Juga-Naut is an artist, chef and a producer from Nottingham. We caught up with him to discuss how he got into the world of hip-hop and his ingredients to be a top chef.
How did you first get into Hip-Hop?
My parents, family and friends have all been music, DJ’s, Singer, jazz musicians, poets and just enthusiasts. My Dad is a drummer and a jazz poet, and my mum is a big music fan and an artist. So I was exposed to Hip-Hop from the day is was born. A Tribe Called Quest were my first true exposure and from there it blossomed. I used to buy records from a young age. I started rapping around 12 and making beats around 14. I used to save my bus fair and walk into town so i could buy music to sample. My biggest inspirations in Hip-Hop have been Wu Tang, The Lox, Big Pun, Biggie, Nas, MF DOOM etc.
What’s the meaning behind your latest LP ‘Bon Vivant’? What’s the story behind the artwork?
The definition of Bon Vivant is: ‘A bon vivant enjoys fine dining, socialising and traveling in style — in general, he prefers the most luxurious experiences. The phrase is French, meaning “one fond of good living” or “one who lives well,” This is just part of how I live my life, at the moment I’m working very hard, but when i can i travel, eat and meet people all over the world. And this means a lot to me, i want my life to be full of memories and experiences. This album is my favourite solo to date and i think defines my personality as an artist and the different styles i mess with. The artwork is by my Mum (Davinia Jackson) she embroidered is, she killed it! I wanted her to do a cover for me for a while, and she came up with that and embroidered the Coogi sweater so well, I placed it on some Coogi material and took the pic and now people are wearing it on t-shirts and have it as posters.
How’s the Nottingham music scene?
To be honest is small city and we have a lot to prove. Its grimy and a melting pot. There is a lot going on. But only a handful of people putting on events. There’s a lot of very talented people doing their thing and its beautiful to see. Being from Nottingham means I’m crazy, stubborn but open to all people. Our accent is also amazing for rapping we draw out words so we can fit a lot of syllables and words in rhymes, so the flows are sick.
Best gig you’ve performed and why?
Ah man I’ve done so many. I’ve opened for Hip-Hop egends such as Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, KRS ONE, DJ Premier, Ghostface etc. But i think my favourite show was in Dublin 2016 i did with our group VVV (Triple V) with Cappo, Vandal Savage and DJ Dan Rattomatic aka International Jeff. We were supporting The Sleaford Mods who are also from Notts. Man we just were on form and killed it, no one knew who we were, and everyone just flipped, and it was a party. Irish people know how to have a good time man. And even after the show everyone was like a movie down to the taxi ride and searching for late food and a kid down an alley telling us to ‘Not go down there, there’s nothing for you down there’.
Explain the concepts on producing your own music videos?
I think it was out of necessity and people being unreliable. So i just invested in some equipment and video editing software is very similar to music programs so it just clicked. I also wanted to get creative and experiment. Not just rap in front of a graffiti wall. Some of my biggest influences are David Lynch and Jim Jarmusch. Also, we have a team that help VVVISIONS arthouse studio main directors Starbuckosta Nolan and Lavazza Polanksi…
I just have always been fat and into food. I’ve aways cooked and worked in a few small restaurants. Have had a good following for my music online, started posting pictures of my food and people asked where they could eat it. So i started doing pop-up restaurants in 2016 and its grown since there. I’m also a private chef and cater under Chef-Jugz.
Best meal cooked up from Chef Jugz?
Hmmm… my fried chicken is the best… THE BEST. I think Honey Butter Cornbread, Brocolli Mac’n’Cheese, Stewes Sweet Greens and Wings.
Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I’m very emotional. But I don’t have these internet outbursts like most people do man. I channel it, and it’s not a bad thing it means you really feel enjoy life a lot more the ups and downs. I also once made a PlayStation One out of cardboard as a kid and the kids at school would rather play with that than the real thing, as i didn’t have one.
Who else do you enjoy listening to in your spare time?
I listen to a lot of 90s House music Nervous Records Stuff. A lot of old music digging for samples. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Black Sabbath, Brian Eno, Cappo, Westside Gunn, Meyhem Lauren. I could go on forever man. But most out of everything listen to podcasts at the moment shout out to Uncle Joey CoCo Diaz.
What’s next for Juga-Naut?
Well ‘Bon Vivant’ is out now CD’s and Posters still available and i had some tapes, its on all streaming outlets. Twelve Bricks with Micall Parkinson is done, JUGA-NOVA with Tommy Nova, the VVV International Jeff tape, A bunch of other projects and I just started an album with Giallo Point, plus a bag of features. Constant motion, creation and moving forward.
Photography and Interview by Charlie Coleman