Hey DJ! Friday Q&A: DJ Juju

Categories: Q&A
Juju_01.jpg Columbian DJ/producer Juju has been behind the decks since 1992, when he got a taste for his future career by spinning dub, reggae, and dancehall (genres that still make their way into his sets). He then spent much of the early '90s focused on drum 'n' bass in San Francisco -- specifically with the club "The Jungle." He's still on the drum 'n' bass tip today, hosting Phuturo when he's in town and taking residencies everywhere from Hong Kong to Venezuela.


Tomorrow, Dec. 13, Juju is one of a select crew DJing at Dubclash Volume II, a bass-friendly party at Mezzanine that also features Digital Mystikz, Sgt. Pokes, Joe Nice, DJ Ripple, Sam Supa, and others bombing the speakers with dubstep, future dub, dancehall, and roots music.

Name: Neil Zarama (DJ Juju)

Club night(s): Narco.Hz @ Underground SF

Style(s) of music you spin: Drum 'n' bass, Dub.

How you got your start: In 1992 I started playing out at a local dancehall night in SF and soon moved to drum 'n' bass in 94.

What can you tell us about the upcoming Dubclash night? I'll be playing a 70's roots and dub set. The DMZ boys are headlining the show and they will deffo bring the dubplate ammo!

You're also well known in the drum 'n' bass world. How has that scene evolved over the years? Honestly I have not been keeping up with drum 'n' bass for years... I know that all the new tunes I've been hearing lately sound like they were made in 1994 and that is a good thing. I am guessing that drum 'n' bass is going through a roots revival of itself. I like what I have been hearing. It's back to the roots: DRUMS and BASS without all the midrange metal in-between.

How'd you first get interested in drum 'n' bass music? The dub and dancehall elements of early jungle years pulled me right in. It made sense musically and the bass was heavy like dub. I loved how minimal it was then.. 160 BPM drums and lowend bass at half speed. Pure fucking class!

What's your favorite place to DJ and why? Japan is my favorite because I have had so many great times there... South America is tops as well.. But there is nothing like killing it locally at your own night in a small bar filled with drunken friends.

Name of a track you can't get out of your head: Today is "Jailhouse dub" by Prince Jammy.... Tomorrow it will be Fear's "More Beer."

What's the craziest place you've held a residency at? Venezuela for the Simple crew parties... Wicked sound systems, people and great memories! South Americans go all out... 11PM - 8AM easy!

Since you're from Colombia, what insight can you give us into something hot happening on the Colombian music scene these days? I know that underground punk and hip-hop are huge there... Drum 'n' bass never picked up, with the exception of small pockets in Bogotá and Medellin. As for electronic music it's all cheese.... Trance and big name strokers.

Worst request: "Who Let the Dogs Out!" in Phoenix

Most treasured vinyl score:
1950's pressing of Santeria Chants from Cuba. I have a ton of these old dubplates from Cuba... Soooo fucking good!


What other music-related projects are you currently working on?
A live album of Voodoo and Santeria hex songs. Evil eye business...

Next time we can see you spin: In Haiti and Cuba in late December.

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