An unconventional artist to perform

BY MCKENNA PAULUS | MAY 08, 2014 5:00 AM

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Juiceboxxx is an artist who cannot be defined or categorized. He said he makes "American music" and tries to create his own lane and sound. Juiceboxxx thinks of himself as one of a kind and plans to continue to make music and promote himself through unconventional methods. He will perform at 10 p.m. May 11 at Gabe's, 330 E. Washington St. Admission is $5.

The Daily Iowan: Tell me more about the music you make.

Juiceboxxx: I would say I make American music, modern American music, I call it new Americana, because it's rooted in things that I grew up with like rap, punk, and electronic. I'm attempting to synthesize those and extend on what Bruce Springsteen, Public Enemy, Frankie Knuckles, Suicide, and UGK have done. I have a very eclectic taste in music, but what bounds it all together is American music.

DI: Did Chuck D really call you the Buddy Holly of hip-hop?

Juiceboxxx: Yes, it was a true honor to tour with him. Public Enemy is up there as some of my all-time heroes in music and to share a stage with them is mind-blowing. They are the Bruce Springsteen of rap music. Rap music is incredible, but often it's lacking in the live department, but Public Enemy live is transcendent, and after that I got a backing band, and it made me want to step my game up.

DI: Where did you get the name Juiceboxxx?

Juiceboxxx: I've had the name since I was 15, I'm just doing what I love to do, and when I come to your town, I want you to know that I put it all on the line and give 100 percent. It's not about hype, it's just about me playing the best show possible and trying to give back. The origin myths of what I do are very hazy and shrouded like rumors and mysteries, but I think it's better to come to a show and put together all the pieces of the puzzle.

DI: What are your live shows like?

Juiceboxxx: I play with a backing band, and they're very energetic. It's also steeped in rap music, so it's coming from a lot of different places at once. Sometimes it's dark, sometimes it's uplifting, it's always intense."

DI: Are you releasing any albums soon?

Juiceboxxx: I have a mix tape coming out in the summer, and I am finishing up the full-length. I am constantly putting out music and videos. The mix tape will feature a lot of collaborations on it, but the record I am finishing up, they are blown out anthems that can be played from a basement to a festival. It's an uphill battle, but what else would I do? When you exist on the margins of many scenes, people have a hard time understanding what you do, and that confusion turns to anger. I am fine being in my own zone, and that is the thunder zone.

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