Antonio Patrick Johnson, more widely known as Jus D., developed an affinity for all kinds of music as a young child. The Bajan singer and songwriter, born in the parish of St. Michael, grew up with the sweet sounds of the Caribbean, like soca and dancehall, but grew to love hip hop and R&B just as strongly.
The artist credits these genres as major influences that are reflective in both Jus D.’s career began behind the scenes writing songs and producing for international Soca superstar, Rupee. Following Rupee’s advice, Jus D. dove headfirst into songwriting before making the transition to an artist. His penmanship has afforded him opportunities to write and produce for artists such as Shaggy, Machel Montano, Alison Hinds, Shurwayne Winchester, I-Octane and Ricardo Drue.
The musical triple threat has been the creative force behind some of the biggest names in Caribbean music and his ability to effortlessly blend elements of different genres to create a new, distinctive sound is precisely the reason why he is considered one of the most promising and well-rounded artists from the 246.
REC: What should we expect for Trinidad Carnival 2019? Music and performance wise?
JD: For Carnival 2019, nothing but high energy performances, crowd interactions and plenty waistline movements. Music wise, I have a track called Manager that is in the mix and being accepted by the public so I plan to keep pushing it.
As a songwriter, what is your process in crafting lyrics and music for specific artistes?
As a songwriter my process varies depending on the artist, I may get a track from an artist and all I have to do is come up with a melody that fits along with a concept. Usually, I just let the music tell me where to go and then put down the words that come to mind and feel right. Other times lyrics just pop up into my head as if it were a song that is already written and they stick there so I do not even need to put anything on paper.
What inspired you to throw your hat into the Soca scene as a singer?
Well, I always wanted to be a singer from since I was a little boy. I wanted to do a different genre but soca was the most popular music in my country and a leading producer in the field advised me to get into it, but to focus and just do it my way.
What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment musically so far in your career?
WOW! I have so many! Every year I set a different goal and I’ve achieved many of them but the biggest has to be having my own hit songs and being loved and supported by my home country.
What are some of your goals in 2019 and beyond in regards to your music?
One of my goals for 2019 is to see one of my songs cross over and become mainstream, join the likes of Rupee, Kevin Lyttle, Bunji etc.
How have you gone about developing your own sound and music brand?
Basically I created a fusion that included the vibes of the type of music I grew up listening to with soca and incorporated tones that people would not normally hear. Also, the way I deliver my style of music and the things I say and even sing about sets me apart. I try not to listen to too much material that others artist produce to avoid similarities but I still pay attention see what is trending or where the wheel is turning. In terms of the brand, I put a lot of effort into how I want to be perceived as by the audience. I upgraded my image, worked on my craft consistently and focused my attention more on making it something of value.
How does it feel to have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry?
It honestly feels great! I have accomplished a lot in my short time and I am very thankful. At the same time, it is also a surreal feeling, I can not believe I am working with the best of the best, people who I grew up watching on TV and hearing on radio.