MojoJojo, the Mastermind of Music, had released his maiden album last year. The DJ recently played at The Baleno Wicked Weekends at Summerhouse Café, where he enthralled us & other guests with his desi, yet global beats. The artist was also nominated for the GIMA Awards that saw his career take a giant leap towards instant stardom. So, if you haven’t yet heard of MojoJojo or his songs, hold on to your hooves, because your desi heart is going to get a desi rejig!
DforDelhi: Your new album Shots Fired has been critically acclaimed nationwide, did you ever think that you would see such success in such a short period of time?
MojoJojo: Its very kind you to say that because the scene in India is still very young, so there aren’t many critics in terms of those listening to my kind of music but sure, I’m really happy with the response I got after launching the album. Especially since I put in a lot of hard work into producing the songs & also launching it on an established label. So, it released a year back & what surprised me the most was the fact that after launching it, the album & the songs skyrocketed my career to a position that I had aspired to reach in the beginning of my career.
People did appreciate a lot of songs & their diversity. So, the great part is that people now have this expectation from me. And apart from being a producer, as a performer I got such a lot of attention that it has just been amazing. That being said, I really feel that there were certain things in the album that I could have changed in terms of production quality. So, my best is yet to come because 2017 will see some new, great tracks that will, hopefully, make Shots Fired a distant memory.
DforDelhi: So, we loved the song Yogic Jogging. But what song according to you or rather which song did you expect to hit all the right notes with your fans?
MojoJojo: You know the funny thing about Yogic Jogging was that it wasn’t even supposed to be in the album, I added the song at the last moment. Because it was a spoof track that I had done, so when I made the track I wasn’t really interested in putting it in the album. So, when I was finishing up the list of songs to be included at the back of the album cover, it was literally at that moment that I added the song. And surprisingly, Yogic Jogging some how became a type of cult song among people.
But to answer your question, I felt that Storm would be one song that would hit all the right notes among people. I, somehow, knew that people would appreciate that song because it comes from a very personal space in my life. A lot of emotional turmoil was involved in creating the song & surprisingly, the song got me nominated for the GIMA awards. It also became the most heard song from the album across the board. But, of course, other songs like Yogic Jogging & Thar Bomb were also songs that people loved. So, these were some songs that instantly became hits & of course, Yogic Jogging was the underdog that struck all the right notes.
But there were also some songs like Greed Is Good, a future trap song, that was highly appreciated by other producers in the fraternity. So, I got various insights from different people.
DforDelhi: Can you please elaborate on that emotional connect you had with Storm?
MojoJojo: The title, per se, explains that emotional connect. At the time I was going through a lot in my life, emotionally, however there were also some other songs that came from that emotional phase. Further, there are a couple of other songs – which will release in 2017 – that come from that same place. But even when you are producing songs there is a technicality & an emotionality that is always involved, so I think the emotional perspective always comes forward, somehow. But the emotion that I put into Storm still is much stronger than in any other song that I have written till now. Because at that time I didn’t pay much attention on the tempo or how it aligns with other songs during my sets, so it was definitely a deeply emotional song for me. So, with Storm there was no pre-planned agenda, it just came straight from my heart. And it was an amazing journey, I’m so glad that people loved it so much.
Also, Nepal was one song that I put a lot of emotion in. Mainly because when I was planning the song, I was also set to play in Nepal. Unfortunately the earthquake wreaked havoc in the country, but that only drove me to compose the song. So, it inspired me to concentrate on my emotional side, rather than get fixated on the DJ aspect of it.
So, these are some songs that I really invested in, emotionally.
DforDelhi: How does it feel to be playing at the Baleno Wicked Weekend? And how has your experience been with them earlier & otherwise, in other cities?
MojoJojo: This is my first gig with them, honestly, but its great that these people are trying to push the genre forward as well as underground music. Its nice to see how brands across the board are investing in festivals, properties & I.Ps when it comes to the alternative music scene. So, yeah I’m really happy that more & more gigs are taking place across cities in India. Because all this is leading to a STORM that will take over the music industry soon.
DforDelhi: We all know that you are from Delhi. So, what according to you is different about Delhi, specially since there are few festivals & concerts that take place here, as compared to other metro cities?
MojoJojo: I think with many festivals like EDC happening in Delhi, the city is slowly growing as a cultural hub for music. Anyway, Delhi has always been a boiling pot of various cultures & traditions that make it special. Further, I think people in Delhi have a very strong sense of what should be played at gigs & otherwise. But, of course, with festivals like Weekender happening in Delhi, the scene is only going to get stronger from here.
Besides, there is enough of an appetite amongst the youngsters here who want to listen to good music & also, push the envelope forward. So, it’s all about the setting & the timing of the gigs that matter.
DforDelhi: What’s your next destination in terms of playing sets, in India or otherwise?
MojoJojo: I’ll be playing in a lot of cities starting December. But the point is there is already so much happening like if you see Nucleya, he released his new album here in Delhi. So, things like that have really helped in pushing the envelope forward in terms of presenting new artists on different locations etc. So, if I as an artist go & pitch myself then brands will be wanting to work with me. So, since its such a big platform I want to take it slow. I don’t want to grow too fast too quickly.
DforDelhi: What according to you is the future of India in terms of the EDM scene in the country?
MojoJojo: I don’t think its limited to EDM mainly because Electronic Dance Music as a tag is so broad based. But because of the influence that western music has had in India its given rise to young producers who are willing to push the envelope forward by playing tracks that are beyond Bollywood music. Like Nucleya, me & NDS etc. See in the past, especially in the 90’s, people like Daler Mehndi and all were very popular in terms of the alternative music scene here. But now, in the bass category, people like me are really emerging & creating a paradigm shift in the music industry, which is both Indian & global.
So, I think music in general is progressing a lot here in India.
DforDelhi: The one thing that intrigues your fans the most, I think, is your stage name MojoJojo. So why MojoJojo?
MojoJojo: You know people ask me this question a lot. Jojo comes from my childhood & also my name that is Akshay Johar. So, as a kid my friends used to call me Jojo & when one of them offered me my first gig he told me that Akshay Johar is too filmy. From that point onwards my stage name became MojoJojo which is also reminiscent of childhood memories, MojoJojo the Mastermind.
DforDelhi: Is a new album or song in the pipeline, if yes, then when can we expect it?
MojoJojo: 2017 is going to be absolutely hectic because there are a lot of things that I have planned & you will see my new release sometime in January or February. All through the year I’ll be releasing songs & they are all going to be big projects. I don’t want to say too much right now but yeah, hold on to your hooves because 2017 is going to EPIC! I’m super excited about it.
DforDelhi: Any special message to your fans out there?
MojoJojo: I can’t wait for you guys to hear my new songs that I will release in 2017, & I hope that it tickles your musical senses just as much as it did mine. So, yeah wait for a while because I’m super excited & I hope that you guys love my new songs just as you loved the ones in Shots Fired.
So, hold on to your hooves & wait for 2017 to come!