Sophia MoJo is a rising star powerhouse R&B/pop singer, songwriter, and producer out of Los Angeles, CA. MoJo found her own voice at age six when she began songwriting and later developed her distinguished smoky soulful vocal tone being inspired by artists such as Brandy, Lauren Hill, and Chaka Khan. After being diagnosed with Endometriosis causing serious chronic pain and illness in 2014, Sophia MoJo has been motivated to relentlessly pursue her dreams promoting a message of love, redemption and empowerment. Grounded in faith and driven to make her mark in the music industry, she is an entrepreneur music artist and CEO of Mojo Entertainment LA. Read our interview with the lovely Sophia below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I was motivated to launch my business as the Sophia MoJo brand out of surgery and treatment for Endometriosis in 2014 and a tragic miscarriage in 2015. There is nothing like physical illness and loss to make you evaluate your life and question if you are really living, really going after the things you want or letting life just happen to you. I decided to let my problems start me, instead of stop me. I have always been entrepreneur minded, have always been a natural leader and person of influence. But when I was faced with a chronic illness causing severe pain and the loss of a pregnancy I had been praying for, I had no choice but to let go of the fear of failure that I believe was holding me back from accepting the path to greatness. Realizing now I had a story, a message, a purpose, a calling which propelled my musical journey and the start of my solo career as Sophia MoJo; the Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer and CEO of Mojo Entertainment LA.
Tell us about your business.
As a music artist, I am the business. I am the product and the trusted brand and it is my responsibility to package and market myself properly to the fan who is the consumer. It is imperative to have the right team and bring in consultants to ensure the success of my business and artistry. With that said, I just love music! I am an R&B Pop Soul Singer from Chicago but raised primarily in Los Angeles. My music is real, raw and soulful, my message comes from my experiences of love, heartbreak, disappointment, pain and triumph. My goal in music is to promote love, redemption and empowerment to say simply; if I can, you can. I perform on some of the most popular stages in LA with my show stopping band. My music allows me to connect with people and change lives.
Mojo Entertainment LA is a boutique company my husband and I started which provides services such as sound engineering, lighting, equipment, hosting, live music, Dj’ing, photography, and event coordinating for high-end clientele entertainment and music industry professionals, companies, celebrities, artists and related social events.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
My single “The Special” was recently released in February 2017 and is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify.
I recently had the pleasure of performing at the 10th Annual “Toast to Urban Entertainment Executives” honoring women executives in the entertainment industry.
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
First, I had to be clear on the purpose and goals of my businesses. I have a quote that says, “Know who you are, and others will too.” Second, I had to get my product and services ready. I cannot begin to engage fans or potential clients for Mojo Entertainment LA until I am prepared to be consistent and maintain what I have to offer. This part also included getting funding and budgets lined up. Third, I got a logo, website and my social media together. Forth, was the launch which involved releasing my music, booking shows, radio and blog interviews and posting like crazy. For Mojo Entertainment LA the goal of the launch parties are to draw in potential business and let the business grow based on referrals and word of mouth.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Launch parties, listening parties, release concerts and partnering with other entities who are different but similar and need what you offer and provide you with something. This allows you to target and reach large groups, build your database or fans and potential consumers.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
One of my biggest challenges is being a mom, while trying to pursue my own dreams and owning my own business. There are times when I have to be away for shows or gone all night. I can definitely feel when my daughter misses me to the point where I know it is time to slow down, stop everything even for a day or two just to spend quality time with her. My husband helps a lot with making sure she is having fun and she spends time with her grandparents, but there is no love like the love from a mother. The other is battling Endometriosis. I have been in disabling pain where I can be immobilized for hours or days bed ridden. This illness has at times slowed me down and made it difficult and in some cases impossible to function. There have been times where I have been in pain before shows and have to struggle to push through. At times I suffer and at times I overcome.
How did you overcome these challenges?
With my daughter, I try to make up for the time spent away for her. If I have been working hard and away from her all week, then the weekends belong to spending time with her. I may be harder to run my businesses while being a mother but I encourage women to pursue their dreams for the sake of their legacy which is our children. We are role models in the home first. I want to be able to tell my daughter, mommy never gave up, mommy believed in herself enough to not let fear or anyone stop her from owning her own, mommy sees success based on putting God first and working hard. These are the values that I get to show my child every day I work towards building a better future for her. I still pour into her future and nurture her talents as well.
With the Endometriosis, I take it day by day. God gives me strength to endure and stay positive. This is why I think my output is so high as far as multitasking and getting a lot done in little time, because I never know when the pain will kick in and I will be down. So when I am up, I accomplish above and beyond to compensate for the down time when I am unable to do what I need to do.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
My motivation comes from my faith in Jesus Christ and in knowing that He will always make a way for His will to be done. I pray and spend time in praise and worship and in His word. I go to church every Sunday and get reenergized to share my gifts and do what I believe He has graced me to do right now. I write down my goals and speak my dreams to keep a positive mindset. I take breaks and do unrelated things to clear my mind and refocus my energy. The path to greatness is not a sprint, it’s a long marathon.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I feel that each artist and entrepreneur has something different to offer simply because it is coming from someone different. What I mean by that is, I can sing the same song as any other singer but because my DNA is different and the song is being translated through me, it will sound and feel different to the listener. This is what determines whether someone will follow you and buy your product; how you do it affects them differently. I also believe being honest and connecting on a personal level is important in allowing people to be a part of your growth.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Speak your dreams into existence.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Speak your dreams into existence, have faith, and you’re only truly in competition with your yesterday’s self/and state of mind. Be great, not famous. If you never experience pain, hurt and failure, you won’t grow and reach your fullest potential. Diamonds are made from fire and pressure. Surround yourself with likeminded people and those who have accomplished what you want to accomplish; study the “greats” to be great. They will sharpen you as iron sharpens iron. Keep God first because even working at your hardest you can never stop what God can do to the things you are working on in to your life.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“My Mind Is Wealthy” By Author, Billionaire P.A.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Marketing and promotion is huge and always something needed to expand my reach. I am also the LA representative for a national Singer Songwriter network organization called, Writing Sessions America based in Atlanta. I have been blessed to work with and learn from Grammy nominated Executive A&R Consultant, Kevin Shine (Creator of Writing Sessions America) and other distinguished music industry professionals. We host mixers and songwriter boot camps and industry conferences to help educate and foster a culture of musical excellence.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Mojo Entertainment LA will be sponsoring a Music Meets Fashion Event in May 2017 to raise awareness for Diabetes and partnering to host an event inviting music artist into an artistic and visually stimulating space to have photoshoots and music videos with a number of some of the hottest photographers and makeup artists in the LA area.