With 2022 upon us many are looking ahead to Mardi Gras already, this week the first performer, Mo’Ju, has been announced.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will again return to the Sydney Cricket Ground this year.
However, the organization has announced plans to return to the Sydney streets in 2023.
Michael James sat down to talk with Mo’Ju about their upcoming performance.
Mo’Ju: Mardi Gras is going to be an amazing stadium show
Mo’Ju is an incredibly talented artist. Having been nominated for an ARIA they are best known for their single and album Native Tongue.
They have toured with international artists, had their work featured on television, and performed for over 15 years.
Mo’Ju speaks proudly through their music and performance about the importance of their identity of being Wiradjuri, Filipino, and Queer.
Speaking ahead of the announcement Mo’Ju is pumped for the 2022 Mardi Gras event.
“I’m very excited! I’m so excited I haven’t really played gigs at Mardi Gras before. I’ve played at parties and done stuff like that but I’ve never actually been part of the official lineup celebration.”
“So that’s pretty exciting to me. It’s a big deal” they gushed.
Last year Mo’Ju missed out on attending Mardi Gras for one big reason, they had a baby!
In the midst of lockdown, it was a big change for them. But a great one nonetheless.
“It changed a lot of things for me and yeah, I missed out on quite a few parties, but that was the biggest.”
2022 is definitely making up for it as Mo’Ju will be the opening performer at the parade.
The event will again take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which brings about mixed feelings for many, but Mo’Ju is confident they will still deliver an amazing event.
“I think our communities have always been great at adapting to whatever adversities and challenges they face.”
“They can make the most of a situation and bring the party, so we know it’s gonna be a good time.”
“There’s a little part of me that’s like, ‘oh we’re not gonna be on a street?’ But I know it’s gonna be special. It’s going to be a stadium show, it’ll be amazing.”
“It’s important to me to represent all the different intersecting parts of my identity.”
Through their work Mo’Ju has always had a strong voice about their identity and culture.
Being such a visual part of the 2022 Mardi Gras event is a huge honour for Mo’Ju, something they value proudly.
“For me being visible has always been a responsibility that I’m really proud to take on.”
Their presence at the event is important for them to provide younger people like themself to look up to.
“To be that person that I think I was looking for as a kid, trying to see someone like me reflected back at me.”
“Whenever I’m stepping into an event or show like this there is a part of me that feels the gravity of that.
“It’s an honour, it’s a huge honour.”
“I think that’s why it’s important to me to represent all the different intersecting parts of my identity. To hold a space for people like me.
“It’s a pretty great time to be part of things like this.”
What’s next for Mo’Ju?
After the 2022 Mardi Gras, it doesn’t stop for this incredibly talented artist.
As they leap into 2022 opportunities are coming at them left right and centre.
They were recently announced as part of the Fantabulosa event headlined by Boy George in 2022.
Further to this, they’ve dropped their recent EP OK.
“It was a cool little project to do, It was a record that I wrote for myself not intending to release into the world.”
“It’s a lot about mental health and some stuff I was going through myself. I wrote it for myself, I didn’t think anyone was going to hear it.”
“Then all of a sudden during lockdown number four, the opportunity came up to put out a record and I was like ‘You know what I think I’ve processed all those feelings and I can let go of them.’
Not content with one release, Mo’Ju has another on the way.
“I’m also really close to releasing another record. It’s my first full-length record since Native Tongue.”
“There are other exciting things I can’t wait to unveil next year.”
It’s sure to be an exciting year for Mo’Ju, catch them at Mardi Gras and follow all their work online.
Watch our full interview with Mo’Ju below.
Get your tickets to the 2022 Mardi Gras Parade at mardigras.org.au
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