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Both Jus-Ed and Jenifa Mayanja have impressive back catalogues as well as a successful record label each. Jus-Ed’s Underground Quality label roster boasts the likes of Levon Vincent, Nina Kraviz, Fred P, Steffi, and of course Jus-Ed himself amongst the fold. Jenifa Mayanja’s Bu-mako label was born from her free-spirited parties around NYC by the same name, and has been a platform for her unique fusion of deep house and world music sounds.
Both of them are considered partially responsible for the recent NYC-area rebirth of underground dance music and play venues such as Berlin’s Panorama Bar regularly. Besides raising a family together, the two musicians have recently partnered up in a new business venture that sees them releasing records together under new joint label EDJ and distributing it themselves. The first release starts off with an introspective, mantra-like track from Jenifa Mayanja that would feel right at home being played on a beach post-sunrise. Jus-Ed’s piece is more of a peak-time banger due to a slightly ravey element combined with his signature high-energy vocal contributions. Stream clips from both tracks below and get introduced.
DJ Jus-Ed (Edward McKeithen) and Jenifa Mayanja.
Ed: I have been making music since I was an infant and now I’m 49!
Jen: I’ve been making music since my early teens and just turned 41!
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA.
Ed: My sound has a rhythmic vibe which combines house and techno.
Jen: My sound is a hypnotic, “cant-let-go-of-your-soul-energy” that fuses jazz, house and world music.
How do you record/songwrite?
Ed: If I DJ and don’t get paid I’ll write a song about it. If I travel to a new country and am inspired, I’ll write a song about it. If I meet someone in my travels or everyday life and they say something that bonds us in conversation, it’s going to inspire me.
Jen: For the songwriting part, I usually decide first if it’s a vocal track or not. If it involves lyrics I’ll listen to something completely unrelated to what I am doing and just flow with the words , or I’ll go outside and look up. Nature is a huge inspiration for me.
Ed: Aaahhhh, it will take too long!
Ed: Thor, Ironman, Gigantor, Space Ghost, and Wolverine.
Jen: Batman, Nancy Drew, Miriam Makeba, and people of the world risking everything for freedom.
EDJ 001 is the shit and you’re gonna love it!
A CD compilation and another limited edition vinyl release.
Ed: Brooklyn on September 30th.
Jen: To be confirmed.
How is the new EDJ label different from UQ and Bu-mako?
Ed and Jen: It’s more about us bringing our super-powers together to make something unforgettable while making more money for our family.
Ed: UQ? It’s about quality underground music
Jen: Bu-mako? It’s about timeless music
Why have you decided to distribute yourselves?
Ed: UQ has become so popular and in-demand that exclusivity was actually hurting our record sales due to price gouging. I had to level the playing field so that records would be affordable and lead to selling more records.
Jen: For Bu-mako Records I was tired of not getting paid! It is difficult to run a business when you are putting out money and not getting it back. It slowed output down to minimal.
Both: We have just started with the self-distribution of EDJ, UQ and Bu-mako and so far so good . We sell to anyone and everyone so record stores please hit us up on Facebook or www.undergroundquality.com and www.bumakorecordings.com!
What do you each do when you’re not working on music?
Ed: Sell firewood, tour as a DJ, smoke cigars, concentrate on the next dollar, and raise my children.
Jen: Take care of my children, work-out when I can, read when I can, work on my upcoming t-shirt line exclusively for women who love house music, and stare at the sky as much as possible. I am obsessed with outer space.