INTERVIEW – Bluestaeb x JuJu Rogers

Nous avions adoré notre entrevue avec Mndsgn et Ivan Ave en mai dernier à Paris. On a donc voulu réitérer l’expérience en vous proposant une double interview des allemands Bluestaeb et JuJu Rogers. Le premier, producteur de hip-hop a sorti son premier album Rodalquilar au début du mois de novembre tandis que le second, rappeur a sorti son From the Life of a Good-For-Nothing au mois de septembre. Tous deux sont signés sur le label Jakarta Records et collaborent très régulièrement ensemble. Tous deux sont très talentueux et ont accepté de répondre à nos quelques questions. C’est parti !

Pour vous procurer leurs albums, rendez-vous sur la page Bandcamp de Jakarta Records. Les deux vinyles sont également disponibles chez Betinos Records. Ne ratez pas la prochaine performance de Bluestaeb à La Bellevilloise en première partie d’Apollo Brown et de Pete Rock. Excusez du peu !

♦ Guys, can you quickly introduce yourself and your released projects?

Juju Rogers: Selamu Alaykum, my name is JuJu Rogers and I have currently released my solo debut From The Life Of A Good-For-Nothing on Jakarta Records! I have released an album as Man Of Booom with Tektikal Development and Figub Brazlevič back in 2013.

Bluestaeb: Thank you for the interview! I go by the name of Bluestaeb. I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and I currently live in Paris. I have released my second solo album „Rodalquilar“ on Jakarta Records a few days ago.

Other projects in the past are my B.L.U.E. Friday soundcloud series which became a 10“ release later and my first solo album „1991 Extraterrestrial“, both on Radio Juicy and of course working on the FTLOAGFN album for JuJu.

♦ Same question for both of you, what is your best hip-hop souvenir and probably influenced you to become a rapper or a producer?

Juju: Haha my best Hip-Hop souvenir? Thats a funny question I don’t really know which one may be the best but the funniest one might be a fake No Limit Records chain I used to wear when i was about 15 because i loved New Orleans Rap back then haha…You know the logo with the big Tank in gold haha.

B: That is a difficult question. I can’t really tell what my best hip hop souvenir is but probably discovering J Dilla Beats and one of the Oddisee live shows i was able to see.

 Is there a rapper (question for Bluestaeb) and a producer (question for Juju) you would love to collaborate with?

Juju: To be honest I don’t have specific people i really, really want to collaborate with but surely there are numerous producers whom I’d love to work with like Madlib or maybe a 2005 Kanye sound.

B: I would really like to collaborate with Gold Link because he definitely has a very distinctive way to rhyme on a beat. I didn’t really like his new album though. Too many Pop music influences. Besides maybe Little Simz is one of the rap artists that I would love to collaborate with at the moment. Definitely Anderson Paak too but he is probably out of reach now that he has worked with Dr.Dre on the new album.

♦ Could you both point out differences between the French, the German and The American hip-hop?

Juju: Unfortunately I have little to no knowledge of the French hip-hop scene other than that you guys really love your own scene and support french hip-hop to the fullest. Not so much in Germany I think. Many people support German hip-hop and others don’t mess with it at all. The American hip-hop well…the main difference is that it is much bigger maybe.

B: For me the French hip hop scene is very difficult to identify. In Germany and in America most Hip Hop medias are covering a wide range of different types of hip hop music. In France, I don’t really know. I got the impression that there are a lot of people listening to hip hop (also underground) music but that the music scene itself is not that inspiring and fruitful.

♦ Juju, how did you choose the producers to work with on your album? There are 7 different producers, can you mention them and explain the touch they inject to your album.

Juju: I worked with Twit One from MPM, Knowsome and TUFU from Sichtexot, Jusoul out of Essen whom I know the longest, Freddy Bracker from the Moontroop Crew, Kurdish Jackson a good friend of mine and of course Bluestaeb. At that time these were all super talented people within my circle. Either I knew them threw working with them before or friends introduced them to me and so forth. All people whom I have met before and who were available to me at that time.

 As a Bavarian rapping in English, would you say you have to make more to prove your skills and potential?

Juju: I never felt the obligation to prove myself to anybody to be honest. I grew up bilingual and was raised on English lyrics so it’s not a very special thing to me it’s just natural and honestly…i sort of feel like sometimes it is an advantage coming from where I’m from and giving the people something they might have not expected. They remember me for that surprising moment haha.

♦ Juju, you last album is named From The Life Of A Good-For-Nothing. Is it a tribute to the book written by Joseph von Eichendorff? In which way did this book influence yourself?

Juju: Indeed it is. What a fascinating book man. Had to read that in 11th grade and i hated reading back then. We started analyzing it in class and it just captured me. I felt a very close connection to myself which led me to telling my personal version and letting the audience be part of the journey as well.

