Disco divas Juce are blowing up London’s live circuit one bass pop at a time.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Cherish wears brown and blue leather coat by MARNI, knitted top by DKNY and blue trousers by MSGM Chalin wears multicoloured jacket by CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN, white cotton shirt dress by ACNE STUDIOS and all jewellery by LUCY FOLK Georgia wears own clothes
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Chalin Barton, Cherish Kaya and Georgia Lee – otherwise known as girl group Juce – don’t get on as they shout over each other across the dining table, emphasising their points with violently enthusiastic hand gestures. But the in-jokes, blurted out in near-perfect unison, and accompanying laughs – bellowing, hysterical chortles – confirm their BFF status.
They actually have “massive girl crushes” on each other and have had since they met, back in 2012 at a house party in London, where they all live. It’s a classic tale of three girls’ eyes meeting across the dancefloor: they throw what I assume would have been enviable shapes to the sound of Sly and The Family Stone’s “If You Want Me To Stay” and wake up in the morning finding themselves with a hangover and, after a couple of phone calls, in a band. Lee was the uniting force, Barton explains. “I hadn’t saved her name in my phone, so she’s still in there as Girl Band Ting.” A true noughts fairytale. Now Juce make the kind of music you’d play at your own party.
Their’s is a delicious, fizzing potion of funk, soul and disco, with a luminous pop sheen – held together by an extra large serving of sass, naturally. Take it from bass poppin’ lead single “6th Floor”, taken from their debut EP, Taste the Juice, released November 3 last year on Island Reconds. Sweet lulling 60s harmonies mesh with cascading 80s synths and the syncopated basslines of true groove. Their personal party picks are what feed this blend: Barton’s is “I Feel For You” by Chaka Khan”, which Kaya immediately certifies as a “banger!”; Lee’s is Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is In The Heart”; and Kaya wants to hear “Everything She Wants” by Wham!, mostly because she claims she can perform
Your mum and dad would probably like Juce. “The music is fun and inclusive,” says Lee. “I think about my past self, my 13-year-old self and wanting to be in a gang. Not just girls – boys, whoever!” “You can sit with us!”, shouts Barton. “I want guys to love Juce as much as
a 13-year-old girl,” adds Kaya.
Unfortunately, we have to mention the obvious: in front of me sit three women trying to make their way in an irrefutably male-dominated industry. “The fact that it’s even a thing to discuss,” Barton utters with an eye-roll, “In 2015!” She’s so exasperated she struggles to finish her sentence. Lee finishes off. “It’s not particularly about being ‘sexy’ girls, it’s about making cool stuff. Interesting, intelligent stuff.”
One of their dream collaborations would be with Mercury-nominated spoken word performer Kate Tempest. It’s considered too – they’ve been working on their debut album, their “baby”, for a while now. “Basically we’re waiting for the three of us to fall in love completely,” Lee says, “It’s 80 per cent of the way there.” Kaya agrees. “It’s going to be with us forever. It seems so throwaway now, but for us it’s important to get as many absolutely amazing songs on it as possible.”
The trio’s gigs – like a raucous recent one at Koko – are just as jolly and spontaneous as their chat. Barton explains their door policy: “If we share DNA or we’ve shared bodily fluids, you get in for free. Everyone else pays a fiver.” Unconventional but fair, no? “Being on stage, that’s my bread and fucking butter. Being on stage and showing off for half an hour!”
Sincerity slips away as the girls start to chat about who they fancied from Blue and which one of them snogged a member of S Club Juniors. Not quite the fourth member (yet) and frankly a little exhausted, I leave them to it. I’m available and interested though, girls.
Georgia wears black jumper by KENZO, and black shorts by McQ Chalin wears white cotton top by DSQUARED2 and black skirt by McQ Cherish wears black dress with white sleeves by CARVEN, tights models own.
Chalin wears white and red fur coat and red cotton dress both by TOMMY HILFIGER and red sunglasses Chalin’s own
Georgia wears black body and leggings by Gareth Pugh, blue denim shirt around waist and shoes both Georgia’s own
Cherish wears black cape by SIMONE ROCHA, black bra top underneath by AMERICAN APPAREL, black long shorts by PAUL SMITH, white socks stylist’s own, white canvas shoes by SUPERGA and stainless steel bracelets by Lucy Folk
Photographer: Alexandra Leese.
Fashion Editor: Lola Chatterton.
Words: Lily Walker.