She’s just 15 but Jojo Engelbert has packed more into her life than most of us have at 3 times her age; but that’s the way it works these days. Jojo’s been a recurring star on shows ‘Ariel & Zoey & Eli Too’, and ‘Steal The Show’ – both syndicated across the US to millions of viewers – and in her spare time has somehow managed to build a secondary career as a vocalist and across social media. Jojo’s new single, ‘Sweet N Sour’, serves as a sampler to illustrate just what it’s like to have so much attention focused on you at such a young age – it’s yin/yang, it’s rough/smooth – it’s sweet – but at times it’s sour too. We’re pleased to premiere the video for ‘Sweet N Sour’ and hope you can relate to what Jojo is saying.
The video for ‘Sweet N Sour’ is cleverly made up of short clips of Jojo in the same position, in the same outfit, but her makeup and hair change in each scene. It’s an effective illustration of how she’s caught between two worlds; that of the 15 year old girl, and the star of tv, music, and social media. On the one side she’s very much still a child, yet on the other she’s moving in a very adult world. It’s something we can all understand to varying degrees; we may not be famous teens, but we all have different faces and emotions we show, depending on the people and occasion.
‘Sweet N Sour’ has a riot grrrl vibe; whether or not this is intentional is unclear, but the punk rock edge to the song enables Jojo to come straight out of the gate spitting fury and passion: it’s explosive. Her previous releases, such as ‘Grown Up‘, from a year ago, have been more along the lines of mainstream pop – and while that was showing where she was heading, it seems now she’s found her own way of doing things. Still on hand is Jojo’s older brother, Eli, aka YETIBEAR, who writes, produces, and arranges for Jojo. It’s exciting to think of them becoming something like Phineas and Billie Eilish, albeit a more punk version, and to my way of thinking, more appealing.
YETIBEAR knows how exactly make a song for his sister. The drums are pounding and persistent, the bass is overdriven and relentless; there’s some pleasing electronic “glitching” in the track, and the end result, when paired with Jojo’s vocals, is a track that will have you dancing like your life depended on it. Don’t believe me? Put your headphones on, crank that sound up to 11, and see if you can manage to get all the way through the song without bopping.
Lyrically, Jojo Engelbert cautions us to not underestimate her. “Sweet N Sour, trust me I’ll devour / you if you get on the wrong side of me” and “Don’t be afraid of me / I live dangerously, and I’ve got you on my side” – she knows what she likes, and what she doesn’t, and she’s not afraid to say so. Jojo Engelbert may still be in her mid-teens, but she’s got her badass side as well.