By now, the story of Joji is internet lore. The Australian-Japanese artist became an online sensation through his Filthy Frank and Pink Guy characters, creating a world of absurdist, gross-out comedy that resulted in a chart-topping album, Pink Season, earlier this year. Calling his fan base “passionate” would be the understatement of the year, so when Miller began moving his creative attention towards his lo-fi, piano-driven trip-hop project as Joji, we half-expected uproar.
Instead, the public has embraced this new sonic chapter. Joji's music is easy to love—the rabid comedy of Miller's earlier work has been channeled into hyper-detailed, textural instrumentals like “Rain On Me” and “Will He.” Joji's upcoming EP In Tongues drops this Friday, and it has quickly become one of the year's most anticipated releases.
“The reason I made the transition was because of overwhelming support,” Joji says. “I knew I had to do it. People were stopping me on the street to tell me I was wasting my time and my abilities… there's no set plan. I just want to test myself in all creative mediums.”
Watch our Music Life doc with Joji above, and check out the story behind Pink Season below. Pre-order In Tongueshere.
For two weeks in a row, Cardi B has sat atop the Billboard charts with her smash hit single “Bodak Yellow.” The unconventional summer low-burner is a phenomenon, and the crowning achievement of Cardi's rapid rise from viral fame to blockbuster sales. “Bodak” is a hit, but for anyone who catches the world's attention as quickly as she has there's going to be one question on everyone's mind: Will this be the only one? Cardi is a sensation, but the pressure will be high to see if she can repeat her success so far. Complex hit the streets of L.A. to find out whether people think Cardi B is destined to be a one-hit wonder, or if “Bodak Yellow” will be one of many times we'll be seeing Cardi on the charts from here on out.
The internet has no shortage of unique communities. Some are self-contained and secretive, while others—like the ASMR YouTubers—have become something more akin to an industry.
ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, longhand for a tingling sensation triggered by certain close-range sounds: whispering, hair brushing, and soap carving are just three of the many ASMR genres. The biggest accounts have millions of subscribers, and what was once a niche market for relaxation (Bob Ross is often credited as the “godfather of ASMR”) has blossomed into an industry.
It's gotten to the point that ASMR is making the move from YouTube to the real world. Whisperlodge is an “immersive theater experience” started by co-creators Andrew Hoepfner and Melinda Lauw. Their sessions play out like an ear spa—participants hear a variety of triggers as they move through the Whisperlodge, from a handful of marbles to a faux medical procedure.
As for why ASMR's popularity has exploded in recent years, the Whisperlodge creators have a theory: “We are so used to getting everything off the internet now,” says Lauw. “If we want a date we go online, if we want to buy food we go online, and if we relax we go online. ASMR is just a part of that.”
Hoepfner goes even further. He thinks ASMR connects with a viewer's need for intimacy. “I think it indicates people going to digital media to receive things we used to receive in person from each other.”
Regardless of the why, the Whisperlodge was a truly unique experience. Whether their real world ASMR will ignite a similar fanticism remains to be seen, but for now, the ASMR community continues to expand, both online and off.
Pop star RitaOra is an international sensation, and she's one of the biggest sneakerheads in the industry. Rita met up with Joe La Puma at Stadium Goods in New York City for the latest episode of Sneaker Shopping, and she talked about how deep her roots go in footwear, from working retail to landing her own major collaboration.
Growing up in London, Rita worked at international sneaker boutique Size?, and in the episode she talks about how her and her friends used to be the cool girls at the shop, blasting her music, and hooking her friends up with sneakers. Rita then goes on to talk about her love for Air Jordans from an early age, and how things came full circle for her when she landed her own sneaker deal with Adidas, something that resulted in over 15 different collections. In the end, she spends over $2,200 on a mix of new sneakers.
The release of Drake's More Life was a true hip-hop cultural moment. Between its debut on OVO Sound Radio, the huge sales, and the fan and critical love, it's clear that the playlist is a major success.
