phrase, Jus Now.

LU: How did you get indoctrinated into Trinidadian culture? Was it primarily through LAZAbeam?

Sam: It was almost by accident. I met LAZAbeam in a nightclub in Bristol. We were introduced by a mutual friend. He was like this guy Keshav, he loves drum and bass. We didn’t really get to talk that night but we met up again and managed to hang out a bit at my studio. He was like if you ever want to come up to Trinidad give me a shout. I’ve always been obsessed with Caribbean culture, specifically at that point, Jamaica. Growing up in Bristol, there’s a huge Jamaican community and I loved the food [and] the music. I was very interested, and he was a friend living in the Caribbean—also around that time I split from my girlfriend and was in a weird transitional phase in life and wanted to get away from my normal routine. So I just took the plunge and went on this trip not knowing what to expect. I came to spend a month out here, played Mas, went to Panorama.

LAZA: He kind of saw traditional Mas with me working with 3canal but also modern mas, bikini and beads. Sam struck me as the kind of person who would understand that and, by the end of the trip, he had become an honorary Trini.

Sam: I literally just got dropped in a band room with 3canal practicing and hearing rapso, clothes being fitted with Anya [Ayoung-Chee] hanging out. By the end of the month I had experienced such an amazing culture with amazing people and it had a massive affect of me. I’ve been obsessed ever since, really.

LAZA: Rhythm section is a big part of who we are. We’re even working with Laventille Rhythm Section, producing their next album. They’ve been a huge influence.

Sam: My first experience with them was playing Jouvert with 3 Canal with the truck behind them. I mean all these musical experiences which were all quite alien to me affected me profoundly. The stick fighting, the music had lasting effects. I feel as though you hear those things in the music we make. But it’s really experimental.

LU: Sam, what’s you’re favorite thing about Trinidad then, so far?

Sam:  I love the rhythm section. Being amongst rhythm, when there’s 25-30 drummers with the bass. It’s a physical experience, much in the same way I fell in love with dance music, it gets inside of you. That has to be my favorite thing, being amongst the rhythm section and steel pan, feeling that energy. Other than that I’m addicted to doubles.

LU: What is your favorite spot for doubles?

Sam: On Aranguez Main Road, we found a place we called ‘Gunta Doubles.’ The guys have tear tattoos. They don’t really speak but they have chutney, and the right amount of sweet sauce, and the barra is good. The Doubles Factory in Aranguez as well, that’s the best.

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