Celebrating the 10th year of MusicOz in Australia, MO´JA´DA were recently announced as winners of the coveted ‘Rock’ Artist of the Year award, after being nominated as Top 5 finalists in both the ‘Rock’ and ‘Dance’ categories.

Joining winners, Art vs Science, Jack Carty and Dallas Frasca, MO´JA´DA are shaping up as a contender to be the next Independent Australian act to break through to the national and international music scene.

MO´JA´DA are Marco Yellin, Chad Kendrick, Wesley Roy.

How do you describe your music to people, Marco?
We always wanted to translate or communicate emotions to people, so withouot calling it emotional music, which sounds pretty weird, we find that whatever genre we tackle or blend together the emphasis is on making sure that the emotion of the song or idea is being translated and communicated properly so that when people hear the song they get an emotional connection to it.

We have 3 key words that we try and make a song fit into... DIRTY SEXY and FUNKY. If a song gives off that vibe then it fits into mojada's catalouge. we got ballads and more up tempo songs, but they all have to have that feeling.

We used to make music that we thought other people would like, or that would fit in to a genre or marketplace or sound... now we just make music that makes us feel good, and go "yeah thats it"..

We want people to feel good when they hear our music and if they are at a show we want you to be up there in the front or on the dancefloor letting go of ya cares for the evenning and just letting loose and having a good time.. Thats what its all about for us.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
Well we were all working other jobs back in the day. but played music as a hobby, i used to live in the US and wanted to be an actor but i used to walk around hollywood barefooted with my guitar and rock up at all the open mic nights in town and play my heart out.. it was mostly a bit of fun and a way to meet people and girls, then i started booking gigs from the open mic nights. it was pretty funny, the venues as everyone knows used to make you pay to play, so you would have to go out and get all ya freinds come to the show and pay 10 bucks to come see ya play some accoustic songs and then if they didnt want to pay you would end up having to pay the venue!!!

We started the band almost 10 years ago, and it was a way we could all get on the road and get out of our town and surf and travel.. we didnt really have much of a clue abouot how it all worked, but we decided to think outside the box and found creative ways to make good money off our touring and also play to full rooms as an unknown band. We utilized a lot of sponsors so that we would bill the tours as Billabong surf night, or Vonzipper sunglasses night, and people would show up to win free stuff and get free drinks and then get the bonus of seeing us play.

After a few years of that we decided we should get serious and started doing some reecording, and formed our own label and then the fun task of running a business began...

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Playing music live to people of course.. no better feeling in the world for us..
We all have some pretty good hobbies and passions outside of music, like surfing fishing, politics and ping pong.

We have a championship sized ping pong table outside the studio where we rehearse and all musical differences are sorted out on the pong table..

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
money would be the biggest challenge.. but somehow when we need it it always seems to come thru. I also hate doing taxes.. they do my head in, its so not fun at all, but when you run your own business you have to keep on top of all that stuff otherwise the paperwork can climb over you and bury you! one of the hardest things is trying to manage time, at times we sometimes feel that we are spending more time on the computer and business stuff than actually doing what we love.. but it is all part of the dream that the harder we work on the business stuff the more opportunities our band will have..
we try and send out heaps of emails every day as you never know who is gonna discover your music and may be in a position to give your band a break or some help.

Its really up to us, and many times we just wish there was an army doing all the updates and emails and promotion and web stuff, but we just do it.. knowing one day we will have that army.. but they will most probably be our friends who we will be able to pay one day to work as part of the team...

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
taller!!! actaully i think we all decided when we were kids that we were not ever going to grow up. part of living the musicians dream has been the ability to stay and feel really young and free. I think anyone would feel that when they follow their dreams.

We definitely didnt think how hard it would be, but im sure we all imagined some great moments of fun and success. My parents wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer, and they at the beginning said you have to have a back up plan if you want to be an artist.. they always supported us, but now they believe like we do, that without a back up plan you have to give everything you have to your goals and dreams and the success will come if you never give up.

In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Bondi Beach and the Australian coastal culture has greatly influenced us. From the beginning we always went out there and landed in rooms in the middle of nowhere where there was a group of people who just wanted to have a good time, have some drinks, dance and go off. That is synonymous with Australians everywhere i think, so we developed a style of music that made people feel good and had high energy and got people moving around.

In our home town of Bondi, when we started there wasnt much of a music scene. The city had a good one, but we have all these venues that have poker and slot machines and they tended to replace the live band on fri sat nights. Then djs became really popular as entertainment and a venue could pay one dj who could spin hits all night, and it was harder for bands to get those gigs.

We decided to start our own music nights and give opportunities to local bands to play and we were very good at promoting and bringing in the crowds.

Our whole band was born out of those local music nights, and that's where we started, a few of the musicians got together and we started playing as a band.

The Australian culture is a music loving one.  the pubs and clubs down here are full of honest people who don't care too much about trends or what's cool. When they go to see a show if it rocks and connects them they will embrace it and go off.. If it sux and is pretentious the band will get booed off stage, or just wont get gigs...

But since having played in the US and Canada and New Zealand, we have found that crowds tend to be the same.. if ya connect with them on an energetic level and show them a good time, then they will embrace your music, whever style it is.

We definitely have the Australian tour road and all its venues and crowds to thank for helping sculpt our sound and the energy we try and create with the music.

What other artists out there do you love?
We love a band called king farook. they are a Sydney band, check them out
we have played lots with them, and they are so energetic and funky and fun.

there is a band we toured with in california called jeremy buck and the bang.. those guys just go off, and are so fun to play with and wacth live. They are part of the south bay scene in los angeles and are doing big things now in the states.. check them out.

There is so much good music going on out there.. its exciting to go see a random show and get blown away by some unknown artist or band.

Sometimes its just as good seeing a great show as it is playing a great show.

What does your future hold?
Well thankfully we are all psychic! and we have stared into the future and have seen mojada touring the world playing our music to milions of people in the far corners of the globe and possibly even outer space.

We are just about to finish a record and are very excited about it.. it has been over 2 years in the making, 2 trips the states, multitudes of grammy award winning producers, and spicy chicken burritos and carne asada tacos.

Its a culmination of some songs we really believe in and feel passionate about, and a great new producer we found here in Australia.. (hahah it took 2 trips to the US and some very well respected producers to find him!!) Michael Sinclair.. keep an eye out for him.. he convinced us to rerecord our entire album here in australia and as scary as it was it has been the best thing we have ever done.
Find a Way is the first single of the record, but we are so excited for the world to hear the rest of it. We now know how true it is that hard work, persistance, sweat and tears really does pay off..