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Joji, the Viral Comedy Star Turned Lo-fi Crooner

Brief Profile

Full Name George Miller
Stage Name Joji
Birthday September 18, 1992
Birthplace Osaka, Japan
Age 30 years old
Height 5‘ 10"
Net Worth $8 million
Labels 88rising, 12Tone Music
Instagram Followers 1.7 million
Twitter Followers 1.3 million
YouTube Subscribers 8.89 million

Joji is a Japanese-American singer, songwriter, rapper, and former YouTube comedian who rose to fame through outrageously viral videos before reinventing himself as a lo-fi R&B artist.

From Shock Comic to Sadboy Crooner: The Origins of Joji

Joji first made waves on YouTube as the character Filthy Frank, known for absurdist comedy skits full of nausea-inducing gags. He amassed millions of obsessed followers drawn to the extreme, surreal humor.

As Pink Guy, Joji tapped into music and went viral yet again with humorous hip-hop tracks. But the stresses of internet fame took a toll. In a pivot to more genuine artistic expression, Joji officially retired his extreme personas in 2017 to focus on melodic, introspective R&B as himself.

Crafting a Melancholic Lo-fi Sound

Joji‘s early EPs In Tongues and Ballads 1 showcased his minimalist, down tempo aesthetic accented by his digitally filtered cooing. He crafts a hypnotic blend of electronic and organic textures colored by sparse trap beats, moody pianos, and swaths of reverb.

Lyrically, he channelsisolation and heartache in a way fans found incongruous yet compelling given his absurd comedy past. Joji‘s sound sits squarely in the lo-fi alt R&B wave alongside artists like Burial and James Blake. Critics praise his versatile vocal range and experimental production.

From Internet Novelty to Legitimate Pop Star

Joji‘s 2018 debut LP Ballads 1 marked his breakthrough into mainstream acclaim. It peaked at #3 on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts and hit #1 on Billboard‘s Emerging Artists. Singles like "SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK" and "YEAH RIGHT" each surpassed 100 million Spotify streams.

Additional career milestones:

  • Certified gold or platinum in 6 countries
  • Named to Forbes Asia "30 Under 30" 2018 list
  • Collaborations with major artists like Diplo, Trippie Redd, Lil Yachty
  • 1 billion+ streams, 8.9 million YouTube subscribers

Lasting Impact: A New Model for Genre-Blurring Artists

Joji represents a new breed of DIY artist who got their start outside traditional systems with an internet-native fanbase. His ever-evolving style pays no mind to genre limitations as he charts his own ecclectic course.

Above all, Joji‘s made vulnerability relatable to generations raised online. As one music critic put it:

"He takes the inherent irony of homogenized sadness and successfully metabolizes it into legitimate catharsis."

With his creative restlessness, I‘m eager to see how Joji continues to progress. But no matter what, he‘s already cemented his influence for nudging internet culture into uncharted creative territory.