ARIA-nominated Mojo Juju returns to Queensland in November with her Native Tongue concert. QN Magazine caught up with Mojo in advance of the show.
In Native Tongue, Mojo Juju contemplates her mother’s Indigenous heritage, her father’s experience as a Filipino immigrant and her own place in the cultural landscape of modern Australia.
“I was fed up with a lot of things that I was experiencing.
“I wanted to address them head on.
“But, I also wanted to tell my family story – the stories of my elders – while I was able to hear from them firsthand.”
Telling her family story includes telling her own story. What is it like as a queer woman of colour in the Australian music industry?
“I was already very visible in that respect. I was already dealing with people’s prejudices.”
Mojo says she dealt with prejudice most of her life.
“I think I got to a point where I no longer cared what other people thought about that. I was ready to step into all aspects of my identity proudly and not try to hold back in order to spare someone else feeling confronted by who I am.
“And sure, I’ve had moments where it’s felt like a lot, it’s felt like too much, but actually I’m glad I did it.”
Mojo Juju performs ‘Treaty’ with Yothu Yindi
At this year’s Byron Bay Bluesfest Mojo joined Yothu Yindi onstage in a performance of their iconic Australian song ‘Treaty’.
“I was in my dressing room all sweaty after my set and wanting to get changed.
“All I had with me was a clean t-shirt and a pair of pyjama pants, so I changed into them and sent the rest of my belongings into the artist lock-up for the night.
“Moments later Yothu Yindi knocked on the door and asked me to perform ‘Treaty’ with them.
“Of course, I couldn’t say no. I was thrilled, but I had to go onstage in pyjamas and a pair of gumboots as all my other clothes were gone.
“So that just added to how surreal that moment was. It was almost like an out of body experience. I have so much reverence for them. I was 8 years old when that song came out and I loved it then just as much as I do now.
“And it resonates sadly because nothing much has changed. It’s such a powerful song and I felt deeply honoured to stand on stage with them and sing it.”
Of course, in addition to her songwriting, Mojo is an amazing musician with killer vocals and famed for her live performances.
Native Tongue blends Soul, RnB, Blues and Hip Hop in Mojo’s musical journey to self-discovery.
“You can expect to see me perform what I consider my most meaningful work yet.
“This material means a great deal to me and I look forward to sharing it with you and giving insight into the stories behind the songs.
“This is a very personal show and I’ll share more of myself and my story than ever before.”
“I’m also inviting a cast of guest performers on to the stage… but I’m gonna leave the details as a bit of a surprise for you.
“But honestly, I think we have pulled together the best show I have ever performed.”
MOJO JUJU: NATIVE TONGUE
19 Nov 2019 7:30pm
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