Bad Apples Music is a record label started by BRIGGS, an indigenous kid from Regional Australia. He has toured around the country with Hilltop Hoods and supported big names like Ice Cube and Yelawolf. Recognising that his art is influenced by his indigenous heritage, and that other artists might have the same cultural influence in the music, he formed Bad Apples, teaching, inspiring and allowing other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to believe in themselves and flourish as artists.
Philly and Mojo Juju are two very important artists in Australia’s music scene. Both signed to Bad Apples Music, Philly and Mojo Juju bring different styles to the table through hip-hop and funk. Both growing up in different parts of Australia, they are connected through music and want to connect with you along their journey.
Our writer Jasmine had a chat with both artists ahead of their appearances at the CHANGES Music Summit Bad Apples Showcase.
Jasmine: Growing up in the small town of Mildura, when did you know you wanted do music?
Philly: Growing up in Mildura, I always knew I wanted to be something and do something more with my life. My first dream was to become a professional basketball player. But never got anywhere with basketball and thought this dream wasn’t working for me. When I was 16, I decided I really enjoyed hip-hop and rap music. For me though, chasing these dreams have been more about inspiring ingenious youth.
Jasmine: Were your family and friends supportive of this decision?
Philly: Yeah, Yeah. Coming from Mildura and being adopted when I was 18 months old, being in foster care with 10-15 kids living in our house. My house was more like a safe haven for kids, kids would come from broken homes. A well respected elder in my community who has passed away now, raised over 100 kids and pushed us to do anything we wanted to do.
Jasmine: Being an Aboriginal person who feels strongly connected to their culture, do you feel like you have a responsibility to your community?
Philly: Unfortunately, all the brothers and sister I grew up with, never really got the opportunity they probably wanted to in order to succeed. I took a different turn and to this day everyone is still proud of everything I have achieved. The energy they give, I give back. I definitely feel I have a responsibility, I put that on myself early on in my life.
Jasmine: What made you fall in love with hip-hop?
Philly: I’ve always been around hip-hop music. The very first hip-hop song I ever heard was ‘Hip Hop Hooray’ by Naughty by Nature. When I was older I got into break dancing and rapping. One thing that got me through hard times was Tupac’s music because I could relate to a lot of the messages he was delivering as a young black man myself trying to find my way through the world. Hearing his songs made me realise people can use words to change and inspire other young minds.
Jasmine: This Thursday you are performing as part of the Changes Summit showcase at Laundry Bar. What are you looking forward to about performing?
Philly: I actually haven’t performed for a while, so I’m looking forward to performing in general. I took it upon myself to turn down gigs to focus on finishing my album. I’m looking forward to being on stage, I got a few new songs I’ll be performing. The line-up is great as well.
Jasmine: Do any mainstream artists influence your music? If there’s one artist you would want to collaborate with, who would it be?
Philly: In terms of artists I want to collab with, I don’t think there’s really any. I’ve got the boys at Bad Apple, Briggs and Birdz. We are always making music with the brothers. Where I’m at now in terms of my music, I feel like I’ve just found myself, what my vibe is and where I want to go with my music. In terms of inspiration, Briggs has always inspired me, just his work ethic. Briggs is super charismatic and gets things done. He taught me that if you want something, you go get it. That always inspires me.
Jasmine: Where do you see your career heading in the next 10 years?
Philly: I finished my album, so when that’s all mixed and mastered we can look at release dates. Hopefully it does something and gives me a bigger platform. On top of that, I have dreams to start my own business, my end goal is self-determination in terms of black communities. My businesses somewhere down the track will be black owned, black run and giving opportunities to black people.
Jasmine: When can we expect this album?
Philly: I don’t really have a date on it yet, but we have picked out or first single. ‘Brownskin’.
Jasmine: Coming from a musical family, did you know music was always the path you wanted to go down?
Mojo Juju: I always gravitated towards creative things and for a long time I thought I wanted to be an illustrator. Music was always around and by the time I was a teenager, I knew nothing else interested me to the degree that music did. Music was my happy place.
Jasmine: In many of your live performances you’re playing guitar, when did you start playing guitar?
Mojo Juju: I started playing guitar when I was about 8, but it wasn’t my first instrument.
Jasmine: What is your favourite song to perform live?
Mojo Juju: It changes all the time, I love singing the ballads the most, but my last single ‘Think Twice’, I had a lot of fun performing that on stage. I’m really keen to try the new material out, I’m really excited for this new record I got coming in August.
Jasmine: Can you give us a name for the new record?
Mojo Juju: The album is called ‘Native Tongue’ and the title track is coming out this Friday. This new album is definitely going down a different direction, it’s much more RnB and electronic. I worked with a few hip hop producers, on the record.
Jasmine: What’s your dream stage or venue to play at?
Mojo Juju: I don’t know! It’s a really hard question. I’ve learnt over time to be very appreciative for where I am and what I’m doing currently. It’s very important because otherwise, you miss it. I think I’ve made that mistake before. But I’ve got some really cool shows coming up, we are doing the Arts Centre and the Sydney Opera House. For me it’s not that much about the venues, its more about the artists I would like to work with.
Jasmine: Which Bad Apples Music artist are you excited to hear live this Thursday?
Mojo Juju: I’m a big fan of all the acts on Thursday, but particularly I’ve been following Birdz for a long while now and I’m super excited to hear his set on Thursday night. I’m also really into what DRMNGNOW doing at the moment because his past couple of releases have been very exciting.
Jasmine: Where do you see your career heading in the next 10 years?
Mojo Juju: I love being here in Australia, but I hope to do some adventuring overseas, that’s the plan. I’m still writing and already have other project in the works.
Both currently on the rise, these two artists are very busy. But catch them at the ‘Changes Summit Showcase’ at Laundry Bar this Thursday the 5thof July.