Now, the pressure is on Drizzy's frequent sparring partner Kendrick Lamar. Will his upcoming project create a similar sensation? We examine why it might—and why it might not—in the video above.
The young pop/electronic duo IYES have just released their newest single. After making huge waves with their last single, the newest one “Feelings” is set to be a hit! Their last single “Glow” was picked for an international ad campaign for the Sony Xperia Z3 phone, so there is no saying where the new single will take them.
The song starts with a throwback vibe, featuring a marimba sounding synth mixed with a bubbly 80s synth. Melis, the female presence of the duo, lends her lush vocals as the track progresses. The beat comes in as the duo begins to sing together, creating a pop inspired housesensation. The track will have you feeling great on a bad day.
In a new study conducted by researchers at McGill Unversity, it’s now been proved that same has the same effect on your brain as opioids and endorphins do. While it’s long since been assumed that music does have a positive effect on the human brain, it’s now been scientifically proven that “the chills” come straight from your brain releasing endorphins. According to the study’s senior author Daniel Levitin, it’s “the first demonstration that brain’s own opioids are directly involved in musical pleasure.”
The researchers tested their theory that ‘pleasure gained from music is akin to having sex, taking MDMA or eating tasty food’ by testing 17 participants. The subjects were fed a drug to temporarily block the brain’s natural opioid production stemming from pleasant experiences and then listened to their favorite songs while having their reactions recorded.
All the participants remarked that with their opioid receptors blocked, the listening experience just wasn’t there like it usually was. Per FACT, one participant commented that “it sounds pretty, but it’s not doing anything for me.”
Participants were allowed to select any music to listen to that “reliably produced intense feelings of pleasure for them, including but not limited to the sensation of chills.”
For A-list stars like Tiësto, Adele and John Mayer, no release is safe from the swirling hive of Internet trolls and complaints. The acts with the biggest followings are always subject to harsher criticisms, regardless of their work’s quality. And unfortunately for hip hop duo RaeSremmurd, their own material isn’t exempt.
With Billboard Music and BET Awards under their belt, it’s safe to say that the Atlanta-based duo is flying high above the average realms of stardom. Their two albums, hit singles and live performances have quickly skyrocketed them into the upper echelon of hip hop/pop fame, leading to an inevitable tidal wave of Internet hate along with it.
In a recent feature with Noisey, the duo sat down to read out some of their “Black Beatles” Youtube comments in person. The track was most recently made famous for its inclusion in the viral meme sensation, the Mannequin Challenge, where participants would freeze in place while the track played overhead.
From straight insults to more nuanced forms of trolling, the two wade their way through the muck on one of their most popular videos to date. At one point, member Swae Lee even said they might make techno as part of a new style. “You never know,” he said.
San Holo’s chart smashing single, “Light,” was released not so long ago and it has already been picked up by a plethora of producers churning out their own signature sound on the feel-good hit. The latest standout remix (rather, “Re-Crank”) has just been released by upcoming trap sensation, Crankdat.
Crankdat’s Re-Crank to “Light” has already reached the top 10 on SoundCloud’s “New & hot” chart across all music genres. This accolade goes to validate Crankdat’s perpetual ability to reach across the genre-divide and delight all different types of music fans.
The 19-year old producer has been on everyone’s radar over the past year. Diplo, Skrillex, Excision, Marshmello even The Chainsmokers, all of whom have rocked Crankdat’s collaboration with Lookas, “Gameover”.
Crankdat’s Re-Crank of “Light” showcases all the stylistic hallmarks fans have come to know and love the budding producer for, from melodic intros to high-pitched lead synths and radiant bass lines.
2017 will without a doubt be Crankdat’s biggest year yet: he announced on SoundCloud that he was dropping out of school to pursue his dream in music.
“I’ve made the decision to sacrifice my track and field scholarship and drop out of college with intentions of pursuing music full time.”