Finding JuJu Rogers pursuit of happiness
JuJu Rogers is a MC from Germany who got his big break by interning at Jakarta Records, as luck may have it Oddisee was also creating there and he saw an opportunity to make magic with Oddisee and the rest if history. They layed down a track together and now the uber talented lad who creates music with so much movement has just released his debut album “From the life of a Good-for-nothing.” The intellectual album comes from the concept of a German novel "Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts" by Eichendorff which was published sometime around 1803. The album accompanies a young musician who leaves or has to leave his parents house to go and make a living for himself. He is called a dreamer, naive and attributes of that kind but in the end everything works out fine. The album tells a tale that truly represents JuJu Rogers and many others trying to make it.
We chat to JuJu Rogers about the concept behind his debut album, what it was like working with Oddisee and how used to freestyle in German. Margaret Tra writes.
You just released 'Dreams' with Oddisee, what was it like collaborating with him?
Well, the collaboration was smooth I'd say. We met at Jakarta Record office in Berlin where he spent a couple of weeks in order to finish up his album and I was the intern at the time so basically everyday we would bump into each other, talk, go for walks etc...He was in a super creative phase so one day I just asked him if he'd be willing to hop on a track for the album and after listening to a couple of track he was like "yea man cool.” So we went to a studio and recorded his verse there. Aside of the musical experience I made collaborating with Oddisee considering different styles of writing and recording for example, I've listened to a lot of his knowledge of the music industry and of course his travels. Very humbled and positive dude right there man! We stay in good contact up to this day. It was a blessing!
You grew up with German and New Orleans influences, what was that like?
Hmmm, to me obviously it felt totally normal growing up with both influences. As I got older I noticed that our household was a little different to the most ones out there though. A bilingual upbringing, musical input and food are just three significant examples. All in all it’s a very exciting childhood and my parents did a very good job in introducing and combining both cultures in the lives of my siblings and I. I am very grateful for that.
You dropped FTLOAGFN tells us the concept behind it?
FTLOAGFN is my personalised version of an old German Novel called "Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts" by Eichendorff published sometime around 1803 I think. I remember back in school we were told to read several books but for some reason (and I regret that today) I never enjoyed reading these books. This one was different though… It just captured me because I felt just like the protagonist in the book...so basically back then is when the idea for the album came along.
The album accompanies a young musician who leaves or has to leave his parents house to go and make a living for himself. He is called a dreamer, naive and attributes of that kind but in the end everything works out fine...he travels the world, meets wonderful people and is able to live his dream in the end. So basically this album is JuJu Rogers pursuit of happiness, if you will.
Can you rap in German?
(Laughs) that’s a funny question...my homie catch me free-styling in German all the time but no, I’m not any good. I was civilised with English hip hop music so that’s just my natural approach I guess. I sure did write my first rhymes in German but never really felt it. Guess that’s part of the journey...finding out who you are as an emcee.
What else can we expect from you, any other new projects? Tours?
I am a musician so I always work on something...if it’s not an idea for a song or some collaboration, I try to collaborate with other artists a lot. However, there is no specific project that I am working on at this point I want to enjoy this release since it’s a debut, play shows and go on tour. Travelling and playing live shows is on my agenda now. I can tell you more about that soon so stay connected to the page.
What Stimulates Your Soul?
Now thats a heavy question and instead of writing 50 pages which I easily could I’ll leave you with one word only: LOVE.