An author interpreter, multi instrumentalist father. A singer/stylist mother with musician children. This is the cocoon that birthed this Congolese & French singer-songwriter growing up in Paris. A bubble where music was omnipresent and natural. Then came the time the desire to perfect her R&B skills like the artists who rocked her teenage years led her to USA for a couple of years. Her hard work created the opportunity for her to sing on a few American stages and collaborate with some Californian producers. Back to Paris, she decided to work on her first project.
This is how Jungle Jo fashioned ‘BROWN FICTION’. A short sonic testimony depicting her emotional state as a Black woman in the actual society. Her due, her fears, her hopes. A lyrically engaged E.P, benevolent with strong positions
What inspired you to begin a career in music?
I was born and raised in a musician family. My father is a Congolese singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. My older brother embraced the same career and is an established artist and my other siblings and I naturally followed through. My mom used to be background singer for my dad and style all his shows. My childhood was musically epic. I remember trying to hit the right notes at 4 years old looking at my mom for approval during my dad’s rehearsals so it has always been really natural for me to follow this path growing. My dad’s energy did it for me, it literally rubbed off on me.
What differs you and your sound from other upcoming artists in the music industry?
Being raised with music as a core in my family has given me a true insight of what it takes and is to be an artist, as in the same way parents put energy into repeating to their kids how important school is. My parents did a great job at teaching us how being ourselves was fundamental to be an artist so my vision drives me, I know where I’m going. The persistence I hold even though some might call me stubborn, the curiosity as I never get enough of discovering and learning… Multitasking throughout the years with songwriting, composing… I will know how to find myself in my producer’s music the same way I will know how to put myself out on my own productions. The key is about knowing who you are, where you from and where you’re going so through my very deep African, European and American culture mix, I feel comfortable with the richness of my background cause I know who I am.
Your latest release ‘Freedom’ is out now. Please describe the creative process and inspiration behind the single and accompanying video?
This song popped up in my head after the treason from who I thought was a friend. My thought was “Damn this person is TOO RUDE TOO RUDE…” and as I hopped in the shower I heard this cool reggae vibe melody in my head and had to repeat it during the whole shower time so I don’t forget it. Concerning the video, my visual director Shawny and I had all this Tarantino oriented convo as the main visual direction for this EP so we thought about a sort of Mia Wallace’s character inspired for the video. We wanted something badass, something that feels like an experience for the audience, definitely a Tarantino type of vibe for that deep message.
We thought it would be important to shock, irritate, make viewers feel violated through me and create that uncomfortable feeling. Make people feel sick. We really wanted to highlight one of the things women have to go through in this society and most men to react to it, remind them that they need to fix this rape issue!
Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as an artist, when you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?
I drink a lot of tea and watch stand-up comedy then I feel like “Oh my god that shit was too funny! What was I crying about again?” It works all the time but pick your comedian wisely guys. Dave Chapelle it is for me.
In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?
With no hesitation, Pussy Power. Because it sums up the best how I’ve been feeling for the past 7 years. DIMINISHED, as a lot of other women. As to whenever at work I had to be “The cute coffee girl” or to whenever I would show up at a studio hoping for producers to actually see my talent instead of pretending to so they could fuck. Then at the same time realising being a woman makes your existence one of the biggest connection possible to the universe as we’re called to give life. Bring a whole Human Being into this world and teach life while knowing absolutely nothing and everything about it. Do you even understand how divine this sounds? Can you feel it? You know you can! This is the conscious Goddess energy I’m trying to live on & share. Being a woman is just too powerful. LADIES PLEASE, STEP IN YOUR POWER, ASAP, you’re gonna love it!
Throughout your musical career, have you experienced any ‘wow’ moments? Those moments that you stop to reflect and can’t believe you are where you are?
That day I was standing with people minding my business and all of the sudden someone bumped into me so I ended up shoving the back of the person right behind me. I turned around in order to apologise and then I realised it was Mademoiselle Fenty herself. Before I open my mouth she murdered me about 5 times with her hypnotising eyes. Needless to say I put that person’s name on my Death Note that day. So I said “Hey I’m so sorry, by the way you look so beautiful” and to my surprise she really well received it and in a friendly way said “You look beautiful too!” I knew she was just being nice but that was it for me. I could’ve died on the spot, peacefully! Ahah! For so long I thought nobody would believe me on that one. I cannot wait to meet her again one day so I can tell her that story she absolutely don’t remember at all!
What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
Fasten your seatbelt, play Victoria Monét’s ‘Experience’ the loudest you can and enjoy the ride.
What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?
I’m actually transitioning from Michiko Malandro to Jean Gray so you guys better hold your breath.
Anything else you would like to add?
#1: Take care of your health, especially in these difficult times.
#2: Tell your loved ones that you actually do love them.
#3: Whatever you are looking for, remember to look inside yourself first before you go and find it somewhere else.
Ok, I could go on and on forever with these but one more last important thing, please go stream “BROWN FICTION“ and watch the “FREEDOM“ music video on YouTube. Make sure you share it with your brothers, fathers, uncles, cousins, grandfathers, nephews, sons, boyfriends, husbands & friends because they need to remember this already happened to one of a woman close to them for sure! I LOVE Y’ALL. Blessings.
‘Brown Fiction’ is available now ‘BROWN FICTION’.
Connect with Jungle Jo