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Our human has a friend in Australia who posted a link on Kaz's Facebook page to a YouTube video of Juzzie Smith. He said, "This guy is playing live in NZ - you have to go and see him." Kaz and Ferhad Junior did just that, and our young giraffe scored an interview with this incredible one-man band, internet, and festival sensation. Not only does this human have totes amazeballs musical talents, but Ferhad Junior said he is one of the nicest human beings he has ever met.
Our young giraffe is currently investigating whether it is actually possible to build a clone machine, then he will use Juzzie and Xavier Rudd and Nahko Bear clones to run the world, and then humans will all sit around juggling percussion and playing cigar boxes and being good people. Until he achieves this, Ferhad Junior is making it his personal mission this year to get Juzzie an invitation to play at Womad New Zealand.
U R a totes amazeballs Aussie One-Man-Band. How many comparisons do U get 2 Xavier Rudd?
Xavier is a friend of mine, but not that many [comparisons]. I think because I'm a bit more bluesy and he plays didgeridoo, and it's a different style. But I suppose when you're a "one-man band" people will always relate that to, "Do you know Xavier, did you learn from him?"
Oooooo, I'd luv 2 lurn from him. Did U lurn from Xavier?
I sort of learnt from just jamming blues and I started about the same time as Xavier, but as I said, we have a different style.
I red on tha intanet that U startid off playing in pubs. Wot led U 2 Bcome a buska & Start playing festavilles and stuff?
Eleven years ago I became a father and decided to become a one-man band, which is how this all originated. I travelled Australia playing markets and busking, sharing music on lots of streets, and realised it's a beautiful way to connect to people. I became quite successful just being a street performer.
Do humans stillbuy CDs? I mean, I no our human does, but she's old.
I've sold lots of CDs over the years, and people really love the CD so they pass it to their friends, one things leads to the next, and you get really well known overseas, even though you've never played there, so it's cool.
THAT IS SO TRU! Wen Nahko & Medicine for the People played at Wanderlust, the hole markeee of humans were singing "Black as Night", but it has NEVER been played on that radio here.
Yeah, it's cool, the power of the internet. Someone uploaded a video of one of my performances to YouTube, and it had over 20 million hits. That led to all my other YouTube clips getting looked at, and then people connected to itunes. Enough humans went to itunes and downloaded my music that I went to Number 1 on the itunes charts in Canada. It was good timing because I was making a new album so all that money went towards the new album. It took a lot of pressure of, which was great. It's really awesome.
That belt of harps U ware looks like sumthing else. How did U get thru customs?
*Laughs*. It's always a bit of a challenge and I always get stopped and questioned. And then, once they realise what it is, the next question is always, "Can you play us a tune?".
How many instraments do U play?
I use eight harmonicas so I always have one in the right key. I also play the guitar, slide guitar, cigar box guitar, Dan Moi (which is like a jew’s harp but from Vietnam), ukulele, and a range of percussion instruments. Plus I can do harmonic singing, where I produce two tones simultaneously with my voice.
Oh, is that wot that wuz? That sounded AMAZING! And wot about that juggling U do??? That was TOTES AMAZEBALLS!!!
Thank you. Percussive juggling allows me to be more playful and connect with the audience in a way that everyone is together and smiling. NOT that juggling three shaker balls while playing harmonica and slide guitar is easy, but it is fun to watch.
Boo ya to that! So, wear R U playing next?
I'm here at the fantastic Pig n Whistle historic pub till Sunday [March 29]. Did you know it used to be a jail? And what used to be the prison cells are now the toilets. How cool is that? Anyway, after this I'm playing festivals, markets, and fairs in April back home in Australia. [ Details on Juzzie's website. ]
We animals like 2 do wot we can 2 help tha planet that humans R mucking up. Do U do anything 2 help that planet?
For me it's just living really simply and me being that way. I find that if you reflect that, that's all we have to do in life. You can live off your land a fair bit, live a simple life, and just share love. For me it's really important to focus on that. I live at Ocean Shores just north of Byron Bay, which is lovely, especially as I love surfing.
Ooooo - so do I! Well, thanx heaps 4 talking 2 me, and all tha best 4 tha rest of your gigs hear & 4 your Aussie tour.
Thank you. It's been fun talking to a small giraffe.
Juzzie's Totes Amazeballs percussion juggling at the Pig 'n Whistle
Juzzie's awesome version of the Australian National Anthem at the Pig 'n Whistle
(NOTE FROM KAZ: actually, it's Waltzing Matilda, but I can't convince Ferhad Junior that this is not the national anthem for Australia.)
Ferhad Junior is now signed up to the Juzzie Smith newsletter.
That's three he gets now ... Juzzie, Xavier Rudd, and Nahko & Medicine for the People.