Whether you are in a fete, driving to your destination or in a random store, the infectious melody to Nine by Jus D most likely would be ringing in your ears.
Undeniably his biggest hit to date, the song with the popular hook line “Na Na Ni”, has taken Jus D to new heights in his career.
He started out, like most Barbadian artistes, in the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Contest where he competed with the R&B/Soul Group New Beginning. The group came third in the competition and recorded their first single which was released on radio in 2007.
Throughout the years, Jus D, real name Antonio Johnson, has developed an impressive skills set enhancing his artistry. He produces and writes not only for himself, but also for many acclaimed artistes locally and internationally.
His catalogue includes credits for Grammy awardee Shaggy, I-Octane, Samantha J, soca queen Alison Hinds and Barbadian megastar Rupee.
He also has a victory under his belt with St. Maarten’s reigning soca monarch Kenyo winning with the track he wrote and produced. Who Yuh Fuh has become an anthem in St Maarten and has seen relative success in other Caribbean islands.
In addition, TC and Sanctuary have made the Soca Royale Finals with the Jus D songs Under De Influence and Mega Monday.
When asked if he preferred to be on stage singing, in studio writing or producing, Jus D remarked “I think I like writing more … no wait! Producing or maybe singing I’m not even sure. Whichever I’m doing at the time, I like most”.
A few weeks ago, Machel Montano released his 2018 Trinidad Carnival hit-song, Rough Wine which Jus D wrote. “The opportunity writing for Machel was a blessing. The hardest part was keeping the news to myself, and it reassured me that anything is possible once you work hard”.
Jus D made his own contribution to carnival this year, performing the track JLo named after the Puerto Rico-born superstar.
The song was recorded on the Santo Domingo Riddim and was produced by London-based production company Smash Productions. The song is a soca-infused music project with Reggaeton elements and an electronic dance music vibe.
Despite other releases since, Nine is still blazing across the airwaves and in every party celebrating Caribbean culture. The song has taken Jus D to Trinidad, Miami, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Rochester, Boston and Washington to audiences singing the lyrics word for word. Jus D said he is “fortunate” to have the opportunity to be touring extensively within the last year.
The story behind Nine is just as intriguing as the career journey of the breakthrough artiste. He explained: “I woke up, felt nice and decided I wanted to make a nice song for myself and it just happened. First, I had some of the music then the melody and a few words”.
Though he received positive remarks from his circle of friends, he still was not satisfied with the song. He then said he left home and the number nine just came to mind with travelling and he wanted a challenge himself. After a few rewrites and production tweaks, the soca hit Nine was born.
However, like some writers, Jus D does not have a formula to attain that hit. He said “my process for creating that song is not fighting against the direction it is taking itself but going with the flow and allowing it to come naturally”.
Jus D’s ultimate goal is to reach the Billboard charts as a writer, producer or as a singer. He had his humble beginnings with Chris Allman at Slam City Studios, Rupee, his family and management.
Jus D is definitely is an artist to watch in 2018.