The career trajectory of the Japanese singer-songwriter and rapper Joji, real name George Kusunoki Miller, is an interesting one. Joji started his career as the oddball comedy character ‘Filthy Frank’ on YouTube before pursuing music full-time in 2017. His music is the complete opposite of his loud online persona. Focusing on minimalistic down tempo production, somber themes and soulful vocals. Now with three albums under his belt, he’s built a dedicated fan base big enough to play the 20,000 seat venue the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Oct 6.
Opening for Joji that night were rappers SavageRealm, Lil Toe (Ammo), and DJ Kenny Beats who helped rile up the crowd with their anthemic music and fun personalities. Joji began his set in dramatic fashion appearing on the venue’s screens next to a banner of his show teasing his arrival. Joji opened the night with "Sanctuary'' standing on top of high columns in the middle of the stage alongside his band. These columns were LCD screens that created a cinematic ambience to the night.
Joji's set list consisted of a mix of all his albums (Ballads 1, Nectar, Smithereens) and mixtape (In Tongues). It's easy to connect to the music as it's filled with relatable topics of love and heartbreak. The whole crowd was singing along to every lyric with emotion - especially on the catchy tracks like "YEAH RIGHT" or tender ballads like "Like You Do."
Joji’s personality shined all night as he blended his love of comedy and music. This setlist included small skits – like Joji going on his pee break and SavageRealm (who did double duty by opening and DJing Joji's set) sharing his favorite viral videos. The chemistry between Joji and SavageRealm was entertaining to watch as they bickered and cracked jokes through the night.
Towards the end of the night Joji took another pee break and came back with his team as the DJs group Yebi Labs. The atmosphere was club-like as they played electronic mashups of his music while hyping with the crowd. Joji used this time to sign autographs and throw items to the crowd. After the DJ set Joji returned for chilling performances of “Die for You,” “Like You Do” and “Gimme Love.” His voice is soft yet powerful. The inclusion of having a full band on stage also helped create a more dynamic sound. He ended his set with “Glimpse of Us, ” the perfect song to end as this song is his first single to debut in the top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100.
worldstar money (interlude)
I Don't Wanna Waste My Time
Die for You
Like You Do
Can't Get Over You
Slow Dancing in the Dark
Glimpse of Us