Filthy Frank, Who? Joji Is Here to Stay

BY ISABELLE BEAUCHAMP

Remember the guy who started 2013's infamous "Harlem Shake" video trend? Well, he now has a debut album, over 8,000,000 Spotify followers, and a tour that's almost sold out.

George Miller, better known by his stage name "Joji,", has garnered attention in the music scene in light of the recent release of his debut album, BALLADS 1. It's a dramatic transformation from his more vulgar work on YouTube. Before moving to the music scene, Miller had gained a massive social following behind his characters "Filthy Frank" and "Pink Guy," known for creating absurd and sometimes alarming content. As the now discontinued character's "About" page says on YouTube, these characters are "the embodiment of everything a person should not be."

Miller's new work is much different: it's tender and emotional. The lead single off of BALLADS 1, "SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK," paints a somber narrative of a failing relationship, and "WANTED U" describes a desperate yearning for someone that's unavailable. BALLADS 1 is an alternative mesh of lo-fi and R&B that defies strict musical boundaries, and is surprisingly intimate. The album features many relatable lyrics alluding to failed romance, such as verses from "TEST DRIVE" (I told you not to waste my fucking time / I told you never sing that song, you lied) and "ATTENTION" (I thought I'd vocalize my troubles, but nobody will listen / I know I'm cryptic and I'm weird, that shit comes off as indifferent).

Miller has shown his talent in many different areas of media, and his recent transition to more "serious" music is impressive. Who knows what we can expect next for him in a time where artists experience much more freedom to explore different mediums and art forms.

Lead Image Credit: Joji / Instagram