We first discovered a German producer and songwriter Juze while we were browsing on Musosoup and straight away we were hooked to the very catchy single ‘Next To Me’. We featured the song on our New Music Sunday playlist last week and today we are super thrilled to share a more in-depth conversation with a producer whose singles reached 2 million streams on Spotify.
Congratulations on your latest release! Tell us about your journey until the moment you released ‘Next To Me’.
Thank you, Dov! Last year hasn’t been easy for any of us. We were challenged by so many things and I used that time to challenge myself on top. It has always been a dream to sing, but I never had the courage to do so. Many people said I sound like a crow (a German saying), which basically means, I should not even dare to do it (haha), but I’ve met an amazing vocal trainer and she told me everybody can sing, so I just practiced and here we are talking about my song “Next To Me”. I’m very happy.
I was also scared to touch songwriting as English is not my native language, but yet again two amazing people helped me on writing “Next To Me” – Kirsty Grant and Troy Samson – and that session was so much fun that it took away my anxiety.
Can you tell us what the song means to you?
The song is about my girlfriend, so a very intimate song really. We’ve met shortly before COVID hit the world and with texting and Facetime we started a relationship thinking after the lockdown we can see each other regularly – she lives in England by the way. I’m based in Amsterdam. which is not really “next to me”. As we know the conditions were just getting worse and we have only seen each other three times in 2020.
So “Next To Me” is the current state I’m in, missing her and wishing she could be around me.JUZE
You have a well-established sound that should easily connect with the masses. Was that intentional? How did you come to sounding the way you do?
My taste has developed over so many years. My roots are actually from Techno music and I was producing lots of Electronic Dance Music. I guess you can still hear that in my songs. I went to a music production and management school in 2015 and that changed my interest in Pop music, simply because it’s more diverse. My inspirations are great songwriters like Troye Sivan, Lauv, Shy Martin, and LANY.
Congrats on ‘Shut Your Mouth (and Dance) surpassing 1 million streams on Spotify. Do you remember the day it happened? What was the secret behind this success?
Thank you! It was in early October. I grabbed a couple of beers with friends to celebrate it – safely at home of course. I think there is no one secret. A lot of factors have made this song be so well received. Alessia Labate lending her beautiful voice to the song, she and Troy Samson on writing these very modern and very relatable lyrics for it. My co-producer Ortzy Arbinaga, who is working with me on almost every release ever since, because he can see my vision and his craft is on point. Last but not least the label. Loudkult is a fast-growing, very dedicated label trying to push all of their releases very strongly.
How did you decide to cover ‘Chasing Cars’?
I started learning guitar in 2011 – for one song and that was “Chasing Cars”. I picked up guitar lessons two years ago and I was still able to play that song. It reminded me of that time and I just wanted to have my own version of it. I think it helped my confidence in singing to start with a cover and people can be hooked quicker on something they know. I could then see their reaction to my actual voice rather than a combination with my songwriting too.
2020 has been extremely challenging for the creative industry. What kept you sane?
Friends and my job. I was very lucky to have had no impact on my job, so I was financially stable. I do not have many friends, but I have a close circle of very good friends. They are like family and together we pushed us through every lockdown.
Did lockdown have an impact on how you create music?
I had more time to practice singing. I think that helped me grow faster than usual. I obviously had more time to write songs as well. I’m very excited about the music that is coming in 2021. It’s just a pity that I have learned songwriting on Zoom sessions rather than with people in a room and jamming together. That’s what I look forward to this year – hopefully.
For me, success is gaining one listener at a time who can relate to my music.JUZE
How would you define success in the music business?
This is a tough question. Success is different for anybody. For me, success is gaining one listener at a time who can relate to my music. Touching people and make them happy or helping them with their problems or at least give them a bit of comfort. I think you are successful if you can survive (financially) with what you do and just enjoy the hustle each and every day.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Whatever makes people smile and happy. There are lots of struggles and problems in the world, making someone’s day is all I can hope for.
Imagine that you could choose one musician as your mentor. Who would that be and why?
Probably Finneas. His production and songwriting skills are out of this world really. He is showing that simplicity is king and the creativity he puts into details is so inspirational.
Music to me is my passionJUZE
What does your creative process look like?
I get inspired by a lot of music from similar or very different artists. If I hear something interesting, I want to write something equally nice with just my touch.
Do you have a song that when you hear it you’d say ‘Damn I Wish I’d Written That’?
So many (haha). First song that would pop into my head is “LANY – Heart Won’t Let Me”.
What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self before the release of the very first single?
Lots of people tell me not to do certain things and I still do them anyway, because I think I learn more from making the mistake than not making it.
What needs to happen that you’d be able to say ‘I think I made it in the music industry’.
When I’m financially stable from my music only. When I can solemnly focus on making even more music and grow and hustle.
What you got planned for 2021?
“Next To Me” is my first single and I have two more lined up. I think I want to end 2021 with an EP or in case I have written enough songs, maybe my debut album.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your audiences?
I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me on their socials, sharing my music with their friends, family, and pets. People do mostly not understand how helpful every single stream or share is. I’m very happy to have such dedicated fans.
Make sure to connect with Juze
You can find Juze and all of the artists that we interviewed in one very special playlist on Spotify!
Introducing » Artists We Interviewed