Mojo Juju talks identity, Native Tongue and growing up with Pauline Hanson

July 24th 2018

  • Mojo Juju :: Interview with Darren Lesaguis on Arvos

Having just announced her third solo album and released title single Native Tongue, Mojo Juju came into the FBi studios for a captivating conversation and soulful live song, on Arvos with Darren Lesaguis.

For over 10 years, First Nations-Filipino singer/songwriter Mojo Juju has been telling stories through music. Since taking the solo road Mojo has stopped caring about what people think of her art – stopped self-censoring – and this freedom is working for her. Mojo was named-checked so many times during our NAIDOC Week celebrations as an Indigenous artist doing important things, and this notoriety is spreading.

Mojo says she has grown and changed immensely as an artist since her last release.

“My second solo album felt like my first attempt at what it was like to go solo and redefine who I am as an artist. I was a little bit tentative and a little bit scared, and I wasn’t as sure of the vision, or as confident or assertive to say what I wanted. This album is me stepping into myself and owning it, this is the album I’ve been wanting to deliver for a while.”

Darren and Mojo also delved into their personal experiences as people of colour growing up in Australia.

“As a young child, I remember being in the playground being taunted, and I think anyone out there that grew up Asian in Australia during the 80’s and 90’s knows that Asians were often public enemy number one. I went through puberty when Pauline Hanson became a household name, and I came of age under the government of John Howard. It wasn’t a time that was particularly favourable for any kind of migrant family. And I don’t think it’s changed all that much, the focus has just changed to different identities.”

There’s plenty more about searching for identity, how representation impacts future generations and about the fire new clip for Native Tongue. Listen to the whole chat up top, as well as a stirring stripped back version of ‘Shut Your Mouth’ performed live in the studio.

WHO: Mojo Juju
WHAT: Native Tongue: stories and songs from the soon-to-be-released album
WHERE: Sydney Opera House
WHEN: Sunday 19 August, 7.30pm



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