ARIA-nominated musician Mojo Juju will return to Dubbo this weekend to perform at two DREAM Festival events.
Juju – also known as Mojo Ruiz de Luzuriaga – will play at Music + Markets after the Lantern Parade, as well as at Zoocoustic on Sunday. The musician, who grew up in Dubbo, admits she was eager to leave the city as a teenager but said she was looking forward to her performances.
“As a teenager I think I felt so out of place and spent so much time thinking about leaving. In all honesty I didn’t feel like there was any music scene going on and people didn’t understand me so I wanted to get out,” Juju said.
“I didn’t come back for a really long time or if I did I played it very low-key and just came to visit family and now I feel like Dubbo has changed a lot. I can see the change and I think maybe I’ve also changed and grown and I feel like that’s a really positive thing.”
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As a Filipino and Wiraduri queer woman, growing up Juju said she didn’t see people who looked like her or were telling her stories through their music.
“They didn’t some to Dubbo so it was quite isolating. But then I thought the only way it was going to change was for me to come to Dubbo. I didn’t like that when I was growing up and now I’m in a position to change that,” she said.
Mojo Juju has been nominated for three ARIAs: Video of the Year, Best Urban Release and Breakthrough Artist.
Juju said she she think it’s the honesty of Native Tongue that has caught the attention of the industry.
“There’s a commonality in the stories. Even though I’m telling really personal stories from my own life and my own family and history. they’re stories a lot of people in this country can relate to and you don’t kind of hear those kind of stories,” she said.
The politics of race and identity from a personal perspective is a key thread throughout the album. Juju said for the first time she felt more confident to express her feelings and experiences around her identity.
“I think I’d reached a certain point and a certain level of frustration too of being perceived a certain way. And I’ve realised now that it doesn’t really matter what I do or what I say, people are going to listen or they’re not going to listen, people are going to have prejudices or they’re not going to have prejudices,” she said.
“You kind of give up trying to satisfy everyone and you start trying to please yourself and that’s quite liberating.”
As a teenager I think I felt so out of place and spent so much time thinking about leaving. In all honesty I didn’t feel like there was any music scene going on and people didn’t understand me so I wanted to get out.Juju.
Following the DREAM Festival performances this weekend, Mojo Juju will head to Queensland to continue her Native Tongue tour. For every ticket purchased throughout the three-state tour $1 will be donated to the Aboriginal Legal Service through PLUS1.