header photography by Benjamin Vigliotta
Belgian duo JUICY is back with the new single “Youth”. And as with their last releases, the two artists link catchy, refreshing pop with important messages. We had a chat with the two talents about discourses and self-acceptance, the importance of representation of older women and their upcoming album release party.
Hey Sasha and Julie! How did you two come together as Juicy?
We met at the Brussels Conservatory in David Lynx’s class in 2011. We haven’t let go of each other since. Our band Juicy was born in 2015 as a cover band. We reinterpreted all the 90′ RnB Hip-Hop repertoire we used to dance to when we were kids. The idea behind this cover project was to point out the misogynistic lyrics of these big international hits. We then decided to start writing and our first EP came out in 2018. A second one in 2019, and our first album coming out this month.
What do you like most about each other?
We are very similar, the friendship that binds us has grown stronger year after year and our collaboration is more and more fluid. We like our common vision, our common desire to dare. It is a chance to get along so well, we are aware of it.
The main reason for you to make music is…?
The main reason is to share something beautiful. To do good to people, to share a good energy. There is nothing more beautiful than to leave the stage and to realize that you have given a beautiful or good time to an audience. Music belongs to everyone. It is a rich art accessible to all. Any social class and anywhere in the world has been touched by a Bob Dylan or Lauryn Hill song. They are committed speeches but some people will be touched only by the musical aspect.
“We live in an ambiguous socio-political-economic context. We are constantly bombarded with information, and projected in a continuous frantic rhythm. There is no space for reflection. What we need to protect is integrity, awareness, and constantly sharpening our critical minds.”
Your new song is about “Youth”. You say, “In our Western society, obsessed with the dictates of beauty and youth, an aging woman does not have the same status as a man.” If you look at the history of mankind, this is not just a present-day phenomenon, but it runs through almost all eras. Women’s desire for youth runs as deep as humanity itself. This is partly due to the fact that women want to have offspring and thus signal their attractiveness and fertility. Whereas more mature men want to provide (financial) security for their children. In addition, different cultures have rooted their different ideals. Couldn’t one also claim that it is simply part of being human and that one can accept this and not fight ideologically against it?
The fear of growing old is not intrinsically linked to women but to humans, because growing old means getting closer to death and this is not questioned. It is also obvious that we are biologically programmed to reproduce the human species. However, today other questions arise. And it is a question that we approach frequently in the album. The question of the childbirth loses for us enormously of legitimacy today in a world where the man drew in all the possible and imaginable resources. The limits of sustainability are being drawn and shrinking.
Youth talks about the demonization of women’s old age. The model of beauty advocated against all odds, the non-representation of older women and the woman who is not only a reproductive force, where the older man remains idealized. It is for us a very important and primordial ideological fight.
The image of beauty has changed again and again over the course of time. At the moment, women probably all want to look like Kim Kardashian or Bella Hadid. (You got that across well here) How do you think society could counteract this (gently, without pressure or coercion)? The advertising industry that have been propagating the opposite every day for years are obviously not the only solution to the riddle.
Hahaha we don’t want to look like Kim Kardashian. It would be way too expensive (laughs). And this is the case for many women today. We hear their voices more and more in the alternative media. We need to disengage ourselves from media representations of beauty. It’s on its way. And it goes hand in hand with a lot of feminist struggles that have been going on for years and are becoming more and more present. It is not easy and fast to deconstruct all this. But we are convinced that these discourses and this self-acceptance are maturing, and it starts very early. It is deeply linked to education, to the media representation of different bodies. And to the deconstruction of beauty models.
“The limits of sustainability are being drawn and shrinking. Youth talks about the demonization of women’s old age.”
Also men get more and more in the eye of the Youth and Beauty industry. In principle a large point could be that today each range is being commercialized or is already. Everything can be monetized. What is most important to you in life that money can’t buy?
Our intelligences. As said before, we have a duty to get rid of a long list of things. What we advocate with our album “mobile” is exactly that. To take care of our intelligences, to sharpen them, to leave them in constant movement and permanent reflection. We live in an ambiguous socio-political-economic context. We are constantly bombarded with information, and projected in a continuous frantic rhythm. There is no space for reflection. What we need to protect is integrity, awareness, and constantly sharpening our critical minds. This cannot be bought.
Where do you see yourselves in about 10 years?
Professionally we aspire to be on stage, again and again. It is certain that we will make music differently in 10 years. But it’s already something we’ve been trying to do for years. We write songs, we produce them in a very modern way, but we can also rearrange them for an orchestra, a choir or a brass band. We can say that in 10 years we would like to play with a symphony orchestra, to create an opera as a complete artistic proposal! We have to dream (smiles)
Yay, on March 25th you have your album release party! What are you looking forward to the most and what can the fans expect?
We are so excited to be back on stage. We want to sweat in our stage costumes (laughs). Our album deals with very hard and dark subjects but the music remains energetic and rhythmic. This release will be a big sweaty puddle. We also prepare some surprises, we usually invite musicians on stage, this time again we want to bring some sweetness to our set.