12 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

BALLADS 1 marks a turning point for the singer, producer, and former viral video star. On his full-length debut, 88rising’s resident soul man opens the studio door to collaboration with artists like Shlohmo, Thundercat, RL Grime, Clams Casino, Jam City, and rapper Trippie Redd. “The growth has definitely been crazy,” Joji told Beats 1. “I had to stop being so stubborn and work with other people to explore new sounds. I don’t ever want to be boxed in.”

Mission accomplished. On his debut, the Osaka-born, New York-based artist blows up traditional R&B and reconstructs it in his own image, splicing in electronic, trip-hop, and post-punk accents. He tackles balladry from multiple angles: depression (“YEAH RIGHT,” “TEST DRIVE”), giddiness (“CAN’T GET OVER YOU”), rage (“WANTED U”). Joji’s late-night confessionals shift from soothing falsetto to dusted moan; it’s sometimes downcast, sometimes grimy, but always honest and pure.

EDITORS’ NOTES

BALLADS 1 marks a turning point for the singer, producer, and former viral video star. On his full-length debut, 88rising’s resident soul man opens the studio door to collaboration with artists like Shlohmo, Thundercat, RL Grime, Clams Casino, Jam City, and rapper Trippie Redd. “The growth has definitely been crazy,” Joji told Beats 1. “I had to stop being so stubborn and work with other people to explore new sounds. I don’t ever want to be boxed in.”

Mission accomplished. On his debut, the Osaka-born, New York-based artist blows up traditional R&B and reconstructs it in his own image, splicing in electronic, trip-hop, and post-punk accents. He tackles balladry from multiple angles: depression (“YEAH RIGHT,” “TEST DRIVE”), giddiness (“CAN’T GET OVER YOU”), rage (“WANTED U”). Joji’s late-night confessionals shift from soothing falsetto to dusted moan; it’s sometimes downcast, sometimes grimy, but always honest and pure.

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About Joji

Japanese-Australian comedian and musician George Miller -- who built an audience on the internet as Filthy Frank and the Lycra-wearing "Harlem Shake"-ing Pink Guy -- is also a serious artist crafting downtempo, moody reflections under the Joji moniker on efforts like In Tongues. He made his debut in 2011 with the absurdist online comedy series The Filthy Frank Show, which garnered Miller over four million followers and pop culture renown with his viral "Harlem Shake" dance. He rode his ensuing popularity by releasing an album of popular vignettes, the self-titled Pink Guy, in 2014. With a built-in fan base, Pink Guy's 2016 release, Pink Season, topped download charts and climbed to number 76 on the Billboard 200. In addition to trap rap-influenced tracks, the album also featured downtempo electronic textures reflecting his non-comedic songwriting as Joji. He would spin that trip-hop-inspired songcraft into a full exercise on 2017's In Tongues, a six-song EP of introspective musings and piano-based electronic explorations similar to tracks by Jinsang and eevee. Following the collaborative single "18" with Kris Wu and Rich Brian, Joji issued a deluxe version of In Tongues in early 2018 which expanded the original EP with ten more tracks, including remixes by Lapalux, Ryan Hemsworth, and Actress. The low-key "Yeah Right" followed in May of that year. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

HOMETOWN
Osaka, Japan
BORN
18 September 1992

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