When Google programmers were working on the algorithm to line related videos on YouTube’s side-bar, they probably never imagined the same algorithm intended to merely recommend similar interests to users would come with a major loophole. Amidst calls for streaming giant, YouTube to pull down re-uploaded versions of original content from unofficial, the platform continues to suffer from an open sharing format that allows literally any kind of content to find an audience on YouTube. Today navigating YouTube requires a precarious process of litmus-testing for authenticity, because one wrong click can lead you a to click bait.
Interestingly this is how I found Juju Boy, through a clickbait masqueraded as Wizkid’s latest collaboration with Future, “Everytime”. I almost closed the tab the moment I realised I was not listening to the real Starboy but I hung on for a while longer after hearing the first string of melody Juju Boy latches on to. Under the post, I saw that there was a download link added below the YouTube player, a click-through unveiled the track to be a cover of French Montana’s “Unforgettable” with no other information but Juju Boy’s Instagram username.
Juju Boy combines elements and mannerisms from Wizkid’s earlier years with some of his more recent Carribean leanings. The idea seems simple enough, especially since other Wizkid clones like Ceeza Milli have been languishing in the underbelly of the industry for the past two years, but Juju Boy easily outdoes the Starboy and his many clones with a more precise melody-based composition technique. Admittedly, Juju Boy’s version of “Unforgettable” is not the prettiest mix, but the track is solidified by melding together all of the most nostalgic elements of Afropop from the early 2010s.
It is noteworthy that Juju Boy’s story is not peculiar. He’s one of many hopefuls who are banking on the discovery by spamming fans of some already known names with fake uploads, a distasteful means of cheap self-promotion that often annoys fans rather than encourage them to check out a new artist. Funnily, comments from the video upload have not only indicated favourable reception, some listeners couldn’t even tell they were not listening to Wizkid. Perhaps, with a bit of shine to his own name, this could be the turning point in Juju Boy’s career.
Download Juju Boy’s “Unforgettable” cover here.