With an influx and mashup of contemporary and Africanized, melodies and instrumentation, Juls is shining light on the music production sphere in Africa
Whenever you hear the signature “Juls baby!” at the start of a song, you immediately turn up the volume of your music player because we all know our ears are about to experience a good three to four minutes of pure awesomeness. From the year 2012 till date, Juls has carved a niche for himself as one of the most creative Music Producers to come out of Africa in recent years.
It takes a very profound sound whiz with a distinctive ear for music to infuse a variety of sounds not just the regular kicks, snares and guitars but a whole bunch of other abstract sounds and put all of that into a record and still be able to flawlessly deliver a masterpiece.
Listening to a Juls production, you would notice the dexterity of the sounds incorporated into one song. You can hear and feel the “African-ness” from the the Hand Drums, Music Sticks, Gongs, Boomba, Music Bowls and Flute sounds, laced on his signature Mid tempo catchy beat bounce with a cool muffled percussion.
Simply referring to this man as a “Afrobeats producer” is somewhat belittling to his skill and everything else he has demonstrated musically. His multi-cultural sound incorporates Afrobeats from Ghana and Nigeria, as well as contemporary R&B, South African house music, a hint of reggae, hip hop, and alternative music from both Africa and Europe.
His diverse sounds has made it possible to work with artistes from different genres on his records, from Tay Iwar who is a Neo Soul/Contemporary RnB artiste, to Projexx (Dancehall), to Busiswa (House Music), Sway Clarke (RnB), Santi – (Alte, Alternative, Hip hop/Afro Swing), Sarkodie (Hip Hop), Stonebwoy(Afro Dancehall/Reggae).
He has also worked with artistes like Nonso Amadi, Maleek Berry, Wande Coal, Show Dem Camp and Grammy award winning Burna Boy whom I personally think he should work on a collaborative album with, I mean we all know the chemistry between these two geniuses is purely undeniable, and notably Mr Eazi as well. The list just goes on and on.
As the birthplace of Afrobeats music, Nigeria produces an ample amount of young super talented producers who are steadily on the grind to make a name for themselves doing what they do.
Although that’s a great thing in it’s way, the rate at which artistes push so hard to find a hit song and the strong desire of these young producers to be the next sort after hitmaker has put a lot of producers on what I call the “Trending spot”, which is a short time span at the top whereby a producer delivers a pretty great tune that resonates with whatever catchy and trendy sound is popping in the nation at that moment.
When the track eventually becomes a hit and other top artistes begin to work with these young producers, some fall under the pressure to deliver similar hits like they previously did or even more, so some tend to ride their previous waves and try to make more sounds similar to their first hit, even if these other songs happen to blow up, what happens when that particular trend comes to an end like others before it and the audience get tired of the regular sounds and begin to crave for something new and different but the producer doesn’t quite deliver to their satisfaction? Well, here’s what happens, artistes tend to move on and explore other sounds from different producers including foreign ones, this time probably to show proof of their diversity in their next hit song or just personally challenging themselves and their artistry.
Now this is where a producer like Juls comes in. He is the kind of producer whose distinctive sounds would make any great artiste dig deep into their arsenal and drop a fire vibe to go with what a producer like him is offering, the kind of vibe that even they never knew they had in them.
His infused melodies complements every vocal delivery from an artiste which makes any track of his pretty much the double dose that we as listeners always want to have a feel of whenever we listen to music, that is a top tier performance from both the artiste and the producer.
A perfect example of this is the song “So Mi So” and “Sister Girl” with the incredibly talented Wande Coal. When you listen to a song like “Radio” you can hear the soothingly smooth voice Nonso Amadi perfectly laid on a cool but melodious roll of strings which sounded obviously hand played live during the recording.
Taking us back to early 2015, the song “Rudebwoi Love” by Stonebwoy and Juls which the latter also produced is a slow paced reggae song with a brilliant production that begins with sharp high harmonics which comes in repeatedly at intervals before Stonebwoy‘s vocals pierces in. You’d also notice some two seconds of deejaying on this track, little wonder why he went by the moniker DJ Juls at the start of his career.
He played an important role in the growth of Afrobeats superstar Mr Eazi, as almost a dozen of the artiste’s early hits were produced by him Including the breakthrough single ”Skintight” which kickstarted the Banku Music era, a Sub genre of Afrobeats music coined by Eazi himself back in 2016/2017 this was as a result of the kind of style and sound his collaborative efforts with Juls had birthed which was a little different from the regular Afrobeats music at that point, it also came with a huge positive reception from fans around the world and artistes alike.
Songs like Mr Eazi‘s “Shitor” and “Bankulize”, Juls‘ ”Mayaa” featuring Santi and Tiggs Da Author, ”Gwarn” featuring Burna Boy, ”Early” featuring Nonso Amadi and Maleek Berry, ”Chance” featuring Tay Iwar and Projexx, just further proves the vastness of the producer’s musical catalogue, with each record sounding different from the other in their own unique ways, you never know what next to expect from a producer like Juls and that is what keeps the fans wanting more and can’t seem to get enough.
We all love to dance and buss it on the floor when we hear the hottest songs of moment that gets us all hyped up in the club, but as time goes and years fly by, new and hotter songs are released giving us that same feeling like the previous songs and replacing the love we had for the past songs that had us hyped up 4/5 years ago, at this point you barely even get the urge to listen to such old songs anymore because basically it’s no longer the hit it use to be. But one thing is certain, everybody loves some good ole’ smooth catchy feely music, the type you can play in ten years time and still feel the nostalgia you had when you first listened to it. Those are the kind of music that Juls has been making over the years, his music isn’t a ‘Moment’, but it definitely is a Feeling, sweet timeless music that ages like fine wine.