Artist You Should Know: Joya Mooi Announces Upcoming Album with New Single “Roselle”

July 8, 2022

Modern R&B artist Joya Mooi has announced details of her fourth studio album, which is set to be released in two parts. Side A will drop on 30th September and Side B will follow in 2023, while the title is yet to be revealed. The announcement is accompanied by a new single named ‘Roselle’, produced by Sim Fane & SIROJ. Fuelled by her desire to contribute to a more just future, Joya Mooi’s forthcoming album will delve into the theory of social change on both a political and personal level. Exploring themes of patterns, reflection, identity and spirituality, the project aims to spark change for the better, with Joya poised and ready to take the lead.

On new single ‘Roselle’, Joya Mooi finds inspiration in the roselle hibiscus flower which grows in parts of Africa, Asia, India, Australia and Latin America. It’s a luscious introduction to the forthcoming album and sets the tone for its meaningful intention, blending together soul, alternative R&B, jazz and a sprinkling of trap. Backed by an expansive instrumental selection and Joya’s angelic vocals, ‘Roselle’ is a heavenly slice of modern R&B that sparks a moment of tranquillity and reflection. It’s also supported by a striking video shot in South Africa; a place she draws great inspiration from due to her father’s heritage. Having grown up in Amsterdam, Joya Mooi’s music has often explored her South African roots and gives insight into the experiences of a new generation from the African diaspora.

We sat down and got to know Joya a bit and found out about her creative process and influences.

AFROPUNK: As a person with a multi-cultural background and influences, how would you say that’s shaped you and who would you say Joya Mooi is today?

Joya Mooi: I think being born in the Netherlands, but having ideas, music, rituals from Angola and South Africa in reach was a little confusing. Throughout the years I’ve grown more into what my multi faceted identity means to me. What belonging both in Netherlands and South Africa feel like to me. And how much I care about this search of self, within relation to my family roots. But being from both countries has brought me so much. I have a lots of stuff to say about life in both continents about the diaspora and about race… end of the day I am a musician who cares about remaining truthful about personal and political matters.

AP: You’ve stated before that your parents played an important role in your musical development. How would you describe the role of music in your family? 

JM: My parents strictly listened to jazz: From boujee jazz to a more pop sound. My father played trumpet so it only made sense to me to pick up the saxophone as a child. I was that kid that felt so grown because I jammed to Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Charles – and was being very serious haha. Both parents have had an enormous impact on my life and music. They were freedom fighters, and I was born just after my father’s exile. From a young age I’ve always got the sense that music had to mean something. I think i’m still very much drawn to music of resistance, either being contemporary tunes or music from the past.

AP: Leading up to your upcoming album, you’ve shared the single “Roselle”, which is a gorgeous teaser. Can you tell us about your creative approach on your upcoming project?

JM: On my upcoming project I’m exploring what change can mean, who it acts and how we can manipulate it. On each song I get quite specific; for Roselle I wanted to highlight this Roselle Hibiscus, that means so much to many. But i only could discover this flower (and past) with looking very close at our surroundings, researching ordinary lives. I think this visual amplifies this approach. I’m quite exciting about upcoming videos, I think I’m getting more clear about the stories I want to tell.

AP: You recently had your first tour in South Africa, where you also shot the video for “Roselle”, do you have any highlights that you can share and any exciting musical connections you made while in the country?

JM: We were planning this tour for a while, but I have dreamed about performing in South Africa for so many years. I think it’s one of the most important moments of my life. Being home, playing music with my band and my family being present for it. My father always wants to play music, so I feel I’m making his dreams come true – in my own way. The best highlight is definitely dancing/crying with my aunties after my shows in Johannesburg.

AP: Over the years, how would you say you’ve grown as an artist?

JM: Putting out music, performing and staying creative in music as an artist, comes with a lot of challenges to be honest. Staying truthful to my music, being (and staying) real in this music business, yet remaining positive haha. It can get rough, but my main goal is to be as close to my intention. And my intention is to be free in my art, in life and to stay growing.

AP: Lastly, what feeling, message would you like people to take away from your music?

JM: I hope my music connects with others. As a music lover I hold specific tunes real close, music  from artists that put so much of themselves in records that it can transcend in time and space. I think that’s magic that people need I’m willing to provide it to anybody that wants to listen and let me in.

You can watch video below: