Ghanaian singer Jojo Abot returns with her new EP, NGIWUNKULUNKULU, which she recorded in South Africa.
DIASPORA–US-based Ghanaian singer Jojo Abot just released a new EP, NGIWUNKULUNKULU, which is a follow-up to her 2015 project Fyfya Woto.
“Ngiwunkulunkulu” means “I am God.” Jojo says the title serves as “a reminder of our identity as Godly beings with supernatural potential.” She continues, “It is also for me, a release of anger and frustration towards myself and the ‘white man.’ A journey to clarity and purpose. An honest expression of my desires for my people, and a reminder of the divine nature of the feminine.”
Listening to NGIWUNKULUNKULU, one picks up a heavy old-school kwaito influence. Jojo has been in South Africa for a few months, and she recorded the EP at her place in Johannesburg. Below, we talk to the artist about her latest release and its accompanying new music video for the title track.
How has South Africa been to you?
What have you been up to here?
Touring the Igoda circuit playing at festivals such as [Swaziland's] Bushfire, [Durban's] Zakifo, and more.
How is SA different to Ghana in your experience?
Everything and nothing all at once.
Your latest EP is more high-tempo compared to your previous release, it has some old-school kwaito influences. How did being here influence the music on this EP?
It's very interesting to hear this feedback as it was not intentional and goes to show how the subconscious spirit works. I've been like a sponge in this experience. Soaking up the energy of this space in more ways than one. This EP is simply a reflection.
Also, the title, NGIWUNKULUNKULU, someone can consider that blasphemy. What message are you trying to get across with that assertion?
NGIWUNKULUNKULU, which means “I am God,” serves as a reminder of our identity as godly beings with supernatural potential. It is also for me, a release of anger and frustration towards myself and the "white man." A journey to clarity and purpose. An honest expression of my desires for my people, and a reminder of the divine nature of the feminine.
It is time for the black man to re-envision himself as super-powerful, Indestructible, free and rooted from the core of the inner being. We must extend our hands beyond our immediate borders to build community and solidarity. Standing firmly on the strength of ancestral bonds and powers of beings who walked this earth with dignity, unimaginable spiritual strength and immense intellect unique to who we are yet connected to cultures worldwide. We must rediscover the self with love, compassion and purpose as an entry point to being able to extend that to life around us. Gracefully letting go of the weight our past in order to levitate and fly free. No longer shackled in mind, body or spirit.
Who did you work with in terms of production?
I produced, wrote and performed all the songs on Garageband, in my bedroom here in Jozi using my janky old headphones. The process took on a highly-minimalist approach which I enjoy.
Lastly, you've performed a lot on this side of the globe. How has the reception been?
Stream and buy Jojo Abot's 'NGIWUNKULUNKULU' EP below and watch the music video for "Gods Among Men" + "Marching" above.