The choice for this week’s Mosaic feature was easy and can be summed up in two words: Jojo Abot. We’ve had her music on replay – especially when cooking! – but that’s not all she does. From acting(lead actress in Kwaku Ananse), to style (Gold Coast Art House, formerly VintageGH), to business, and now music, Ms. Abot has proven that she’s not just a trendsetter, but a versatile creative who hones in on often overlooked cultural elements and opportunities, while exploring her many sides.
She recently released videos of live performances of songs (see below) off her upcoming extended play (EP) titled Fyfya Woto. Her music has been described by the website OkayAfrica as “hypnotic…vulnerable yet willful” and we have to agree, we’re spellbound. Jojo sings in a mix of English and Ewe, staying true to her roots and experience living in Ghana and abroad. According to her OkayAfrica interview, her debut is inspired by her grandmother Fyfya Woto (Ewe, meaning “it has just been invented”) and pays homage to her. She also has an interesting take on the creation vs. discovery debate:
“I believe in order for something to be discovered, it must first exist. Fyfya Woto exists in every one of us- in fragments and [as a] whole and it is what binds us as a family and as women. [My grandmother’s] fighting spirit and desire to live a life that breaks the cycle is what inspired this record’s title and story.”
Like Senegal’s Youssou N’Dour, Jojo’s rich voice and poetic lyrics extend beyond the limitations of language – you feel it to understand it. Undoubtedly, Jojo Abot is one to watch – in neo-afro soul, afro-jazz, and – given her tendency for adventure – who knows what else. Ladies & gentlemen, Jojo Abot:
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.