NATIVE Premiere: Joya Mooi honours the fight against injustice with “Most Frail”

an homage to South African freedom fighters

Wrapped in her mesmerising vocals and her desire to explore past memories, pain, and the history of her father’s activism, Dutch singer and songwriter, Joya Mooi bears it all on her latest single “Most Frail”. With the assist of producers SIROJ & Blazehoven, Joya escapes into her element as she sings a heart-wrenching confessional that recalls past memories of her father’s activism and his fight for the liberation of South Africa from the apartheid regime.


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Although she was brought up in a small town an hour away from Amsterdam, Joya’s inquisition into her South African roots and heritage have always taken centre stage in her music and “Most Frail” is the most honest expression of this. Speaking about “Most Frail”, Joya explains that: “Freedom fighters are sometimes put on pedestals, but are mostly forgotten. And the ones who’ve survived, that came back, I believe they have never fully returned. “Most Frail” is about all the stories we’ve lost – through them – in the wake of liberation.” 

To expand the world around her new release, Joya has now shared the video for “Most Frail” which will be released officially later today. The new video captures moments of contemporary dance and movement by Ibrah Silas Jackson as Joya Mooi and her collaborators use non-verbal expressions to represent the strength and fervour of her father and freedom fighters. “The dance gives a form of clarity and focus to the story that is being portrayed,” Joya says, as she speaks to how she was able to meticulously work in her family’s life experiences and heritage. 

Ahead of the video’s official release, we caught up with Joya Mooi on the inspiration behind the video, the process of creating it, and the decision to honour her father and her nation’s freedom fighters.

Her answers which follow below have been lightly edited for clarity.

NATIVE: Hey Joya, so “Most Frail” is inspired by your father, could you give us an understanding as to how he inspires the song?

JOYA: I’ve seen from up close what the consequences are of fighting against injustice. My father was a member of the ANC and so part of the liberation of South Africa. Many people see them as heroes, but there’s little eye for the loss and trauma that they’ve endured, back then and even now. Most Frail is about all the stories we have lost in exile, in post-apartheid – all the stories that have not come to life- in the wake of liberation.

NATIVE: What was it like working with the producers, SIROJ & Blazehoven?

JOYA: Almost a year ago I wrote “Most Frail” in a session with Blazehoven. This beat directly spoke to me and later SIROJ contributed more layers to it, while simultaneously giving more space for this personal tale. I love creating music like this, just fully leaning into what a story needs and taking my time with it. 


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NATIVE: What was the main idea and feeling that you wished to convey in the video? 

JOYA: With the visuals for “Most Frail,” I wanted to touch on freedom and escapism. The relation between principles and reality, how alienating the world can be. With scenes reflecting on people who’ve become their own shadows.

NATIVE: Alongside the incredible scenery, the film captures moments where we also see the male lead free and running. Why was it important to depict moments such as this?

JOYA: I think the path to mental freedom is such an important part of this story. Can you actually become free in this world filled with inequality? How you cope with life – amongst everything- is a battle only you can fight.  

Catch a first look at the video for “Most Frail” below.

Featured image credits/Courtesy of the artist