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GRAMMY TALK:
JUICE WRLD

Before his “Lucid Dreams” became a crossover smash and a mainstay at the top of the streaming charts, Juice WRLD—aka Chicago-bred Jarad Higgins—was a teenaged SoundCloud striver with a distinctive vibe; his “All Girls Are the Same” first made waves in 2017, and he scored a deal with Interscope. Then came “Lucid Dreams” and Spotify glory; his full-length set, Goodbye & Good Riddance (Grade A/Interscope), bowed in June. There’s a strong possibility that Juice’s “Dreams” will awaken later this year to some Grammy love.



“Lucid Dreams” is such a brilliant deep dive, and it has far exceeded the trajectory of your SoundCloud peer group of artists, having now crossed to the Top 10 at Pop radio. Why do you think this particular song has connected on such a broad level?

To this day I have no idea. I didn’t even think that song was going to break me as an artist. I believe “Lucid Dreams” is special because a lot 
of people have gone through exactly what that song touches on—and when people listen to 
it, it provides them with an avenue to say, “Damn, other people go through this too.” 
It can be like a coping mechanism for them.

Who—or what—was the primary influence in the process of making your debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, and what did they/it do?
It was real-life situations about relationships, plus my own issues. When I record, most of what I put into my music is what has happened or what is currently happening in my life, so I take those influences and compose the songs you hear.

What connects you to a sample or a beat that makes you intuitively think, OK, this is special?
If it sounds good to me, I’ll record on it. I listen to all genres of music and I’m sort of a music-history student. When my triggers 
go off to a beat, then it’s something that I must record instantly—or I won’t be able to take my mind off it.

Chicago has consistently given the world future-forward-sounding, intellectually rooted rap with conscious lyricism, from Common to No I.D., Lupe to Rhymefest, Kanye to Chance and now you. What is unique to Chicago that creates this cornerstone?

Chicago has always been a trendsetting city for music. The city has culture; depending on what part of the city you grow up in, your music may be molded to that particular upbringing. It’s really different in Chicago, 
and that’s why I love my city.

You are certainly in the short-list conversation for Grammy nominations. What do the Grammy Awards mean to you personally? Did you ever watch the show growing up?
The Grammys mean a lot, because that’s something I used to talk about even as a child. I watched the show as a student of music, not as a consumer. I loved seeing amazing musicians get the awards after they put in a lot of work.

 

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RAINMAKERS: THEY CONTROL THE WEATHER
This is no ordinary doorstop. (8/15a)
SONG REVENUE CHART: DOG DAYS
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A PRESEASON
HITS LIST
The biz is getting its game face on. (8/16a)
GRAMMY CHEW: COMING IN
UNDER THE WIRE
More speculation over lox and bagels (8/16a)
HEAT!
Seriously, we can't take off any more clothes at the office.
DOLDRUMS!
Nothing doing.       
LUNCH!
Well, what do YOU want?      
VACATION!
Badly needed.     
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