Oro, Plata, Mata is Mo’Ju’s magnum opus

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Oro, Plata, Mata is Mo’Ju’s magnum opus

Words by Bryget Chrisfield

“I want what’s rightfully mine/ I think it’s finally time” – time’s up, alright!

And Midas (feat. Ryo & Waari) – with its minimal bass throb, sustained keys and squelchy beat – reclaims Mo’Ju’s true power: “Take your seat at the table/ I don’t want what you’re serving/ I don’t need your appraisal/ Yes I know what my wooooorth is.” 

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Following their grandfather’s passing, Mo’Ju has said that writing music helped. Becoming a parent during these tumultuous times also shifted their perspective (“You are only one, please don’t be scared about the future”).

The fourth studio LP by this Naarm-based musician, songwriter, storyteller and third culture kid (Filipino/Wiradjuri) – which shares its title with a 1982 historical war drama that Mo’Ju’s late Tito (uncle) Peque Gallaga directed – is separated into three chapters by brief introductory interludes narrated by Mo’Ju’s Tita (aunt) Madie Gallaga. 

During lead single Change Has To Come, which implores listeners to stop doomscrolling and reconnect with community IRL, Mo’Ju’s powerful vocals evoke The Weeknd. “Aaaaaaah/ Ah-ah-ah/ Aaaaaaah” – we’re powerless to this standout track’s insistent siren song. Ngaiire’s guest vocals throughout Something To Believe In make us feel airborne on fluttering butterfly wings. Nuanced percussion, fingersnaps and harp glissando elevate the closing Swan Song (feat. Meklit). 

Oro, Plata, Mata – Mo’Ju’s magnum opus – is an important work, laced with hope: “I believe in us, rising above hatred…”

Label: Virgin Music 

Release date: March 24