This year, the Jazz Cafe‘s Club Nights took a fascinating twist with the return of Juls‘ residency. We caught up with Juls a few days before his residency to hear about his expectations, and the significance of this moment in Jazz Cafe history.
Read his thoughts below.
Bethel: This is your second year of your Jazz Cafe residency and there’s so much we can get into, but I want to know if there is one specific moment from last year that you’d love to experience again?
Juls: Oof! I just want the energy to be 10 times more. Last year, it was just pure organic energy, and I feel like with every night, people had FOMO. People were unapologetically free. They were excited, they wanted to have a good time. Sometimes when people go out, they’re looking left and looking right thinking “Who’s looking at me?” but I’m not giving any chance for that to happen. The lights are nice and dim, with colourful lights. For the Caribbean Night, we’re gonna have all the flags of the Caribbean spread all over the place. There’s going to be foam sticks and glow in the dark glasses, for early birds – it’s just about getting the vibes going from early, so people already know what time it is when they walk in.
I decided to move things around in terms of how to start, because last year, we started with the Amapiano Night, and that was kind of too energetic. So I just decided to slow down a bit and we’re doing a Caribbean Night first. I definitely want to have a lot of fun as well. October is my favourite month, I’ve got a lot of things happening. I’m still pushing the Palmwine Diaries Project, I’ve been nominated for best producer at the Trace awards, the first trace awards which is in Kigali, Rwanda, so I wanna go to Rwanda for that
Juls: Thank you. I’ve got a short film for Palmwine Diaries coming out at the end of the month, it’s my birthday month as well. A lot of things are happening and I wanna channel all that energy into the rest of the month.
Bethel: What kind of planning goes into preparing for a residency like this?
Juls: Oh, man. I think last year I thought about it too much. It sold out in about week but this time it sold out quite quickly in like two days. Now it’s more about making sure the right people are on the line up. Everybody on this year’s line up will be pretty much the same people as last year, and what really goes into that is relationships you have with DJs. Jazz Cafe is a legendary venue, Jay Z performed there as well as so many other iconic people, so to be able to do a residency twice, sold out at a place like the Jazz Cafe, is monumental.
We’re not done just yet! Read my review of his residency below.
Hosted by Fatz, this series of Black October events began with Caribbean Night, a memorable Friday evening where the vibrant music scene of the islands took centre stage.
Conceived by the visionary British-Ghanaian producer, Juls, and supported by Short T, Rachael Anson, and DJ Larni, the evening was filled with liveliness, and nostalgia with a touch of freshness for those not so familiar with the Caribbean.soundscape The night featured a diverse playlist that included timeless classics like Dawn Penn’s ‘You Don’t Love Me (No No No),’ Vybz Kartel’s ‘Beyonce Whine,’ and Shabba Ranks’s ‘Mr Loverman‘.
The sense of pure enjoyment in the air paired well with red and green light beams bouncing under a hue of amber lights, an atmosphere that was elevated by staff wearing party accessories brightly lit with flashing colours. Amplified by the captivating performances from a few dancers on stage, the night rekindled my affection for soca and dancehall. Resonating with rhythmic beats, it’s safe to say that the ambiance of the Caribbean experience was nothing short of a musical journey that transported me to the islands.
Piano & House Night
This Friday was a special treat for me because I often shy away from Amapiano and House music, but I have always appreciated its global influence. There was something about House and Amapiano that reminded me of how impressively easy it is to elevate an experience, when blended with other genres. Shortly after midnight, the room was dancing in a sea of flashing bars of lights, pulsating to the beats of South African music, as distinctive kettlebell sounds of Amapiano resonated through the crowd.
The crowd’s reaction to Skayy’s set was peppered with the spirited “Oggy” chants while occasionally boosted with “Skayy, we wanna party!” During her electrifying performance, a call for celebrating black excellence was passionately interrupted, and because her set ignited such an intense atmosphere, the host had to let her know, “What you’re doing to the people is not right!”
Juls killed it as expected. It was only night two of his residency, and it hasn’t escaped my mind how diverse his musical knowledge is, but more importantly, how he was able to deliver a performance with the same quality and passion as his first night. During his set, his stage became a melting pot of talents, as the host called for a Nigerian man, a Ghanaian, South African, and Zimbabwean babes to grace the stage with their dance moves. For me, this is the kind of entertainment I envisioned when I heard that he was going to host an Amapiano night.
I really loved this night and I walked away tempted to learn some SA moves for my next Amapiano adventure.
Following DJ Rosey Gold‘s successful Amapiano set, Juls delivered an electrifying performance that had everyone off their seats, on the top floor. The atmosphere was very nostalgic for us, and we couldn’t resist the magnetic vibe he created as we heard tune after tune, with his choice of songs perfectly balanced from across different decades. Hits like ‘Caro‘ and ‘Tease Me‘ by Wizkid, ‘Dami Duro‘ by Davido, and ‘City Boys‘ by Burna Boy kept the energy high in the packed venue. It was an amazing experience.
Juls’ Instagram post, “It’s like the energy goes up every Friday! Yesterday was crazy and I had a lot of fun. More fun than I usually do,” perfectly summed up the night. ‘
.Supported by Congo’s finest DJ EDOTT and Amapiano queen DJ Rosey Gold, Jul’s radiated a sense of home, second to his amazing performance at ‘Caribbean night’.
Old School Night
Juls took to the stage earlier this evening, treating us to an extended set. This night was slightly more special as it served as Juls’ birthday weekend.
As a belated birthday surprise, the host momentarily halted the show to allow us to sing “Happy Birthday” to Juls, as he was presented with a cake adorned with candles, and surprised with news of an important career milestone – the news of his half a billion streams on Spotify.
Juls maintained a high-energy performance following his birthday celebrations, featuring tracks such as ‘Good Life‘ by Kanye West ft. T-Pain. His impressive ability to shape music and elevate our energy was evident when, in response to the host’s request for a little something new, he seamlessly blended old-school grime with new-school afrobeats, mixing Asake’s ‘Joha‘ with ‘Migraine Skank‘ by Gracious K and ‘Are You Gonna Bang Doe‘ by Funky Dee with Byron Messia’s ‘Talibans‘.
Following a brief intermission from his set, Juls graced the stage donning an all-black outfit change and an afro wig. The evening took a hot and sexy turn as Juls thrilled with classics like ‘Grind on Me‘ and ‘Lovers and Friends‘.
We wrapped up the night by diving into a melting pot of genres, transitioning from grime to hip-hop to reggae, with a touch of Congolese flair for our waistlines. I knew I had a good time when my silk press sweated out!
While you patiently wait for Juls’ next adventure, discover more from GUAP’s Music section here!