Justinas Adžgauskas


MXF: So what’s the name of your solo act and if you’ve got more than one thing going on, let’s hear about all of them.

J: I make music as Justicious and Boikafé.

MXF: Any other projects that you’re involved in or collaborating with at the moment?

J: No, just these two.

MXF: And these are your solo projects or are they bands?

J: No, these are solo projects and alter egos too. 

MXF: And I guess you’re always producing and performing alone?

J: If you talk about performing, I do it all alone as far as I can remember. But it’s been a while.

MXF: What instruments are you using?

J: Computer, synthesisers, drum machines and all that. No analog or acoustic instruments currently. 

MXF: Okay. Going in a bit of a different direction – would you perceive yourself as a male artist or that doesn’t really come into your head?

J: I identify as a male.

MXF: And do you think you’re a male artist or is that not a category for you?

J: I don’t really care how it’s described to be honest. As an artist, I don’t really use my gender identity, I just use my stage name.

MXF: And do you show your face?

J: Yeah, I do. I used to hide it for the Boikafe project to make it more secret but it’s over.

MXF: The secret’s out (laughs). Okay then, so do you use lyrics in either of your projects?

J: For the Justicious project, it used to be only me producing electronic beats for myself and other artists and about three years ago it became my solo vocal/producing project. I sing on my songs now and write the lyrics too.

MXF: And the Boikafe project doesn’t have lyrics?

J: Yeah, it’s all instrumental.

MXF: And what language are the lyrics for Justicious?

J: It’s all Lithuanian.

MXF: Never even a word of English?

J: Some slang words maybe. In my full songs I only sing Lithuanian but I produced some that have English lyrics. Those would be the older ones though – the new ones are all in Lithuanian.

MXF: So when it’s your vocal it’s always in Lithuanian but you worked with vocalists who used other languages?

J: Yeah.

MXF: And that would be English?

J: Yeah. None other languages than that.

MXF: Okay. And what is your mother tongue?

J: Lithuanian.

MXF: And did you start your career in Lithuania?

J: Yeah.

MXF: You started both projects in Lithuania?

J: Yeah. I had some Boikafe releases on a French label but I did it here in Lithuania.

MXF: Interesting. And was this all based in Vilnius and you’re still in Vilnius? Or were there other cities involved?

J: I’m currently in Vilnius but for a few years I was studying and residing in Kaunas, so some music was created there. 

MXF: But you already had the projects before you went there? 

J: Yeah.

MXF: So they’re Vilnius projects but for some time you were living in Kaunas?

J: That’s right.

MXF: Okay. Where would you say your fans are based? Do you check any statistics and see countries that stand out?

J: It’s mostly Vilnius, some of them are in Kaunas. I check it on my Spotify for Artists page, since Spotify is the number 1 platform for my music. It’s like 80-90% Vilnius, Kaunas is in second place and the rest are very small numbers. Some in Klaipėda maybe.

MXF: And no other countries?

J: So actually for the last month, Vilnius is leading, Kaunas is second but in the third place we have London. It’s still a small number so it doesn’t mean a lot. And for the Boikafe project the listening locality is way more diverse because it’s a more international project. 

MXF: And Boikafe is the one released on the French label, right?

J: Yeah. It’s focused on a wider audience, since it’s club music. Also it’s been promoted more, played on international radio stations for example.

MXF: Did you deliberately create these two projects so that one would be without the Lithuanian lyrics and aimed at a global audience and the other one would be more local?

J: I think it has more to do with the genres of these projects. Justicious is a main project where I can let it all out and be mainstream and do whatever I want. Boikafe is club music and, with that project being instrumental and club-related, it attracted a certain audience. Maybe it reaches a wider public because it’s instrumental-only. 

MXF: But that wasn’t your intention, it’s just how it turned out?

J: I’d say 50/50 but probably yeah – it just happened.

MXF: How do you try to find new audiences?

J: I haven’t recently because my output as a creator has slowed down lately. I’ve been taking things slow and creating new music in a very slow manner. So I’m not really focusing on the audience right now. I guess you could say I’m trying to find new audiences by singing in Lithuanian because it’s a completely new sound for me. So the Justicious project brought some new audience I suppose but it wasn’t intentional.

MXF: And I guess you don’t have plans for an upcoming tour or a concert if you’re just taking things slow in the studio now?

J: Not right now.

MXF: If you were thinking about doing a concert though – how would you find the right place?

J: I guess I would start with a really small venue and a supporting act because I have never performed live as a solo artist. So the first time would probably be a failure. At the moment, I keep DJing and not rushing into performing live.

MXF: But then your music is still going internationally even without you doing any international promotion?

J: Yeah.

MXF: So you’re just on the Internet and that’s working internationally anyway?

J: Mostly yeah. I haven’t done any touring with Boikafe except for the Baltic States so my international performances, which were mostly DJ sets, were in Latvia and Estonia. 

MXF: So the French label found you on the Internet and not in a gig?

J: Yeah, I just emailed some DJs, labels and radios,sent stuff around and that’s how they found me. Now it still keeps rolling on Bandcamp, via some purchases, tracklists of other DJs, etc.

MXF: Do you think that your music is part of a musical scene?

J: I think that most of my music falls into a grey area between genres. But I’d say my latest release as Justicious falls into the hyperpop category. It’s not raw hyperpop but it definitely has some influence.

MXF: Is that a popular scene in Lithuania as well?

J: It’s kind of is, right now it’s popping.

MXF: Okay. That was Justicious, so what about Boikafe? 

J: My last releases could fall under breaks/electro genres. So I guess it kind of falls into that scene and into the local night scene and what places like Lizdas represent.

MXF: And what would be quite a home-grown local scene?

J: Yeah, I suppose. I’d say I’m a bit of an outsider within the scene, I don’t get involved too much but I’m still related to all that.

MXF: So it’s again heavily related to the Internet right? You’re finding your influences and making connections online rather than going to your local bar?

J: Yeah, I find my DJ gigs online mostly.

MXF: Do you draw some inspiration from your local scene? That would be Vilnius in this case. 

J: I suppose I do. As I’ve said, the hyperpop scene in Vilnius is very fresh and I’d say influential. There’s an important quote said by the infamous Kanye West: “Listen to the kids.” If the younger audience is digging it, then it’s the right thing to do (laughs). I think the younger audience shows the path for the older audience. For Boikafe, I grew up alongside DJ JM who is now big and international. So he is a big influence and his success became a big inspiration for me.

MXF: And that’s his success internationally and not just in your local scene?

J: Yeah.

MXF: Okay, that is all of the questions and I’m really grateful for that. There were some interesting aspects that we haven’t heard from anyone else. And it’s good to hear what you’re doing anyway, so thank you!