Occasionally as professional musician it’s possible to get swept away from the personal connection of the creativity by the business of the industry, which is something Melbourne’s Mojo Ruiz de Luzuriaga (aka Mojo Juju) actively fought against with her upcoming record Native Tongue.
“Making music is really personal for me and I think you can get caught up in the industry of it when you’re doing it professionally,” explained Mojo. However Mojo had very different motivations when entering the creative process for Native Tongue, “This journey and experience was for me, I wasn’t doing it because I felt like I needed or wanted to make a statement, I simply wanted to reconnect with my family, my culture and my art-form.”
By entering the creative process with these motivations in mind Mojo has been able to create a record which mercilessly attacks the institutionalised prejudices she has faced in the past as a mixed race, queer woman who has felt ostracised within the community.
“I was ready to tell my personal story because I had reached that point where it was really hard to seperate the political from the personal,” Mojo said before adding, “The conversation around identity politics can often be framed in a very academic way which means we lose the humanity of these stories and the people it actually affects.”
With this being Mojo Juju’s third album you would assume confidence would be at an all time high, despite now exploring potentially unsettling subject matter. That was not the case though according to Mojo.
“I actually thought there was the potential that I would alienate my fanbase slightly.”
This fear never slowed Mojo’s drive though.
“I felt like I was taking a risk and for the first time in a long time I was really excited about the record that I was making because this is the record I wish I had heard when I was younger.”
During the course of taking this leap of faith Mojo said she has felt, “supported, encouraged and embraced by different parts of the community.” This has fostered a new found self-confidence which she will be carrying into future projects, “I’ve definitely opened the door to being confident, honest and intimate in a way that I hadn’t before.”
Mojo’s first opportunity to tap into this confidence comes this weekend when she performs a special album previous show in the iconic Sydney Opera House.
“It sounds silly because the Opera House is so big but this feels like an opportunity for us to do something really intimate and give context to the songs by sharing the stories behind them.” Mojo said. “To be able to do that in such a prestigious and renowned space is an honour.”
Aug 19. Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney. $28-$35+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.sydneyoperahouse.com