Joji: a music review

George Miller is a Swiss army knife of talents. His biggest claim to fame is his YouTube channel, TVFilthyFrank, with 5.2 million subscribers. His online alter-ego, Filthy Frank, can be described as nasty, painfully politically incorrect, and an anti-vlogger. Besides Filthy Frank’s content, TVFilthyFrank also hosts the music videos to Miller’s other alter-ego: Pink Guy. Over the past few years, Miller has released three Pink Guy mixtapes. Pink Guy’s music can be described as comedy rap full of memes with some pretty sick beats.

The common denominator between Filthy Frank and Pink Guy does not end with their shared YouTube space. Their videos are often disgusting, including things such as throwing raw chicken hearts across an apartment and making cake out of hair, but they often also include critique on today’s trends, such as the hype around drones. A lyric from Pink Guy’s “Pink Life is “I don’t need a fuckin’ marketing team tryna blow my shit / I’m not a fuckin’ vlog cunt with a lot of chicks / Tryna buy an autobiography about my dick”, criticising young vloggers with a dedicated following who write autobiographies. He says “they’re only like—not even twenty-two and they’re already putting out autobiographies. Like, what have you lived?

But besides all of this, Miller also delves into a more serious music endeavour. Under a different stage name, Joji, Miller makes (even more) music. In an interview with Pigeons and Planes, Miller admits that we was “doing music way before the Filthy Frank stuff” and that he’s “always wanted to make normal music”. His “normal music” was leaked in late 2016, which was my first encounter with Joji’s music. Two singles “you suck charlie” and “Thom”, on his SoundCloud, that’s all there was. Now, with only 11 songs on his SoundCloud, he has 249K followers, and an average of 2.5 million plays on each song.

Joji’s music—in contrast to Pink Guy’s music—is much more serious. It’s captivating, understated, and beautiful. He uses interesting and unusual sounds, such as rain and coins jingling, in combination with more conventional music instruments, such as the piano or ukulele. He experiments with key and rhythm changes, keeping his songs versatile. His hushed vocals make every word of his relatively simple lyrics feel so haunting. Some personal favourite lyrics include “You’re an earthly comfort / yet so divine” in “you suck charlie”, “So tenderly you watch me burn” in “WORLD$TAR MONEY”, and “And if the stars collide, will she relieve my soul?” in “i dont wanna waste my time”.

His songs are short, none surpassing 3 minutes, which is bittersweet. It leaves you craving for just a little bit more of the beautiful fragility he creates. His music feels so intimate, like a late stormy night, where the universe begs you to think about your life. He has only written two words in his SoundCloud description: romantic garbage, which—in some strange way—is a perfect description. His lo-fi sound becomes more than just music, it becomes an aesthetic.

You can listen to all of Joji’s tracks in under 40-minutes on his SoundCloud.

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