Juju, I actually heard of you recently we saw you live at Oddisee concert in September. Was it you first live in France?  

Juju: Yes brother, this was my first musical experience in France ever and my second time in France. It was a beautiful experience and i feel super blessed and thankful for the opportunity that was given to me here. S/O to Malte and Jannis from Jakarta Records, Danger D from Mindfeeders and of course, Oddisee and the entire band. The souvenir i brought home was fresh inspiration, fresh power and hunger which is the most important for me!

♦ Did you guys meet thanks to Jakarta Records or is your relation is longer than this?

Juju: We know each other threw OFT and Figub. When I moved to Berlin in 2013 and went to the studio with Tek and Fig, Bluestaeb was already a member in the OFT crew. I addressed him for some beats after his live set at Beatgeeks, a producer night in Kreuzberg. Amazing live show!

B: Yes I remember that. I immediately felt like there was a good vibe and the potential for a lot of good music because we both are about the same age and have a similiar taste in music but very different backgrounds. That leads to a lot of discussions about many topics which is always important in my opinion.

♦ In Europe, to us, Jakarta Records is more and more a hip-hop reference. How would you describe the kind of hip-hop they release? In your opinion, is there a special Jakarta touch?

jakarta

Juju: Well, I’ve worked as an intern for Jakarta Records back in 2013 and let me tell you Jakarta Records is FAR MORE than a hip-hop reverence man. They’ve released quality music from the very first release they had. To me the Jakarta touch your talking about is simply a synonym for quality. It doesn’t really matter what genre, I think, its more a matter of quality!

B: Yes i can confirm that. I really think it is the quality and the diversity of the music that makes Jakarta Records such a good reference not only for hip hop but for contemporary music in general.

♦ How are you working together? Do you meet in a studio to come up with ideas or did you work from your own places?

Juju: Bluestaeb was part of the entire recording of the album. The songs we have that never made it on record were still recorded at his studio in Berlin. We really have a good energy whenever we get together!

B: Definitely! When I produce a beat for JuJu I often start with a basic loop and maybe a different part for the hook and then we start arranging together as soon as we are in the studio to really record the track. We are very ambitious though. There are a lot of tracks nobody will ever hear because we decided the music is just not good enough yet. In the future we will try to work a lot more on the arrangements too.

♦ We want to ask a general question about France. Do you know any French rappers or producers. Bluestaeb, I think you are close to Midori.

Juju: I know Booba of course and that movement but as I said before unfortunately I know very little about french hip-hop Im sorry.

B: Yes I connected with Midori via soundcloud a few years ago and also played a few shows with the Menace crew. So i already know a few beat makers here in Paris which is also one of the reasons why I moved here.

♦ Bluestaeb, your forthcoming album Rodalquilar is composed of beats with great samples but as far as I have heard, there are no collaborations with rappers. Can you explain us the projects you have developed? 

B: The Rodalquilar project is very personal. I tried to work on an instrumental album that is more than just the regular beat tape. There is a whole story that comes with the album, photos, memories etc. Thats why I decided not to feature any vocalists on the album.

In general I am alway looking for rappers to collaborate with. Good music always has to be the goal and reason for the collaboration though. And a good vibe of course. But I don’t do no „Yeah we smoked some weed together and I know you because I know your homie“ collaborations any more.

♦ I read Rodalquilar is the name of a small Andalusian village where your parents built a home. Andalusia is a mix of the European and the African culture, as your music in some ways. Is it the reason why you named it this way?

B: I named it Rodalquilar first of all because it really is a dedication to this place which is very special to me and for my development as a musician. What i like about the name is that it is not really easy to identify whether I talk about a place, a thing or just something imaginary when you first hear about something called Rodalquilar.

♦ I have been listening several times to your last live with Le Mellotron. I really enjoyed all the tracks but One For Papa made me crazy. Is it for this song you recorded your father playing the guitar?

B: Thank you. Yes thats a song i recorded with my father in Rodalquilar in the summer of 2014 when i went there to start working on this album. It is, of course, a very personal track and means a lot to me. We just sat down and listened to some loops and I recorded everything he was playing. The track Come On features him on the guitar too. Of course this was no high professional recording but a very good memory i will keep forever.

♦ Do you have other projects coming together?

Juju: Blue and I, we both, are basically always working on music. Sometimes apart from each other and sometimes together. Surely there will be some collaboration in the future. Thats without pressure tho.

B: Definetly. We should do a lot more tracks together; Juju is currently waiting for more beats.

♦ We have another general question for both of you on the actual scene, what is the last album which impressed you the most ?

Juju: Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly

B: Kendrick Lamar for sure.

♦ That’s a question we always ask in our interview : in a Utopia, which artist, dead or alive would you like to collaborate with ?

Juju: Andre3000, Jay Electronica and Lauryn Hill.

B: Quincy Jones, Madlib, Yasiin Bey