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Juju is a German rapper and singer from Berlin, who has been known since 2014 first as part of the duo SXTN and then as a solo artist. She has released several number one singles and was named Best German Artist at the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards.
Juju was born Judith Wessendorf on November 20th in Berlin. Her mother is German and her father is Moroccan, who was hardly present during her childhood. She grew up in the Berlin district of Neukölln, which is known for its great cultural diversity and is often perceived as a social hot spot. Juju herself only hints at her growing up, but speaks in interviews of “catastrophic” circumstances and experiences with domestic violence. After unsuccessfully contacting the youth welfare office, she moved in with friends at the age of 16. She dropped out of high school and finished school with a high school diploma. Musically, she was influenced early on by rappers like Bushido, Savas, Sido, but also Eminem, and began rapping privately at the age of 14.
Acquaintances from her environment quickly noticed her talent and produced the first tracks with her. At first she was the only woman in her musical environment and had to learn to gain respect on her own. When they first met the singer and rapper Nura, the two hit it off so well that they founded the duo SXTN in 2014. The first single “Deine Mutter” was released in 2015, followed a year later by the EP “Asocialization Program”, which brought the duo attention throughout Germany. SXTN reached their highest chart position (81) in 2017 with the single “Von Party zu Party”, which reached gold status. Collaborations with well-known acts such as Haftbefehl and Frauenarzt gave the rappers further popularity in the rap scene. SXTN also became known to a mainstream audience through major festival appearances and appearances on public radio. From 2018 both Juju and Nura worked more on solo projects, in 2019 the duo officially separated. Juju’s solo career picked up even more momentum. The single “Melodien”, which she recorded with Capital Bra, reached number one in the single charts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2018. With the AnnenMayKantereit singer Henning May she released the single “Vermissen” in 2019, which also made it to the top of the charts and reached platinum status. To crown the successful year, she was honored as “Best German Artist” at the MTV Europe Music Awards and received the 1 live crown for “Best Female Artist” and “Best Single” for “Missing”.
2017: two top 100 singles with SXTN (“Bongzimmer”, “Von Party zu Party”
2018: 8th place in the German album charts with the SXTN debut album “Leben am Limit”
2018: From Party to Party reaches Gold status
2018: First number one on the singles chart with “Melodien”
2019: “Missing” achieves platinum status
2019: Awarded “Best German Artist” at the MTV Europe Music Awards
“I didn’t go to school that often, but rapping is easy for me
Squeezing a few words to the beat is easier for me than eating
You watch me and you think: ‘That whore there is much better than me’
I’m Juju44, Digga, remember my name!”
“I’m too drunk, can’t do an Insta story, but I’ll do it
Deleting hangovers the next day is my specialty”
“I want to focus on my own music now. Finally found a nice studio and started my album. I celebrate everything Nura has put out in the way of songs so far and wish her continued success and doing her thing!”
The achievement of being able to assert oneself as a woman in the German rap scene can be classified as high in itself. Also reflecting her special status, the last solo artist her age to have number one success was Sabrina Setlur in 1997.