The Melbourne musician formerly known as Mojo Juju has announced today (February 18) she will now perform as Mo’Ju.
The artist – real name Mojo Ruiz de Luzuriaga – shared the news in an early morning press release, citing respect for the spiritual meaning of the word “Juju” in a range of Indigenous languages.
“For around the last 15 years Juje and/or Juju has been the nickname of choice for some of the closest people in my life,” Luzuriaga writes.
“And thus, by combining my two names, ‘Mojo Juju’ was born. A name that allowed me to draw upon the strength and support of all my loved ones when I walked onstage.
“In my early career I had always thought the mystery around [my name] was more interesting than the truth. But we’ve come far since then and I have shared so much of my true self with you all in the last few years.”
Luzuriaga’s research into the etymology of “Juju” led her to discover its spiritual meaning in several Indigenous languages, and the West African Yoruba language.
“It appears that in the Banuba Country in the Kimberlys, Juju is the word for a particular type of narrative driven dance performance. In the Kuku-Yalanji language, which is spoken in Far North Queensland/Cape York area, ju-ju is the word for blood,” Luzuriaga writes.
“Despite my own very personal connection to this word and the many varied meanings that these sounds convey, it is out of respect for this spirituality, its divine origins, connections with nature and the Ancestors, and for the people who practice them, that I no longer feel that it is appropriate for me to continue performing under this name.”
Luzuriaga’s management are changing her artist name on streaming services, but told NME Australia it is a “a lengthy process”. The artist’s website already sports a new logo, and reads “MO’JU (F.K.A. MOJO JUJU)”.
Mo’Ju’s last release came in November in the form of ‘Ghost Town’, a collaborative EP with Joelistics. Her 2018 album ‘Native Tongue’ was nominated for an ARIA Award for Best Urban Release. It also earned her an ARIA nomination for Breakthrough Artist.