Jojo Moyen is a 28-year-old architecture student and musician with focus on producing, singing, and performing pop music from Cologne. And he’s our guest for today’s Sit In On Friday Session. We’re pleased to welcome him at TITLE for the second time, after he was part of one of our recent short Q&As on Instagram.
Jojo is part of Safe Space Records, not only as a signed artist, but he’s also the co-founder: “We’ve joined forces to create a music scene that is beyond a single artist, genre or discipline. My current project is a collaboration EP with Safe Space producer and videographer Lazy G. The demos are ready and we’re working on the visual concept at the moment…”
The young musician has been working on his vision for pop music for about 10 years — he situates himself somewhere between German rap, Phillip Glass, and Gigi D‘Angostino. In Europa, he offers a first glimpse into the fragile music of his future. In five delicate productions, Jojo weaves minimalistic singing and synthesizer into a meditation between memories and desire. Throughout the EP, his lyrics become equivalent to confessions, creating a void that leaves room for the listener‘s own experiences.
Today, we will get to know him even better and have the honor of enjoying an exclusive performance of his song “Europa” from his same-titled debut EP on our IGTV.
You are also a student of Architecture, right? How do you manage both your professions? In which field do you feel most yourself?
I finished my architecture studies two years ago and currently study Media Arts at the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne. I decided to use pop music as the starting point to grow into other disciplines. Working in an architecture office earns me some bread but when the time is right, I would like to befriend it more with the music.
What’s behind the name Jojo Moyen?
I really liked those fictional double names like Sega Bodega or Clarence Clarity. Jojo Moyen in the end is combining two mutations of my old nickname. So it was easy to identify with it and I also like how it looks and sounds.
You have recently released your debut EP “Europa”. How do you feel now? What influence did the process of recording your first EP (during the pandemic) have on you?
I’m proud and excited that it’s real now for everybody! It has been a long process – the songs were written and recorded in 2019. My old computer could only handle a few tracks and it sounded really Lo-Fi. During the pandemic, I could focus on rerecording everything and spend a lot of time juicing the sound without losing the initial vibe and emotion.
Tell us, which is your favorite song on the EP and why? What is it about?
The title song is “Europa.” It’s the one that made me realise I found the sound that I had been looking for in the last years. It’s simple and I enjoy playing around with words. It talks about desire – seeing and being seen, touching and being touched…
Who or what are your musical influences? In which direction would you like to go with your music?
I come from producing and performing techno and trance music. I like repetitions and easy melodies, nothing too complex. Also I have a weak spot for German hip hop and freestyle rap – that will always influence me. But in the end, my music isn’t genre-bound. There will be more trancy vibes, little gazes at psychedelic rock and a chunk of uncertainty. When it’s unique and catchy, I’m happy.
Your songs, as well as your music videos, appear rather minimalistic, yet powerful. What is the idea behind your visual performance?
I wanted to give as much as I can with as little as possible. Most of the editing stays invisible. With the focus on the face, there is no escape — I feel it could fall apart at any moment. It didn’t, but I allowed some cracks and loose ends… They were shot closely after I recorded the demos, outside, in unfamiliar environments.
At TITLE we focus on being true to yourself, your work, and art. Would you say, you’ve found your True Identity yet? If so, how would you describe it?
I don’t think it’s static. Sometimes I can change my mind and everything is different. Also I like fake identities, I want to have more of them.
What’s the biggest difference between Jojo 5 years ago and now? And where do you see yourself in another 5 years?
Jojo 5 years ago didn’t like autotune. In 5 years, he would like to live in a monastery with goats and sewing machines to grow nice fruits in the garden!