Who’s Jus Frais?
Jus Frais is a musical artist, a producer and a space alien.
How you got started in the music scene?
I’ve been making music since I was a kid. I grew up listening to pretty much everything my parents and older brothers put on so I used to teach myself how to play everything on keys or guitar or drums or whatever. In high school I was in a band with DJ IV and we used to play around the city a lot, eventually he started DJing for my cousin, Spesh K who I would eventually link with on a musical tip and tour most of Eastern Canada.
What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
It varies depending on the song. Most of my beats start off at a piano just jamming, then I’ll record a demo of the beat with just pianos or a guitar then I take that structure and actually produce it with different synths and instruments, etc. I don’t really mess with samples anymore, I’m not knocking it but it’s just a sound that appeals to me in terms of creating music myself.
With vocal stuff, I usually come up with it while I’m making the beat, or at least an idea and a hook, and I record and mix everything at my home studio.
What are your music influences?
I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and I was a teen during a very vibrant time in the local music scene when all kinds of artists you see now, from all genres were just starting out. Artists like Sloan, Classified, Buck 65, Joel Plaskett and a ton of talented DJs, DJ IV, Jorun Bombay, Flexxman, again Buck 65, of course Skratch Bastid and countless other artists and performers and even just friends and other cats around town who put me on to new music or showed me how to use different gear and whatnot.
How was it to share the stage with Ghostface Killah, grammy-nominated artist AZ, JRDN, Classified, Swollen Members, Spesh K, Special Ed, El Da Sensei?
It’s pretty inspiring, honestly, to perform with people you look up to or should look up to. I just try to make the best out of opportunities like that and try to bring something new to their fans.
Lullabies & Other Bedtime Stories. How was the recording and writing process for this album? How you came out with the album’s title?
This album was made through a lot of experimentation, really. The first session I just played with some keyboards and ended up putting together the beat for On and On, which opens the album, and I wrote and recorded the chorus. I wrote the verses in bed that night, then the next session I laid them down, and made the next beat. The whole thing was organic like that, all of the guest verses too. If anyone is on the album it’s because they were in the room writing while I was writing and making the beats. I engineered every session and mixed every track down myself. Writing and recording took probably three weeks. The title comes from the content of the album, they’re all songs about nightime, things that happen in bed, and a song about your mother calming you down when can’t sleep.
What has been the funniest moment you have been or took part while touring?
Lots. Maybe the funniest in retrospect – but definitely not at the time – was the Toronto date for the We All Kings tour in 2010. I left my clothes, wallet, and bank card and everything else in Absent Minded’s car and he took off to his girlfriend’s place for the weekend and turned his phone off. I was staying in a friends apartment where you couldn’t really close the balcony door and it was windy and freezing. Add to this that it rained the whole weekend and I had no dry clothes to change into and it makes for a pretty shitty end to the tour. But I learned a valuable lesson and it makes for a pretty decent story.
How you see the Hip Hop and Rap scene out there in Halifax?
I don’t really know if it’s fair to comment on it now since I haven’t lived there for so long, but one of the best things about it is how vibrant it is. The many different styles and sounds there are coming out of such a small place. Not just the music, but the writers, the b-boys and b-girls, and most especially the DJs. I spent four years in Montreal, where the scene is a little more fragmented but again, there are so many different sounds and styles going on that it’s hard to follow it all. Toronto, where I live now is the same thing but even bigger and more spread out.
Do you feel you are moving on the right direction?
Of course. I have goals and projections as to my career and I’m following them more or less as I intended to. I’m on the verge of a lot of exciting things in regards to production, songwriting and other music ventures. It’s a very good time to be Jus Frais.
Check out more at: http://www.jusfrais.ca