Mojo Juju has written a polite and pleasant open letter in response to the conservative commentator’s unhinged rant.
Just to catch you up: ScoMo released his personal Spotify playlist on social media, which prompted a media storm over how ‘un’Australian’ it was. He then released a second, ‘Australian’ playlist, which contained – you guessed it – mostly old white dudes. In an opinion piece by RMIT University academic Catherine Strong ‘Why Scott Morrison’s white, male playlists matter’, she reflected on firstly the lack of Australian content and secondly the lack of women and Indigenous artists, and discussed how the lists reflects issues within the Australian music industry as a whole. She mentioned, among other artists, the incredible work being put forward by Indigenous powerhouse Mojo Juju.
Strong’s piece of course prompted a sneering and wholly unnecessary reply from Bolt in defence of oppressed white males everywhere (we won’t his comment in full here, as we feel they are undeserving of further column inches. But the link to the blog is in the response below if you wish to read it). In his blog, he referred to Mojo Juju’s track ‘Native Tongue’ as “a song complaining about being an Aboriginal who ‘doesn’t speak my father’s tongue’?” and suggested that listening to women and Indigenous artists was an act of “pity” as opposed to “pleasure”, while apparently “most people…don’t like enough of that music to pay more for it.” You get the gist, yeah? Here is Mojo’s beautiful reply in full:
I’d like to say a big thank you to Andrew Bolt for his recent shout out and also congratulate him on doing such an excellent job of demonstrating some of the reasons why writing a song and an album like Native Tongue was so important to me. (Whether he intended to or not).
While defending Scott Morrison’s right to listen to whatever music he likes, Mr. Bolt managed to highlight a huge failing in the approach to leadership and governance in this country… (one of many if we are being honest)… you can read the article here if you like.
Unfortunately, I think Mr. Bolt may have missed some of the nuances of my song.
The song ‘Native Tongue’ is not a ‘complaint’ as he suggested, and I think to view it as complaining would be slightly reductive, but that’s just my opinion. I wrote this song as an expression of some complex emotions, such as grief for a loss of culture and Indigenous languages and other impacts of assimilation, colonisation and the white-washing of non-western cultures. This is not a song of self-pity, it is a song of self-empowerment.
Due to the overwhelming response I have received to this song and the stories that people have since shared with me of their own experiences, I am inclined to think that this is a topic that resonates with a LOT more of Scott Morrison’s constituents than either he or Mr. Bolt might like to recognise. And while my exact mixed heritage may not be the norm, the feelings I raise in the song are more common than he might realise. Regardless of whether ScoMo can personally relate to the lyrics or the experience, as a leader, he should be concerned with how his constituents relate to this song and what they experience.
I believe that good leadership is about listening.
I also believe that music is a powerful communication tool, one that transgresses time, geography, age, gender and race. Music can unite, divide, and inspire revolutions, across generations.
Mr. Bolt is wrong to suggest that listening to music is PURELY an aesthetic pursuit. Sure, we all listen to music for pleasure, but music has always held a mirror to society. It has always been a snapshot of the issues that affect the people.
Sure, ScoMO should listen to whatever music he likes when he is turning those snags on his BBQ or cruisin’ around in his luxury car, but if he cared about what is happening out in this Country that he is supposedly leading he would listen to more of our voices.
So thank you Mr. Bolt, for highlighting an important issue and including me in the conversation.
Love Mojo xx
We heart you, Mojo.