Toronto, ON _ While interviewing artists and other entertainers is always something I enjoy doing, I often find it more rewarding to pick the brains of the people behind the scenes. Raoul S. Juneja is someone I only just recently met but I was eager to feature his story on HipHopCanada. Juneja, who also goes by the moniker Deejay Ra, is a Music Coordinator for OMNI TV’s V-Mix which is billed as “Canada’s first national TV show covering contemporary South Asian artists and music videos, while also providing indie Canadian musicians and amateur performers a platform to showcase themselves.” Each episode features 75 – 100% Canadian content and the show is now in it’s second season.
But V-Mix is just one of many interesting and impressive experiences that can be found on Juneja’s résumé. He’s got various connections to the late great Tupac Shakur’s legacy including being the lone Canadian in a Makaveli Branded ad campaign and working with Pac’s stepfather, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, on A 2Pac Tribute: Dare 2 Struggle. He’s supported an immense amount of Canadian talent and continues to bridge artists, DJs, entrepreneurs and activists together.
He’s also taken great steps to improve Canadian literacy rates. His Hip-Hop Literacy program was founded back in February 2004 as an alternative method to encouraging elementary and high school students to read. The target was identifying students who negatively associated reading with studying and getting them to read books by or about musicians/artists, as well as books that had been made into popular movies. The program has received a huge amount of support from the entertainment industry including actors like Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Leon (Above The Rim), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs), Maria Conchita Alonso (Colors), Jasmine Guy (Harlem Nights), Bill Cobbs (New Jack City), best-selling crime novelist Elmore Leonard, Stan Lee (creator of Spider-Man and X-Men, to name a few), and more.
There’s many different facets to Juneja’s involvement and support for the scene. From penning articles for newspapers (Globe & Mail) and hosting radio shows, to being the very first veejay featured in the HipHopCanada-sponsored Legends of the Fame hip-hop trading card series, Deejay Ra’s story is as unique as they come. It’s got details that give you a peek into his international aspirations, his massive network of contacts, and his fundamental love for hip-hop culture… like the time he finally met a friend in person for the first time, Tupac’s brother Mopreme Shakur, while attending the LA-based funeral for seminal Tupac producer Johnny “J” Jackson. And he’s got many more stories with intriguing opening lines… we’re just scratching the surface.
Check out HipHopCanada.com’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Raoul S. Juneja aka Deejay Ra after the jump.
Raoul S. Juneja (aka Deejay Ra) with V-Mix host Dilshad Burman
Click to Continue »