Jojo Engelbert has been on our radar for a while now, and if you’ve not yet caught on, we recommend you do so, starting with her latest release, ‘Sweet N Sour’, because it marks a new turn in her career. Still in her teens, Jojo is nonetheless an entertainment industry veteran, and we caught up with her and asked her a few questions.
We’ve been following your music career for a few years now, and we’ve seen you go from strength to strength. Your new single, ‘Sweet N Sour’ is a different tack for you stylistically, what’s the reasoning behind that and what should fans expect next?
I really found the sound I love with Sweet N Sour. Eli (big brother) shared with me a track he produced and I told him it was perfect for the sound I wanted. I’m not a pop singer. I’m drawn to a darker alternative/punk sound. As much as I liked Grown Up, it just isn’t me. So I really wanted to find my space following that release. You can expect this sound to continue and develop.
You’ve seen your older siblings growing up in the public eye on their tv shows, and you’ve also appeared with them; what has that experience been like, and has there ever been a time where you’ve thought that you would rather not be in entertainment? What would you choose to do if you weren’t a singer?
Their experiences are their own, but I was fortunate to get a sense of what the business is like from a young age. I remember when I was like six or seven years old and they had a concert and were signing autographs afterwards. That looked like a lot of fun to me. I didn’t quite understand why nobody wanted my autograph. That night, Zoey taught me a song and the following day we performed it at their concert. I got to sit at the autograph table. One person asked for it. It was my dad.
I was fortunate to have a couple great roles in regional theatre (Small Alison in Fun Home and Mary Lennox in Secret Garden) which led me to Nancy Carson (Carson Adler Agency) which led to other really cool opportunities.
My passions are acting and singing. I can’t imagine pursuing any other career.
Who most inspires your musical style? What are the top three songs on your playlist right now, and why are they there?
I draw from inspiration from the likes of Charli XCX, Olivia Rodrigo, Ariana Grande, Hayley Williams and Marina.
My current top three songs would have to be:
Forever – Charlie XCX, Go Away – Tate McRae and Womanizer – Britney Spears
We’re coming out the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic. How did it affect you, and what lessons have you learned from it that you’ll take with you, returning to normal life?
It was a terrible time for everyone. It certainly impacted opportunities to act and perform. I decided to spend the time really developing my acting skills and vocal technique. I knew I did not want to fall behind. Quite the opposite. I wanted to emerge better and stronger.
Finally, I ask this of everyone I interview: what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what’s the answer to that question?
That’s a tough one. Being a bit of an introvert, I’m OK with fewer questions. But I do want to thank you for this interview!