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A Short Interview with Riça

José Leal, aka Riça, has been part of Juicy's family for a while now. He first got involved on issue #02 of THE JUCE Fanzine, being responsible for the cover artwork and a few more illustrations.
When we decided to create some comic strips for Roats Miguel new EP, Riça was my go-to man. The initial comic strips ultimately developed into a much bigger project: a full book that we are now releasing alongside the music. So what better time to introduce you to the artist behind all the heavy-graphic-lifting?

You've collaborated with us before as an illustrator for the fanzine, but this time it was a more complex project and one where you went solo. What were the main challenges?

Well, it was my very first big comic, so I had to apply a different method. I read Roats’ script, took notes about some visual references for the characters and scenarios and then started making some drafts. It was the most difficult part but at the same time the most interesting because I had to redraw a lot of details in the characters mainly while trying to make something slightly different from the big sci-fi references like Star Wars, Star Trek, Moebius, etc. And what a challenge it was...Speaking about that, I want to leave you a suggestion here: go watch "Jodorowsky's Dune” (2014). I like to watch it when I feel I will just copy the work of big masters haha.

Are you a comics fan? Are there any graphic novels or artists you follow and whose work you find influential in your own?

Yes I am, since kid. I started with the common stuff: Marvel and DC, newspaper strips from Calvin and Hobbes, Asterix and Obelix, Tintin. Then I went to Soares dos Reis Art School (Oporto, Portugal) and a big friend of mine started feeding me like Neo with martial arts. He introduced me to Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Dave McKean, Crumb, Moebius, Quino - you can easily spot those influences in my work.
But the ones I liked the most were these Brazillian guys - Angeli, Laerte and Glauco. Mind blow right there, they are crazy haha. Some time ago I discovered Breccia, Koike and Kojima. Amazing works.

You produce quite a diverse range of work. From record artwork to animated video, you seem to get involved in a lot of stuff. What gives you the most pleasure?

That's my main problem right now haha. On one side I feel I have to choose one or two passions so I can focus on them to become a master or, at the very least, really good at them. But on the other side I don't know which of them I should choose and maybe I don't want to choose none of them - I want them all.
It's really difficult to manage everything. Above of all, I like to do a lot of different stuff to expand my knowledge, experience, know more people and, mainly, to not get bored haha.

You're also a rapper with a focus on positive/conscious lyricism and quite politically active too. Do you think art and politics are always a good mix? Do you try and separate things, like leave the politics out of the graphic work and keep it just in the music?

Being political is part of my personality and I don't mean fighting for a party. In my everyday life I try to be aware of injustice and wrong attitudes and figure out ways to do something about it. Sometimes it is just a discussion, sometimes it's life choices like not eating meat/fish/dairy products and sometimes it's doing something with art to deliver a message, to give importance to something that most of us don't see.
So yeah, I like to mix it but I don't want to be the guy with the “political label”, not because there is something wrong with being political but because it's a label that simplifies the whole complexity of a living being. I think art, and even design, should not mix with politics when they are selling something suspicious - you know, fancy cheap slogans and shit.
And when I say politics I also say everyday products we buy. There’s a big difference between making something look better and helping to sell “snake oil”.

What other projects are you working in at the moment, or what recent projects are you most proud of?

At this moment I'm working on my debut album (stay tuned to Microfome facebook page). I'm in the recording process and starting to work on the design.
I also want to focus more on comics and animation. I had this daily strip comic project some years ago -https://www.facebook.com/ricaastiras - but now I want to make something different and more challenging. I also enjoyed a lot making this video with Hugo Morais for rapper Dom Rubirosa:


I hope to get another one like this soon, it's so amazing to see your drawings come to life with animation.
If you want to check it more of my work, here’s my behance page.

Order THE COSMIC BALLAD OF ROATS MIGUEL: Whispers in the Dark over at our webstore. The comic book comes with a download code for Roats Miguel Self-Titled debut EP.

Posted on September 21st, 2016
JUICY RECORDS @ GRRRL ZINE FAIR

We will have a stall at Grrrl Zine Fair at The Shacklewell Arms this Saturday, 10th September from 3-7pm.

Come and grab the latest issue of The Juice with the added bonus of avoiding shipping fees and hanging out with us + a bunch of other great DIY intersectional feminist, queer & punk publishers and zine makers.

Facebook event link here

It's FREE entry (suggested donation £3)

Posted on September 6th, 2016
JR #11: Roats Miguel - Self-Titled EP

South East London based sampling-producer Roats Miguel thrives in a duality of concepts. While his music brings to life an apocalyptic world in desperate need of a messiah, its sonic foundations are found in samples of his childhood memories, chopped and rearranged into collage-like beats - a sort of personal and reminiscent sonic playground.
Fascinated by sci-fi and armed with multi-instrumental skills, he created a 5 track debut EP that combines electronica with futuristic beat music, boasting Miguel’s singular compositional vision. Think LA Beat, think future garage, think outside the box.

EP will be out this September. Original cover artwork by Colombo Emeralds. Hear the opener track "He Has Returned" here.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE:
As you should know by now, we're really into our physical and DIY creations, so we decided to pair this new musical release with a Comic Book. Yeap, that's right. A comic book that further develops the concept of the release, showcases Miguel’s rich inner-world and sets the foundations for his mystic live performance. Roats co-wrote the story, Riça - from The JUICE Fanzine #02 cover fame - did all the illustration, and we're doing a release event to bring all of this to life.


Roats Miguel will be performing the EP in its entirety in his home turf, in Peckham's Rye Wax, a cosy venue that also has comic books and records for sale. Perfect match, right? This all will happen on September the 28th, and it's FREE ENTRY. More info on the event here.

You can pre-order everything here. Be aware that by buying the comic you get a download code for the music release.

Posted on August 30th, 2016
Los Padres Album Release

Photos by Anete Kaleja.

For all of you who couldn't make it and those who want to rehash some memories, here's a little taste of what went down last Thursday at the Sebright Arms in Hackney, London.

Roats Miguel set the mood and tested the limits of the P.A system, Los Padres followed and brought a few special guests to help them make the night memorable. Riffs, crazy drum loops, a lot of weird singing and knob turning. Headbanging was a constant.

The night was a success and we only have y'all to thank. It was truly heart-warming to have such a good turnout of people on a rainy Thursday just before a big holiday weekend with a tube strike on top. Your support and love is what motivates us and the artists to keep on sharing special moments like this with you.

Here's a live video of the boys playing "Kenny G":

Directed and edited by Jimmy @ Dark Room Video.

RED TAPES ARE NOW SOLD OUT, BUT still got quite a few of the light grey ones, so head to the webstore if you haven't picked up yours yet.

Posted on March 31st, 2016
Los Padres Tapes: Making-of

As you should know by now, we take our DIY ethics seriously. So when it came down to do the paintwork on Juicy's brand new 10th release, we got down and dirty with the band themselves. And now you can see the results on the picture gallery above.

With handwritten side A/B and colourful ink splatters and drips, no two tapes look the same. You can pre-order yours here, and if you're in London on the 24th of March you can buy advance tickets for our Album Release Concert here, which for now still secure you a limited red tape (not pictured).

Thanks to Anete for the pictures.

Posted on March 15th, 2016