What R&B singer Joji revealed in his first track, “Attention,” is incredibly telling of who he is as an artist — he pours out vulnerability through these lyrics acknowledging his more subtle emotions.
“I thought I'd vocalize my troubles, but nobody will listen — I know I'm cryptic and I'm weird, that s*** comes off as indifferent.”
His new album, “BALLADS 1,” was released last Friday.
Taking a step back on how Joji came to be the recording artist he is today, Joji was born George Miller in Osaka, Japan. The 26-year-old artist took on his stage name from the pronunciation of George in Japanese.
Although Joji has had a dominant presence on the internet since 2011, his career as Joji became his main focus in 2017, which was made clear through his first single release of “Will He.”
However, in previous years, Joji has released comedy hip-hop under the name “Pink Guy,” a character from his incredibly popular YouTube channel, “TVFilthyFrank.” On his main channel, many characters played by Joji, along with his friends, can be seen pulling ridiculous pranks, along with the vulgar nature of the channel’s most popular personality, “Filthy Frank.”
2017 was the last and final year of FilthyFrank, with Joji releasing a statement on Twitter explaining to the fans he had garnered through the years of being on YouTube that he would retire from FilthyFrank due to issues with health and lack of interest in continuing the channel.
As for Joji’s latest album release, “BALLADS 1,” the 12-track album has been long anticipated by fans for months, as Joji revealed on his social media platforms that he would be releasing new music at the end of the summer.
Although it has been a little over six months since Joji’s last album release, “In Tongues,” the artist has been keeping himself busy through the summer by releasing music with the international record label and music entertainment group, “88rising,” focusing on Asian talents in the music industry.
Now that Joji’s new album is here, “BALLADS 1” has already reached the number one spot on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart, and eleventh overall for all genres within just one day of the album’s release.
Familiar songs that Joji released as singles leading up to the album’s release are present, with tracks “Slow Dancing in the Dark,” “Can’t Get Over You,” “Test Drive” and “Yeah Right” all being featured on his latest album.
Joji’s music has been accredited as trip-hop, which is a incorporation of a variety of musical styles with the main two genres being pulled from hip-hop and electronica.
Showing his versatility of sounds, a collection different tones and beats flow throughout this new album, intertwined the same blunt honesty Joji fans have known him for since his FilthyFrank days.
The explicit lyrics on most of the album's tracks offer an image of Joji’s attitude as an artist, which is that he will exercise all aspects of freedom within his music to get each message his songs project in the way he sees fit — whether people like it or not.
Although Joji may not be involved with his FilthyFrank days anymore, as people are evolving continuously, so are artists, with their work following suit. “BALLADS1” is a testament to Joji’s progression as an artist, moving on from his previous platform on YouTube to the music industry.
Macey Rose is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @maceyrae9.