I know it’s been a while since I’ve done an album review or anything of that sort but I’m back.
I’ll start off by telling you the crazy story of how I got introduced to Juto and his music because I really do believe God/the universe/whatever you believe in, does everything for a reason.
A little over a year ago when I had first started this blog I came across an artist on Soundcloud (@lovejuto) whose music stood out to me more than anyone else’s had ever. His music was enticing, alluring, and so damn relatable. I was barely starting the blog up and although I wanted to interview him, I wanted to have something to show of my blog before then because I knew he was talented and deserved a better platform than what my blog was initially at. I looked to see if he had any socials linked to his Soundcloud so I could follow him on something I could later contact him through. Fortunately, he had his twitter linked and me being the avid twitter user I am, chose to follow him there. He followed me back. Which was a surprising given the fact that I was really just a fan of his music back then and I didn’t expect a follow back LOL but I saw this as a blessing because I knew how reaching out to artists usually went. Unless they know who you are, they usually don’t care to respond. I continued to admire his music from afar; listening regularly, sharing his music with friends of mine, even including songs of his in mixes of mine.
At one point, a few months after discovering him and following each other, he reached out to me on twitter and tried to spark up a friendship. I’m not quite sure if he knew I followed him because of his music or if I was just someone he followed that he wanted to get to know more. Nonetheless, the initial friendship was short lived. Very short lived to say the least. We kept in contact for literally only a few days. The story I would tell most people is that we just fell out, like most online friendships. The real story was that I was actually ecstatic over one of my favorite artists wanting to befriend me that I quickly told my boyfriend at the time about how this encounter had rolled out but unfortunately it wasn’t the right time for this friendship. So once again, I kept supporting from a distance.
Fast forward about a year, Camp Flog Gnaw 2018. There was a familiar face I kept catching glimpses of all weekend but couldn’t quite put my finger on who or what the familiarity stemmed from. Im REALLY bad with putting names to faces. A few days following Camp Flog Gnaw, I returned to work. The familiar face popped back in. It was too much of a coincidence to see a familiar face multiple times at a music festival, and again at my place of employment, for me not to ask who he was. I asked him if we knew each other and if so from where. He responded “yeah, twitter…” to which I asked “what’s your @?” because once again, I’m horrible with names and faces and when it comes to online friends, knowing @’s are a lot easier to recognize than full names. Now, Im sure you can guess who this familiar face was. It was Juto.
He had just moved to California from Georgia a few weeks before Camp Flog Gnaw and was now living here working on music. He was following his dream. Making real moves. We quickly became real friends this time around. I told him about how I had originally followed him to interview him and how crazy it was that the world inevitably brought us together in the way it did. Although I didn’t get to interview him, I did get to know him on a personal level. Aside from the music, Juto is nothing short of lighthearted and optimistic. Through anything and everything he’s able to see the silver lining or make a joke out of a rough situation to lighten the mood. It’s rare to catch Juto lacking energy. He’s capable of turning any moment into a performance. His talent goes beyond singing/songwriting. Even his dancing skills are impressive (and that’s coming from a dancer). Juto’s friendship showed me I don’t need to take life so seriously all the time. He taught me the value of not dwelling in the past because our present selves are what people should value and admire. He showed me that proving those who doubt you wrong, comes after you believe in yourself first.
For lack of a better word, Juto’s drive and passion for music was inspirational to say the VERY least. Anytime we hung out, it never failed for him to talk music. All his free time was spent making, listening to, or analyzing music. He showed me a lot about music. He encouraged me to listen to music differently and helped me understand passion from an actual artists perspective rather than the consumers perspective. As much as I thought I understood the emotions and feelings behind music before, getting to know Juto showed me there was so much more to music than what I thought. There were stories, people, ideas, dreams, inner struggles, that all drove an artist to not only create their art but keep pushing forward with it.
