From the clubs to your earbuds, Penny Raider is an award-winning producer + engineer born and raised in Halifax and based out of Toronto.
Penny Raider (as Jus Frais) has worked with many well known canadian artists including Moka Only, Ambition Spesh-K, Mic Boyd and Jesse Dangerously.
Known for an energetic and engaging live show, he has also performed as support for Ghostface Killah, grammy-nominated artist AZ, JRDN, Classified, Swollen Members, Spesh K, Special Ed, El Da Sensei, and DJ Serious as well as having toured Eastern Canada extensively.
Jus, Emcee, rotating DJ's and Hypeman
Robots Wearing Sunglasses – Eclectic Avenue; Production, Vocals
Jus Frais – Lullabies & Other Bedtime Stories; Production, Vocals
Markings – Odd Man Out; Production, Vocals
Baseline – My City Never Sleeps; Production, Vocals
Jus Frais – Ç’est Cool; Production, Vocals
Spesh-K – The Main Event; Production, Vocals
Michael Kimber – Last Night; Production
Backpackers Union – Keys to the Studio; Production, Vocals
JustLISTEN! Jus Frais
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Interview by Jenkin Au and Alan Ng Words by Cornelius Suen Photography by Jenkin Au Location: M...Interview by Jenkin Au and Alan Ng
Words by Cornelius Suen
Photography by Jenkin Au
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Jus Frais is a Halifax, Nova Scotia native who now makes incredible music out of his new home base of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Montreal possesses a surging DJ and dance scene that values the high energy beats that you can move to and Jus Frais has been right at home with his signature blend of hip-hop, southern hip-hop, dubstep, techno, drum and bass, and electronica. Furthermore, just as important to Jus Frais as music is the drive to constantly look to establish a cohesive culture within the Montreal hip-hop community that advocates cross promotion and cooperation in advancing the city’s already forward thinking musicians and consumers.
justalilhype! is at the market today to pick up some fresh juice. Also included on the shopping list is some information on Jus Frais’ formative years, the advantage of having perfect pitch, and the necessities of getting artists to work together in order to promote the scene as a whole. Jus Frais’ music is a step in a refreshingly new direction that will be sure to challenge and elevate your musical tastes.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Jus Frais. I am from Halifax, Nova Scotia and I now live in Toronto. I have been making music since I was a small child. I taught myself how to play the piano by ear and then I learned the guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. I like to make hip-hop now because it is an expression of all the kinds of music I like and puts me in touch with my soul!
Nice. So do you have perfect pitch?
I do. It’s actually problematic. For example, I will hear a song for the first time, go home, jam out, and recreate something that I heard earlier that night. Mostly I like to make beats by composing them myself but it’s happened before. I will go home and I will play my beat for someone and they will be like, “It’s that Drake track I showed you earlier!” It doesn’t happen often and when it happens I just change it up, slide it around, pitch it up, and slow it down. Good composers borrow, great composers steal. Words to live by.
How did you first get into hip-hop?
I am a kid of the eighties. Hip-hop was a big part of pop culture. Break dancing was big and I was also exposed to hip-hop by the movies. Then DJ Critical a.k.a. Buck 65’s radio show turned me onto a lot of stuff that I wasn’t hearing on MuchMusic. I love many kinds of music and my love for hip-hop grew from that. I was in a band with DJ IV where he played bass and I played guitar. We both got into DJ-ing and I was just throwing on instrumentals and free styling over them and then gradually started MC-ing. Hip-hop provided a way for me to play all the instruments that I like, flip and chop samples, and basically took everything I loved about music and allowed me to do it all at once and call the end product something. In truth, what I do now would not traditionally be considered hip-hop except for the fact that I am rapping over it.
Tell us about your alias, Jus Frais.
It’s a nod to my homeland of Quebec. They are very nice to me here. They have my name on signs everywhere! When I moved here my name was just Jus, which means juice in French. I put a lot of time and effort into building that name too. Then I moved to Montreal and you would see fresh juice in the grocery store. “Jus Frais” means fresh juice. I thought that would make a cooler name. At first I was going to anglicize my alias but I thought it was stupid after a while. I wanted to pay a little more respect to Quebec. I titled my latest album C’est Cool. French people sometimes pick up my album simply due to the reason that it has a French name. French people don’t like French rap and it gives them a reason to look into my music and get something that they will probably like on top of that.
