Five Questions With… JuJu

Band: JuJu
Country of Origin: Italy

JuJu is an psych rock project from Sicilian multi-instrumentalist Gioele Valenti (also of Herself) who released Our Mother Was A Plant last year and was one of my favorite records of 2017.

Our Mother… was released on Fuzz Club records which described the release as:

a continuation of JuJu’s ritualistic sonic exploration into the cultural implications of the current refugee crisis, humanities increasingly strained relationship with Mother Earth and neo-pagan mythology.

I certainly found myself getting wonderfully lost in the sonic shamanism that Valenti was able to summon through his work. It’s absolutely entrancing, and part of why we’re excited to share Valenti’s take on our “Five Questions With…” series.

Five Questions

1. What is your desert island disc (the one album you couldn’t live without?)

If I have to choose, I would say Fisherman’s Blues by The Waterboys.

2. How did the band members meet?

JuJu was born as a solo project, recorded and run by me. Now I have a very special live band, made by professional musicians who support me, Simone Sfameli (drum), Marco Monterosso (second guitar), Vincenzo Schillaci (synth and electronic) and Rodan Di Maria (bass).

So one thing is JuJu in a studio dimension, another one’s on stage; two different souls, just one spirit.

3. What is the underground music scene like in your home country?

No homogenic scene. There’s a lot of good bands coming from the underground, especially from Palermo, my hometown.

4. What are some of your biggest influences outside of music?

Cinema, paintings, literature, astrology, anthropology, occult archaeology…

5. Tell us about your favorite show you ever played.

The last one, definitely. Dunajam in Sardinia. Beautiful escapes, playing on a duna in front a marvelous sea and very warm audience. Some kind of Woodstock, maybe smaller, but the same vibes. Very professional people there.


Ryan first discovered his love of radio at WSOE FM, where he spent all 4 years of college as a DJ, 2 as program director, and 1 as general manager. While his musical tastes are fairly broad, he has a big nerdy spot in his heart for prog rock.