I grew up watching JoJo in movies like Aquamarine and belting out her song “Too Little Too Late” like my life depended on it. But in the same way that I have grown up, JoJo has too.
At her concert on April 19 at The Blue Note, JoJo proved she is not the innocent teenager from Aquamarine anymore. She is independent, empowered and strong. She is a woman who is not afraid of being herself or fighting for what she wants.
I’ve been to many concerts where you can tell the artist does not want to engage with their audience and only focuses on singing. JoJo was the complete opposite. She created an atmosphere filled with empowerment, encouragement and hope.
Throughout her performance, she incorporated advice and explanations as to why she wrote each song or how she hoped her listeners interpreted it. Being in the audience, it felt like she was talking directly to me. In a room filled with people, she found a way to relate to every single one of us on an extremely personal level.
As an artist, she proved that just because she is a celebrity does not mean she doesn’t experience the same difficulties we do. She has hardships, heartbreak and times when she feels hopeless. The crowd came together while swaying in unison with their phone screens lit up like candles.
She created a concert that allowed the audience to realize that everyone has similar struggles. It was nice listening to her encourage us to prioritize self-love and to never settle for anything less than what we all rightfully deserve.
Before singing her song “Fuck Apologies” from her new album Mad Love, she talked about how she is through with wasting time by living her life according to what everyone else wants. The song is about how it's easy to apologize for absolutely everything when, in reality, we don’t have to unless we want to.
Like many songs on Mad Love, “Fuck Apologies” shows Jojo’s ability to take control of her life and stop apologizing for being herself. At first, it’s weird hearing your favorite childhood star dropping the F-bomb, but this is her wanting fans to realize she has grown up and isn’t afraid to say what she wants. She told the audience members to put their middle fingers in the air and stop apologizing to the world when it doesn’t deserve it.
As much as I loved screaming along to “Fuck Apologies,” it was also amazing to witness JoJo showcase her raw talent with her song “I Am.” With the stage lights dimmed and the focus all on her and the microphone, she showed her ability to control her vocals. This song reiterates her realization that she is worthy of extraordinary love and she is through with anyone who ever made her feel differently.
Going into the concert, my only hope was to hear “Too Little Too Late” and her cover of “Marvin’s Room.” Luckily, she sang both of these songs, and I screamed like a complete fangirl with no shame.
I found myself hoping the concert would never end. She is incredibly underrated for her talent and has a genuine appreciation for the people around her. Many fans have grown up listening to her and watching her movies as a young star, and now JoJo is encouraging her audience to continue growing with her.