In a field that remains heavily dominated by men, JoJo Worthington is setting out to demolish the glass ceiling for women in the music industry. She is an independent producer and composer from Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada who has won numerous awards for her exceptional work. Her vocalizations reminisce of Kate Bush, her ingenuity with looping techniques remind one of the omnipresent Canadian force of Owen Pallet, and her refreshing take on the ukulele is pushing this experimental-folk musician to create some of the most forward-thinking music of her generation.
Her works include the co-produced, co-arranged project, \\ (or Two Lines) and the album Honey Suite by The Lifers, which was recently nominated for New/Emerging Artist by Canadian Folk Music Awards and has toured throughout Canada promoting her own music. JoJo shared with SoundGirls a little about her musical journey from childhood, her love affair with the ukulele, and gave advice to women wanting a career in this industry.
Listen to JoJo Worthington at https://jojoworthington.bandcamp.com/
How did you get your start in music?
I performed in many musicals from age 8 to 15; then I began writing songs. Once I was told that I wasn’t horrible, I began playing live!
I also played a variety of instruments growing up…violin, harp, clarinet, piano, guitar…I still play a bit of these instruments, but in high school, I landed on the ukulele. That and my voice have been my main instruments ever since.
What do you like best about touring?
Traveling! Meeting new people and seeing old friends.
What do you like least about touring?
What is your favorite day off activity?
What is your educational or training background?
I graduated from Capernwray Bible School in 2013; then I graduated from the Music Industry Arts program at Fanshawe College in 2015.
What are your long-term goals?
To be able to financially sustain my career over my entire lifetime…reaching a Billboard spot would be pretty cool too!
What is your favorite gear?
Currently, it’s the Critti & Guitari Organelle.
What, if any, obstacles or barriers have you faced?
An ongoing obstacle is people who do not take the ukulele seriously. My mission is to show people that it is a versatile instrument that isn’t just “cute.”
How have you dealt with them?
Through experimentation in my music.
Can you share any advice for other women and young women who wish to enter the field?
This industry is dominated by men. In my experience, I’ve learned that a woman must know her instrument, equipment, trade, etc., ten times better than any man in order to be taken seriously. So know your stuff. Be a perfectionist. Get it done how you want it to be done. Be able to do everything!