As you all know, I’ve never thought of music to be something surface level but Juto was the first person I got to know firsthand whose talent matched what his heart was in. His creative process alone was interesting. Definitely not what I assumed any artists creative process to be like. To help you better understand how far Juto’s come you have to understand where he started. Juto started his music journey making beats on a GAME. Learning this shocked the hell out of me because he really did just stumble onto his talent. He didn’t have the money for a laptop or fancy equipment at the time so he downloaded Garageband onto his phone and began to record, produce and put all his songs together with a phone, guitar and an app. I was initially shocked when I found this out but it only further convinced me of how talented this kid was. Going from that to the support, backing, and hands lent in making Velvet, is something amazing. I can’t even begin to list the people he mentioned who worked on this EP but he definitely came a long way from studio sessions consisting solely of his cell phone and his bedroom. He now has a team of incredible people behind him and rightfully so because like I said Juto’s talent is undeniable.
Throughout our friendship I knew I wanted to write a post about Juto and this EP once it was released. I would have support Juto and his music whether it was from a distance or not, so here is me sharing Velvet with you guys.
Kiwi’s the song that reminds me of the honeymoon phase of love. There’s a sense of hesitation but longing as well. It’s the song that makes you think about all the times you waited for that special person and couldn’t tell whether it was “worth the wait” or “wasted”. The guitar breakdown following his soft vocals really help convey the contrast between those two feelings.
Wayback is one of my personal favorites. Aside from the story it tells, its catchy as hell. Juto said this song was like going to a party you didn’t really even wanna go to, and seeing that person you kinda used to talk to but never really got anywhere with. It was about taking that leap of faith and reminding someone that you once went “wayback” so you could attempt to be something more than just history.
This song reminded me of the guy I could never let go of because I knew we went WAY back. It reminded me of the people I had brief passing moments with and wondered if there could’ve ever been anything more given better timing and/or circumstances.
Homebody helped me put things into perspective. Homebody reminded me of the guy I tried to pursue who never wanted to hang out. I took it personally and couldn’t understand why he’d dodge me or why anytime we hung out it was always inside his house, watching tv or laying down.
Upon listening to Homebody more, I started to relate to it. I started thinking about all the times I cancelled plans or brushed people off, just to stay home in my bed. Even if I was interested in them. It’s hard to explain being a homebody when getting to know people. We get so used to the comfort of our homes, and the familiarity of watching tv or spending time alone, that we would rather do all of that than try to experience more with someone.
Options is another one of my favorite songs. The simplicity behind the lyrics hit SO DAMN HARD. “If I wanted anyone else, I could get them, but i only want you.” Whew. Do you know how easy it would be to hold on to relationships if all you had to do was tell them that and they actually believed you.
Options was the song that I wanted to send him. Options was the song that played through my head anytime he doubted me or what I felt for him.
Yum is that sensual song. The song that puts you in the mood and exudes the feeling of irresistibility. I remember asking how he came up with the idea to use the word “insatiable” because it was such a perfect use of the word. Insatiable, meaning unable to resist a desire, appetite, or craving for something. What a clever guy. Even down to the title, Yum.
THIS SONG. NOW THIS SONG HAS BEEN MY FAVORITE SONG FOR THE LONGEST DAMN TIME. This song was up on his Soundcloud for a cool minute before he took it down to tweak it and rework it for this EP.
Scarlett is the song that reminds me of the guy who I couldn’t get off my mind. The one who I always wondered why I couldn’t be with. Scarlett is the song that embodied everything I felt when I was in love. I would’ve done anything. I wanted the simple things like movie nights. Even though he was all that was on my mind, as though I was “caught under a spell”, it drove me crazy wondering if he felt the same.
Games feels like the angriest song out of all. It’s the song that describes wanting someone but dying on the inside because of it. Knowing that it’s something more along the lines of addiction/obsession rather than genuine love. It’s draining. Its exhausting. But you still crave it.
Games reminded of the time someone told me “Being with you felt like an addiction. Your love was the drug making me happy & I was just abusing it.”
Listen to Velvet by Juto
Go give Velvet a listen. As I mentioned before, Juto has a way of making his music relatable as hell. I promise one, if not all, of these songs will somehow be an anthem for you. I hope you relate to this EP somehow and follow Juto because this is just the start for him.