J.u.D (Judrick Saint-Fleur) is ready for anything, eager to see where life takes him on his current path as a music producer, DJ, and graphic designer. He talks about his E.P St-Flower, his creative process and sources of inspiration, as well as its connection to spirituality for him.
“My sets are better when there’s a lot of people and everyone’s into it.
They feed off of me, I feed off of them, so it’s a big ball of energy.”
Who are you?
J.u.D – My name is Judrick St-Fleur, AKA J.u.D. I’m part of the AlAIZ team, extended from the Kruger family, which includes The Posterz and Pierre Kwenders. Pretty much a random dude.
Describe how a piece of music comes together for you.
J – I need to be in an emotional state in order for it to work. Winter is always my season of creation. It’s around the end of autumn and the beginning of winter that I usually compose slower, more dreamy music. I really need to be calm and surrounded by silence when I create.
Why do you find that winter is the best time for that?
J – I don’t know, I find that winter is poetic. It’s all white, and when you walk outside and there’s a little snowfall, it’s very romantic. I find this inspiring. [laughter]
So, when your ideas come to you, is it usually when you’re outside, walking around?
J – Usually, in my shower… [laughter]. But also when I listen to a certain type of music, music that is more mellow, the tempo inspires me. When I hear different chords, I try to reproduce them. Everything can inspire me when I create music. What really makes me feel good, is when I’m in my car and some Gino Marley starts playing! [laughter]
What else can inspire you?
J – Graphic design. I really like how it helps to structure my songs, so that I can create different moods and tell different stories. It can dictate how it will turn out and how the elements are going to be placed in order to achieve harmony. It’s always inspiring to use the same principles that I use in graphic design in my songs as well.
J – I honestly feel like Kanye West. [laughter]
So, at that moment, you feel like you’re on top of the world?
J – Yeah.
In terms of music, what was it like growing up in your household?
J – My parents are very Christian. I do remember that at a point in my mom’s life, she used to always listen to Celine Dion. Everytime I came home from school, the greatest hits CD was playing. But mostly there were Christian songs that you sing at church. My dad was in one church band and my mom was in another church band, so I used to go to the rehearsals with them. I didn’t really have a choice.
I’ve seen in some of your interviews that spirituality is a big part of your music. Why do you feel like “St-Flower” became a spiritual journey?
J – Yes, it’s spiritual, but it only became that way after I started making “St-Flower”. I wanted my music to reflect the title. In the beginning, I wanted to call it something else, but “St- Flower” is something that had to come out of me. When I started the process, I was coming out of a break-up, which is why I needed to take some time for myself. And it was really that, when I was making music, I was taking that time for myself, despite everything that was happening around me. This made it really introspective and spiritual because it was me and my music… all alone.
Would you say that you’re a religious person?
J – No. I don’t know, I just kind of left it. No reason… I guess I just wasn’t really into it from the beginning.
How did your parents feel about that?
J – They don’t really know.
What colours do you see when you’re making music? What colours would you compare your music to?
J – Probably blue, because my music is a little dreamy… like clouds, skies, etc. There are a lot of people who say that my music is kind of aquatic, and it reminds them of water.
When did you start making music?
J – Fourteen years old. I was in a group of rappers before I started making beats. It hasn’t been that long since I abandoned rap, it was around 2011.
Why did you abandon it?
J – I don’t really know, just like that.
Do you remember any of your raps?
J – No.
You’re lying to me.
J – [laughter]
What would you say was one of the best days of your life?
J – One of the coolest moments of my life was at Trapfest. The crowd was insane. We had installed plants all over the place to give it a tropical feel, and the people in the crowd started grabbing plants and lifting them up in the air, during my set, and it was really crazy. My sets are better when there’s a lot of people and everyone’s into it. They feed off of me, I feed off of them, so it’s a big ball of energy.
That’s amazing. How did you feel, full of happiness?
J – Yeah, of course. And I said that was my favourite moment, but maybe that’s not even true. The truth is, I always get that feeling when I accomplish something.
And what would the ultimate accomplishment be for you right now?
J – Not doing 9 to 5 every day. I want to be able to travel the world because of what I do.
Is there any artist out there you would really love to work with?
J – Diplo. I don’t know why, I just find he has a vision of EDM beyond EDM. I find he can produce anything and you can still see his influences. I find him original.
Ok. So here’s another tough question. What was one of the saddest days of your life?
J – The day that my grandma died. I wasn’t really sad because I was very young and didn’t fully understand, but when you asked me that question, it’s the memory that comes to mind. This was one of the only times that I saw my father cry. She wasn’t his mom, she was my mom’s mom, but I saw my father crying in the kitchen and I told myself, “Shit, this is really sad”.
Does that still stick with you today?
J – Sometimes. My mom likes to talk about her a lot because they were very close, and considering it was a sudden accident and unexpected, I feel like she is still very sad. Well, she’s not always sad, but usually when the anniversary of her death approaches.
Do you mind if I ask what happened?
J – She got hit by a car. The driver wasn’t drunk. It just happened.
How old were you?
J – I was eight.
And when you saw your dad, did it register, did you understand what happened?
J – No, I didn’t know. It’s now that I’m older that I realize that she had such a strong, positive impact in our lives, to the point where it made my dad cry.
Have you ever spoken to your dad about it?
J – No. Me and my parents aren’t really close.
How do they feel about you making music?
J – They don’t really like it. It’s not Christian.
Do you feel like you’re not as close because you’re not as religious as they would have liked you to be?
J – Yeah, probably.
Do you still think they’ll be proud of you?
J – Only time will tell. I don’t think so, but I learned to live with that.
What does success mean to you?
J – When I create something beautiful, I’m extremely proud of myself. I love the beauty of creating. My only goal in life is to be happy… and music allows me to be happy. Being a graphic designer allows me to be happy too, so… Just being able to do everything that makes me happy, that is the meaning of success to me.
Finally, what would you say to artists who want to make music?
J – I’d tell an artist who wants to do what I do, to not do what I do. In the sense of, finding their own style, their own voice. In the end, they shouldn’t just be another copy. You need to be yourself. Do what you feel and don’t be afraid to do it. Just do you.