2018 saw Native Tongue, Mojo Juju’s enthralling critique of cultural identity in Australia, hit shelves. From the moment the first single dropped, she was embarking on headline tours, hitting some of the country’s best festivals, and earning a score of new fans along the way.
Now with arguably her biggest year ever wrapped, Mojo is already looking ahead. Before she hits her first show of 2019 at St Kilda Festival, we caught up for a chat.
Before her set at St Kilda Festival, we sat down with Mojo Juju to find out what 2019 has in store.
HAPPY: Hey, how are things? What are you up to at the moment?
MOJO JUJU: Things are great. At the moment? Just trying to take a little down time. 2018 was huge and 2019 looks like it’s gonna be pretty big. I feel like in the eye of the storm, so just enjoying the calm. Writing tunes and hanging out with good peeps.
HAPPY: We’ve loved seeing Native Tongue on all these end-of-year lists. How has it been, seeing that track get a second run as the year closes?
MOJO JUJU: Oh it’s really nice. You know, I never expected any of it, so it’s really lovely to see it doing so well. It’s like raising up a little baby bird and setting it off into the wild. It’s good to know it’s surviving out there but I feel like it’s outta my hands, that song is it’s own entity now.
HAPPY: Do you believe that music is inherently political or do you have to work to make music a form of activism?
MOJO JUJU: Well, it’s all political. If it’s personal, it’s political. If you have the luxury to choose not to ‘be political’ that’s also political. It is inherently so.
HAPPY: How long has music been a part of your life for?
MOJO JUJU: Forever. I was raised in a musical household. The love of music was instilled in me from day one.
HAPPY: Do you think that your attitude towards music has changed in recent years?
MOJO JUJU: Hmm. In a way. It’s changed in that I worry less about whether people will like what I do. And I’m learning to trust my instincts and just follow the muse.
HAPPY: Being hyper-personal, was Native Tongue a difficult album to release to the masses?
MOJO JUJU: Well, I had fairly low expectations for how it would be received, so I think I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. It was a difficult time in my life when I released it, but the actual release itself wasn’t hard, it was a relief!
HAPPY: Do you think it’s easier to be a female of colour making music in Australia than in past years or is there still a long way to go?
MOJO JUJU: There’s still a ways to go, but it’s definitely starting to change.
HAPPY: HAPPY: What is something at people would be surprised to learn about you?
MOJO JUJU: That I love kick-boxing. That’s my hobby of choice when I’m not on the road.
HAPPY: Next year you have St Kilda Festival on the cards, any other live appearances that we can look forward to?
MOJO JUJU: We a pretty booked out until mid May, so yeah there’s lots of shows coming. Then I’m gonna have a proper holiday!! But also, stay tuned for new music… that’s my goal for 2019. I’ve got songs I need to share.
Mojo Juju’s live 2019 is kicking off with the massive St Kilda Festival and a few choice appearances. Check out her tour dates below.
Sun 10 Feb – St Kilda Festival – St Kilda, Melbourne – Details
Fri 15 Feb – Gaytimes 2019 – Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, Marysville
Thu 21 Feb – Taronga Zoo, Sydney
Sat 23 Feb – Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne
Thu 18 Apr – Mon 22 Apr – Byron Bay Bluesfest – Byron Bay
Thu 25 Apr – Sun 28 Apr – The Gum Ball – Dashville, Hunter Valley