Gimme Love – [Joji]

A lot of artists in the current age of technology have gained a following doing one thing but transition into other lanes as they please. Few artists are able to make as radical of a transition as Joji has, however. He first gained millions of subscribers on YouTube as a jokester making comical and typically offensive content that fans seemed to eat up. Since then, he has transitioned into making some of the most thoughtful, incredibly soothing music as Joji, which is a change that I don’t think anyone saw coming. While he might have lost some of his original fans, this was clearly the right move because he gained so many more admirers due to his masterful talent as a musician.

He was an integral part of the collective 88rising garnering recognition and joined a cast of other talents that is unique and unmatched in this current age of music. As we await his highly anticipated upcoming album Nectar, Joji dropped a single off of the project called “Gimme Love”. This track bolsters fast-paced percussion, a groovy bassline, and a soothing melody that reminds me of something along the lines of previous Thundercat records that I’ve heard in the past. On the hook, he infectiously beckons for love, using layers of his voice to play up the message, some being sung flawlessly while other layers are a bit more mashed together and slurred. As his first verse comes about, he sounds like he’d fit right in on an indie-rock type song, as he displays a singular style that portrays a feeling of despair to an extent. As the outro begins, the beat totally switches up to a more melancholy, reflective style that drops the rapid percussion and instead resorts to a softer aesthetic. Although throughout the entirety of the song, Joji is asking for love from someone he has such incredible feelings for, the outro shows a bit of despair as this person might not be sharing the same feelings, causing him to be at odds with himself within his mind.

The music video that accompanies the single is as fast-paced and lively as the song itself before the vibe changes and it slows down. The shots transition in a very quick manner, almost rotating with the rhythm of the song. It appears as if Joji is bored at home to begin with as he studies for something. It seems as if he’s frustrated with his current work situation, causing more and more havoc in the office he’s in as he gets increasingly more fed up. After his days in the office, he moves on to a scientific lab of sorts where military officials and scientists are working on a project together. It turns out that this lab is actually in charge of preparing a space mission, and as experiments get deeper and more intricate, they also get more dangerous which is demonstrated with blood, injuries, and what might even be casualties. When the production slows, Joji begins running in slow motion across the catwalk to the spacecraft as people yell to him, begging him to come back and not continue getting into the spaceship. He disregards everyone, settling in and preparing the shuttle for liftoff. As it begins to take off, pure bliss is present in his eyes while he smiles and admires the world from afar. This is short-lived, however, because the visual comes to an end as it appears as if something goes wrong and Joji goes limp, not moving even with the frantic beeping coming from the spaceship.

I think that the reason Joji’s incredibly well shot and creative music videos are so wonderful is due to his experience creating videos himself online. He knows the basics of plots, editing, and everything else that goes into making a cohesive visual, so he transferred those skills and leveled them up exponentially to consistently release appealing works of art. There’s no telling where his career would be currently had he not transitioned from YouTube to music, but I can tell you with the utmost certainty that he made the right decision. While we await the arrival of Nectar, Joji’s latest single “Gimme Love” and the paired music video is truly something to behold, so peep them as soon as you get an opportunity.