Joji – “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK”
Ever heard of Filthy Frank or Pink Guy? If you’ve been on the Internet for the past few years, chances are you probably have.
Japanese-Australian singer, songwriter, rapper, and retired Youtuber Joji (George Miller) is back with a riveting music video for “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK.” But before we delve into it, let’s get to know him a bit.
Joji started his career as a Youtuber in 2008 under two aliases Filthy Frank and Pink Guy (an alter-ego that wears pink onesies in his videos) on his channel TVFilthyFrank, amassing nearly 6 million subscribers at the time of this post. Consisting of bizarre shows, rants, and satirical music, his old videos made a huge impact on the Internet–one of which includes kickstarting the viral Internet dance craze known as the Harlem Shake Challenge. When he wasn’t starting pranking people or posting over-the-top gross-out videos, Joji also produced comedy hip hop music under the name Pink Guy, under which he dropped his first album: 2017’s Pink Season. Despite being an album filled with black comedy and cringeworthy lyrics, some songs on that album like Nickelodeon Girls or Stfu still became top hits on Spotify. Although it was just a one-off project, many of his Youtube subscribers supported Pink Season whole-heartedly, making a music career the obvious next step for him. He stopped making Filthy Frank videos completely last year, signing up to the record label 88Rising (alongside with Rich Brian and Higher Brothers, to name a few) as Joji instead.
In his latest release, Joji expresses vivid details of his feelings when he falls in love with a girl (or a girl that he fell in love with before). But although it’s a love song, it’s more noir rather than romantic. Joji is depicted in a dark and cold place waiting to die alone, and the gloomy, ambient instrumentals brings out a feeling of helplessness. Take a look at the depressing lyrics, “Give me reasons we should be complete / You should be with him / I can’t compete.” He fears that the girl he once loved will break his heart again, eventually putting himself into a dark abyss.
To further drive home his point, Joji even takes iconic historical symbols and uses them to emphasize his sadness. At one point in the video, Joji even surprisingly transforms into a faun (a half human and half goat hybrid). In the ancient Roman Empire, the faun is often represented as a symbol of fear when men are traveling in remote, lonely places– so when he embarks on a journey trying to woo the girl back into his arms, he’s afraid that he will be rejected again and hurt him deeper. He later explains: “When I’m around slow dancing in the dark / Don’t follow me, you’ll end up in my arms.”
Another dramatic moment in the video is when Joji (as the faun) gets shot in the back with a lead arrow (by Cupid, God of love), representing his feeling of aversion and his desire to flee from this crumbling relationship. After being shot by the arrow, Joji gives up on getting the girl back, letting her go with someone else. Based on his darkened, gaunt face and the ominous visuals, he’s completely heartbroken.
The music video really captures how hurt he must feel, even suggesting that he simply doesn’t want to live anymore. The former comedian truly encapsulates what it feels like to love and lose someone, composing a lovesick ode for the ages. At the end of the music video, when Joji lies on white panels in a pool of his own blood (a common motif in his music videos), his remote journey has come to an end. His failed relationship has taken a permanent, scarred toll on him.
Joji truly knows how to portray a failing relationship–and a quite dramatic one at that. Next time we need relationship advice, we’ll definitely give him a call. 😉
Special thanks to Piter Balayan for contributing this article.