Juhi knew what her passion was by age 12. It happened at summer camp, a pivotal day in the young girl’s life that would shape her and help her discover what she is made of.
She was at a music camp outside of Nashville and had to perform two cover songs with a band. So like any 12-year-old girl would, she picked Red Hot Chili Peppers and Led Zeppelin. It was during her performance of “Whole Lotta Love” that something just came over her. She climbed up on the drum riser, jumped off, slid on her knees across the stage and threw out a power note.
“That was the craziest thing I’d ever done,” Juhi said. “That opened me up to being comfortable in front of an audience. You can never really capture that feeling again. I was like ‘what did I just do?’”
She doesn’t even remember how she came up with the idea to do it. She wanted to test the waters, shake things up a bit. That was five years ago and she hasn’t stopped shaking things up musically ever since.
Throughout high school, Juhi has performed all over Nashville – anywhere a teenager can legally play – and has honed her vocal gift and guitar chops into something all her own. By 16 she had auditioned for, and landed a spot on, NBC’s The Voice -- where she was chosen by CeeLo Green, stolen by Adam Levine, wanted by Christina Aguilera and lauded by all the judges for her strong voice and maturity for her age.
Even though her stint on TV was short lived, in typical Juhi fashion, she came home with a phone full of new friends, a great experience under her belt and a great story to tell her grandkids someday. Where many teens might wallow in the misery of missing their big moment, Juhi picked up her guitar and started writing songs.
Shortly after that, she met producer Adam Smith (Colbie Caillat, Randy Jackson). The two got together for a co-write and ended up writing five songs together and producing Juhi’s first EP, released in February 2014 and titled Stress Case.
“The first time I came in to write with him, he had this track done that was so cool,” she said. “I wrote some lyrics to it and that became the song Tomorrow Night. It’s more dancey and poppy than I typically like to do, but I took a shot at it and ended up really liking it.”
“I had no idea what to expect when Juhi first came into my studio,” Smith said. “But I was so blown away not only by her singing and writing ability, but she’s a full on guitar player. She's definitely the real deal.”
In addition to being all those things, Juhi is also a self-confessed stress case. Erratic mess. Chicken Little. All terms she uses to describe herself during this crazy time in her life.
“I am always a stress case. It’s who I am,” she says. “If I want this album to be who I am then I need to be honest. So that’s how we came up with the name.”
What the two ended up with, Juhi describes as “… an eclectic mix of awesome and zest.”
“Everything we ended up doing is something I really like. I helped write all those songs. It was just Adam and me so there was a lot of influence on my part. I really love the songs,” she says.
“They are my babies and I just hope people like them as much as I do. I want people to understand my identity. It’s just me. I’m Juhi.”