In our lives and in our art, growth is important. Growth shows that we can adapt and that our minds have yet to stagnate. Many artists are famous for paintings that look nothing like their early works, and the same can be said of musicians as well.
However, none have had quite the career trajectory ofJoji. Honestly, the fact that his career got to the point where he could make a song as good as “Run” speaks volumes to his growth.
For years, Japanese singer/songwriter George “Joji” Miller was known as Filthy Frank, the foul-mouthed shock comic who dominated his sphere of YouTube. Despite making comedy music under the alias “Pink Guy” during this time, Miller kept his more serious works under wraps. It wasn’t until a 2015 leak that his lo-fi infused R&B was shown to the world.
In 2017, Miller officially ended his YouTube career and teamed up with the label 88rising to release his first EP “In Tongues,” followed in 2018 by his debut full length album “BALLADS 1” which featured his first bonafide hit “Slow Dancing in the Dark.” Over the nearly two years since “BALLADS 1,” Joji has released two songs, “Sanctuary” and his latest banger, “Run.”
When “Run” begins, we are greeted by a haunting guitar arpeggio, as Miller begins to describe his yearning for a lost love. In some of his most haunting lyrics to date, he acknowledges a relationship where he knows that the other half has fallen out of love, while he remains as infatuated as ever.
The chorus expresses these themes perfectly, as Miller belts, “I know you’re not in love, like you used to be/Guess I’m not the one, like you used to think.” Paired with his falsetto (and the most badass guitar solo I’ve heard in years), these words dig into the listener and drive the emotion home.
The music video takes the song to another level. In it, we see Miller wake up in the back of a limo and make his way down its seemingly endless length. He takes the words from the song and makes them feel stressful, as if every moment spent lingering on her is an eternity; he can’t escape the thought of her no matter how hard he tries.
At the end of the video, we are greeted by sets and costumes reminiscent of the “Sanctuary” video, implying a sort of “Joji Cinematic Universe” and reinforcing the theory that these two tracks are the leading singles off of his next record.
“Run” shows great amounts of growth for Joji as a singer/songwriter. There are a few vocal runs on the song that made my jaw drop the first time I heard it, because I never expected him to be capable of things like that. If he continues the path he’s on now, Joji could end up a mainstay on all of our feels playlists.