Diaspora, identity, language and multiculturalism are bundled together in Mojo Juju’s single Native Tongue. Framing uncertainty and tension with support from The Pasefika Vitoria Choir, the track emanates the essence and struggle for identity in an era where the cultural boundaries aren’t so clear.
Framed in a classic blues style, the choirs forebodingly strong vocals guide Mojo Juju’s frank admissions of being born “under the southern sun” and not speaking “her father’s native tongue”.
While the bluesy feel of Native Tongue does play out a rustic melancholia, it’s not a sad confession to identity confusion. Mojo Juju instead gives out a frank, even defiant admission of the interplay of cultures that exist within her as a musical artist.
There is a real, honest soul to the song. A careful balance between recognising the importance of an individual finding their place in the world, while at the same time addressing, almost reconciling, the emotional challenges that come with such a search.
From start to finish Mojo Juju packages and unravels these issues deftly. Artfully carrying the realism of the age of interculturalism as a beautiful mess that shouldn’t be trivialised.
It’s a fuck you. It’s a celebration. It’s a statement.
Mojo Juju’s latest single Native Tongue is out now.