Miss Mojo is making moves. The Tulane-born neo-soul/funk ensemble released its debut EP, Up & Personal, last January, and toured the northeast over the summer to promote an infectious brand. Today, the band is premiering a brand new track and its video titled “Fly Me Up” exclusively on OffBeat.com.
“When we wrote Fly Me Up, we had been writing lots of tunes that were influenced by Neo-Soul and laid-back R&B,” Miss Mojo told OffBeat.com. “The issue with those songs is that they don’t quite work to engage the audiences that we generally play for – people that want to dance, drink and party. It’s challenging to write music that works in that setting but doesn’t have the lyrical and musical cliché’s of dance music. We were looking to write tunes that would keep audiences engaged, while also having content matter with more depth than your average party jam.
“Our keyboardist, Rob Kellner, came up with the changes and verse melody to the tune, and our drummer, Mack Major, came up with some initial ideas for the chorus and lyrics,” the band continued. “Once these ideas were brought to the band, everyone came up with their respective parts and we worked together on the arrangement collaboratively, editing and revising the lyrics and structure of the tune until we had a song that we felt belonged to all of us.”
Aside from Kellner and Major, “Fly Me Up” features soulful vocals from Miss Mojo’s dynamic frontwomen, Jenna Winston and Piper Browne. Cody Greenstein’s guitar, Leo Skovron’s bass, Aaron Boudreaux’s production work, and a badass horn section featuring Cyrus Nabipoor (trumpet), Even Oberla (trombone) and Ari Kohn (sax) round out the track.
“Fly Me Up” has already been accompanied by a music video, also debuting today on OffBeat. The video is a collaboration with the Bywater-based studio Dancing Grounds, shot all over the city at familiar locations in the Quarter, the Bywater and Mid City. “We’ve always considered shooting a dance-centric music video, and Fly Me Up seemed like a perfect fit due to the upbeat nature of the tune,” Miss Mojo said. “We were lucky enough to collaborate with Chanice Holmes, Brieze Levy and Leigh Harwood from Dancing Grounds, who took full control of the choreography and truly owned the vibe. The lead director and editor of the video, Spencer Mann, took the meaning of the song to heart in his work, and produced something that we thought fit the energy of the track perfectly.”
Miss Mojo’s members come from diverse backgrounds, but they’ve found common ground in a sound that is both distinctly New Orleanian and blatantly untraditional. “All the members of our band listen to such a wide range of music, which results in us making music that can be tough to classify,” the band explained. “We’re all influenced by and have immense respect for New Orleans funk – artists such as The Meters, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Jon Cleary and Dumpstaphunk are in constant rotation for us. That being said, any first time listener probably wouldn’t think that those artists directly influenced this record. And it’s also clear that this record wouldn’t fall under any of the classic genres associated with New Orleans music. At the end of the day, though, it seems like the one thing that most music made in New Orleans has in common is a groove that people will move to. We try to write music that will engage audiences and keep them moving, while also having thematic elements that people will be able to relate to. We’re not trying to fit into any particular musical box; just to make music that is honest, joyful, engaging and true to ourselves and our experiences.”
Miss Mojo is touring aggressively this summer. They open for Brooklyn-based Red Baraat at Gasa Gasa (4920 Freret St.) on Sunday, April 29; head to Texas with Boston-based Ripe, finishing at the House of Blues (225 Decatur St.) on Saturday, May 5; and headline a Tulane graduation show at Tipitina’s (501 Napoleon Ave.) on Saturday, May 19. On July 6, they’ll return to Tipitina’s as part of the Free Fridays concert series, and they are currently planning another northeastern tour in August.
Go to the band’s website for more information on their schedule and check out the video for “Fly Me Up,” their catchiest song to date, below.
Miss Mojo’s forthcoming debut full-length effort, Love In Time, is slated for a June 7 release.