Today marks the release of Melbourne artist Mojo Juju’s highly anticipated and incredibly personal third studio album Native Tongue out via ABC Music / UMA.
Garnering rave reviews for her brutally honest title track ‘Native Tongue’, and amassing new fans along the way, Mojo’s star is on the rise with NATIVE TONGUE picking up feature albums across Double J, PBS, RTR and Edge Radio, as well as just being announced as support for Paul Kelly’s ‘Making Gravy’ Tour in Brisbane & Melbourne.
Sitting down with SBS The Feed, Mojo discussed the importance of telling her family story through the album to gain a better understanding of who she is as a person and as an artist.
Mojo explains: “This album is about my relationships with Ancestry and Elders and how family history has informed a great deal of who I am. In a lot of ways, I wrote this album for my younger self, because as a kid growing up in regional Australia, I would have benefit so greatly from having heard more stories from, by or about other people of colour, queer people, people like me. I wanted this to be an album for First Nations People, 1st generations, 2nd generations and 3rd Culture kids.”
To coincide with the release, she has announced a massive 21 date national tour which sees her set off across the country from September through November, playing major cities and regional towns.
Mojo has partnered up with PLUS1 for the tour, a charity that supports Aboriginal Legal Service, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to provide culturally appropriate legal services, influence positive change, and increase access to justice. For each ticket sold, there will be $1 added on which will go towards PLUS1 to help make a difference.
NATIVE TONGUE is a fitting title for the third studio album from Mojo Juju and it is her very essence laid bare. It is raw, honest, emotional and intrinsically political. It is also brutal and relentlessly real.
Through the telling of family history and her own personal experiences, Juju explores her relationships with Elders and Ancestry and how that informs her own identity. Contemplating her Mother’s Indigenous heritage, her Father’s experience as a Filipino immigrant and her own place in the cultural landscape of modern Australia, it is an album about self-discovery and it is her most sincere, heartfelt and personal offering to date.
Stylistically, Juju once again embarks on new territory through collaborations with multiple producers; Steven Schram (Paul Kelly), Joel Ma (a.k.a. Joelistics), jnbo (The Cactus Channel) and Jamieson Shaw (Netflix series ‘The Get Down’) and includes a number of features from an eclectic array of guests; Hip Hop MC Mirrah (L-Fresh The Lion), soul music royalty Joshua Tavares and spoken word artist Lay the Mystic.
This time around Juju has taken her eclectic influences and created a seamless and authentically original sound, continuing her dedication to bucking labels, bending genres and doing her own thing. Perhaps the manifold musical incarnations of Juju are symbolic of the manifold pieces that make up her identity. Perhaps this unique blend of soul, r’n’b, blues & hip-hop is in fact her ‘Native Tongue’.