Why did you first relocated here?
Despite many rumours, we came over on
Lullabies & Other Bedtime Stories
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Don’t expect Mommy to coo softly in your ear on this one. Occasional Montrealer and full-time mic co...Don’t expect Mommy to coo softly in your ear on this one. Occasional Montrealer and full-time mic controller Jus Frais’s second EP explores avenues somewhat more electric than his debut. Largely self-produced with an assist from rising local production talent Knetic, Jus’s bedtime stories take it from the cradle to the grave, sometimes within single bars, with an uneasy yet welcome tension building through-out—not unlike a waking dream. 7/10 Trial Track: “Only Tried” (Darcy MacDonald)
Jus Frais - Lullabies & Other Bedtime stories EP
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Jus Frais is Toronto based, Halifax bred, rapper/producer that has been a significant part of the Ca...Jus Frais is Toronto based, Halifax bred, rapper/producer that has been a significant part of the Canadian rap scene for the past years and continues his forward push with the release of his second solo effort Lullabies & Other Bedtime stories.This EP features some great wordplay and awesome production that almost outshines Jus Frais' verses but the whole thing comes out as a pretty balanced package
Lullabies & Other Bedtime Stories
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By Thomas Quinlan Despite the title, these stories aren't lullabies to help one transition to sleep...By Thomas Quinlan
Despite the title, these stories aren't lullabies to help one transition to sleep, but are instead dirty ditties designed to heat things up in the bedroom. There's a lot of sex talk throughout this eight-track EP, with further emphasis on getting high and bragging about rap skills. The EP opens with "On and On," a song that, as its name impolies, tends to go on and on, for more than five minutes. The bass and synth, which make up the self-produced sounds found herein, are funky, while Jus Frais's liberal use of "boy" pulls the song together with a cool little technique, but the vocals are wedged between long intro and outro instrumental sections ? two minutes could have easily been shaved. "Only Tried" follows; it's another five-minute track, and the singing on the hook and chill vibe of the instrumental would make it the most accessible song on the album, except the hi-hat sounds like a bottle being smashed; it's an interesting sample choice that's at first grating but quickly grows on you. These are the only two solo tracks ? the rest of the album features appearances from a bunch of Halifax up-and-comers mostly. But it's the Dirty South double-time raps of Mr Wellz on "Like This" that stand out most, while "Beat That," with Heartz and the Ecliptic, sounds like a Bay Area jam, in the vein of Too Short and Ant Banks. Sure, a few songs could have been edited down to more manageable lengths (including the instrumental outro), but Jus Frais's Lullabies & Other Bedtime Stories is still a dope little EP for those who dig sex and weed raps.
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Backpackers Union Keys to the Studio By Thomas Quinlan I really wanted to like the newest proj... Backpackers Union
Keys to the Studio
By Thomas Quinlan
I really wanted to like the newest project from the Fax 4 family but much of this rushed compilation is marred by mediocre beats and rhymes. It’s slow to start, with track five, “Light It Up,” being the first track to grab any attention, thanks to Jus’s fun production, which combines simple piano and flute with that catchy siren sound made popular by Muggs and the Soul Assassins. There’s also too much R&B for my liking but Bree, Tony Talent and Jordan Croucher are often the stars of the tracks they appear on, although the quality of those tracks depends on whether the producer ends up providing the typically stale R&B backing or drops something unique, like Dr. Syn’s synth-heavy “Keep It On the Low.” Still, scattered throughout this collection are a few wicked songs that are worth a listen. Along with the two already mentioned tracks, standouts include the Jus-produced “Bring It Back” and “Rhymin in Public,” the speakeasy production of J Rich for “We Call the Shots” and Litterbug’s hard-hitting production on “Last Call.” Hopefully they put a little more time and focus into the next BPU project, which is rumoured to already be in the works. (Independent)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.