New from Ghana: Jojo Abot, the global fusionist and genre bending artist poised to take the world by storm with her uniquely coined Afro-Hyno-Sonic sound and otherworldly perspective. Have we mentioned she’s touring with Lauryn Hill later this year?
New birth – New discovery, or FYFYA WOTO as it is in called in her native Ewe, serves as the theme and title of what Jojo is all about as artist. Through this theme she sets out to explore the subject of “self” as a provocative tool in the discovery, exchange and evolution of identity.
Through music, Jojo challenges and provokes listeners to question the limitations of their inherited ideas and ideals of gender, class and race.
Swinging vicariously through hip-hop, Afrobeat, reggae and soul – evident on her EP, also titled FYFYA WOTO, she creates a certain kind of discomfort that makes one realize the “taught” judgements and hatred that was simply passed on to one generation to the next. She translates these “struggles” into her music through a combination of futuristic sounds and African rhythms and with her energy, originality and power forces listeners to empathize with both relatable and unfamiliar experiences and feelings. She ultimately builds the sonic framework that convinces one to want to mend a divided society.
On stage she continues to challenge people’s paradigms, and simply comes from the perspective that if things get a little heavy, take a break and come back. She wants the audience to feel good, but by their own accord. She doesn’t consider it her job to make anyone feel good, but rather encourages “retrospective”. She champions the discomfort that make one want to so something. And she doesn’t want anyone’s apologies either. “Fuck your apologies,” she told FolkFest, “I want you to remember this discomfort every day of your life.”
When not creating music, she puts her storytelling abilities onto another stage, currently working on a play with the same name, she further explores the idea of FYFYA WOTO.
Off the stage, Jojo turns to Nairobi, Kenya where she founded Afri-Na-Ladi, a multimedia collective that aims to create a community of young underground and alternative African artists. Through this she wishes to stress the importance for artists to have a safe space, especially for the fierce and ambitious artist, where honest feedback and support is essential. “I’m just tired of hearing that African artists don’t collaborate,” Afri-Na-Ladi is Jojo putting her money where her mouth is.
Eventually the plan is to create a global community of artists that hangs with each other. Currently, Jojo is travelling and collaborating with artists in NYC, LA, Stockholm and London as part of her FYFYA WOTO project tour, and excited to see what life hits her with next!
So are we.