"Try to peg down Juha... and you'll likely be so far left field or right field or not even in a field at all. If anything, Juha is the brilliant corsage bobbing in the junk-strewn waters of hip hop."
- Good Times | Santa Cruz
Like a three-headed gargoyle perched on the steps of Motown, Juha’s blend of hip hop, soul, gothic and world music is the backdrop for the choir that dwells in his vocal chords.
Juha released the 'Polari' album on hardcore punk and hip hop upstart Agitprop! Records in 2002. Do note the reviews below. He has also received a Fellowship in New Genres from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a Threshold Grant through Hampshire College, a residency from the Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, and a grant from the Horizons Foundation. He has toured the United States and Europe.
Juha takes his name from a character in Arabic folk tales. Though "Juha" is a name that is difficult for many non-Arabs to pronounce, a Western approximation is a French "Je" (as in "Je voudrais coucher avec Juha) and an American "ha" (as in "ha ha ha, that's funny.")
REVIEWS of Juha’s 'Polari'
Fusing Eastern & Western music, theater and performance art rabble-rousing, Juha is a funky pie bursting at the seams with irresistible beats and attitude.
- Neva Chonin | San Francisco Chronicle (Critics' Picks)
Try to peg down Juha... and you'll likely be so far left field or right field or not even in a field at all. If anything, Juha is the brilliant corsage bobbing in the junk-strewn waters of hip hop... one of the most intriguing imports in a very long time.
- Good Times | Santa Cruz
Juha's 'Polari' is a brilliantly eclectic fusion. Juha is able to seamlessly walk the line between gaiety and gravity.
- Out Magazine
Juha blessedly defies simple categorization. In a world that allows Britney Spears to time-travel on behalf of Pepsi to become the reigning pop queen of every American generation, something this fresh and unexpected is a welcome treat.
- The Washington Blade
'Polari' by Juha brings the disparate worlds of gay life and political activity, Islam and hip-hop together in a nearly seamless and altogether remarkable way. Juha whips samples, rhymes and beats into a sit-up-and-take-notice stew that the listener will want to devour...
- The Windy City Times | Chicago
Juha is a name you're going to be hearing a lot... you find the hard-core American hip hop character fully expressed... Juha is wickedly intelligent, with talent and intensity and - balls. Musically, Juha toys with the fringed edges where hip-hop is barely distinctly itself, not just bringing together but actually using and fusing an impossibly broad range of influences. Too artful to be pop, and too far ahead of the curve to be called anything but hip hop.... Ready? No, you're not. Not for this. Juha braids together the causes and music and dreams of Hawai'i and Palestine and gay youth; the sensibilities of radical performance artists and sensitive musicians; and ties every knot so neatly at every crossing of the fibers that you see it all as a seamless whole, a single cause, a perhaps inexpressible but nonetheless whole idea. There is no compromise anywhere in the CD, 'Polari.' Juha is shockingly good.
- Joseph W. Bean | Out In Maui
Aptly named for the trickster in Islamic folklore, Juha leaves you guessing. 'Polari' is a cotton-candy swirled concoction of Eastern and Western styles thrown forth like dice in an art-performance carnival atmosphere. Outspoken politically and all-over-the-map musically, 'Polari' is one of the most interesting and satisfying albums we've heard in years.
For all of hip hops thuggish wordplay and stances, there are those whose mission is to infuse the culture with new visions, rhymes and beats. Juha creates music that stretches the boundaries of hip hop. Polari is a exciting musical journey that says more on its 14 tracks than most hip hop artists do on their entire oeuvre.
- The Tablet | Seattle
I LOVE 'Polari' and can't stop playing it.
- Alice, Chumbawamba
Outstanding. Halfway through my first listen, I found myself saying out loud: Holy hell. I'm listening to a masterpiece!
- Pedro Angel Serrano | Generation Q