You might have previously known him as Filthy Frank or Pink Guy, but these days this ex-Youtube genius, now singer and producer is topping Billboard charts with his “trip-hop” music under the name Joji.
George Miller, or Joji, was born in Osaka, Japan and is half-Japanese and half-Australian. He started his YouTube channel, DizastaMusic, back in 2008, but didn’t start gaining popularity until his Filthy Frank character was introduced in 2011.
Filthy Frank is exactly what his name states he is–filthy. He is a loud-mouthed, foul-mouthed, and almost indescribable character. In 2013, Miller made an entire YouTube channel just for Frank–TVFilthyFrank–originally to promote his music. The channel now has over 6 million subscribers and over 800 million views.
Miller’s other character “Pink Guy” is even more difficult to describe, much like his channel, and especially his music. His debut album “Pink Season” was released in 2017 containing 35 tracks originating from Miller’s YouTube channel over the years. It even peaked at No. 70 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and No. 1 on the Top Comedy Albums chart.
“I catch the memes, I spread the memes, I eat the memes, I shit the memes. Without memes I will die,” as the track “Meme Machine” goes. Also included in the album are tracks like, “Gays 4 Donald,” “SMD,” and “Pink Life.”
The “Viral Mastermind” even opened a third YouTube channel–Too Damn Filthy–where there’s even more random videos for its almost 2 million subscribers.
The videos on all three of these channels consist of satirical raps, public pranks, comedy skits, lots of puking, and probably some of the weirdest stuff you’ll see on the internet, which is saying a lot considering the type of stuff you can find on the internet.
In one video, Filthy Frank is attacked by chicken hearts in his kitchen while wearing a purple wig and Japanese schoolgirl uniform, which Miller says was the worst mess they ever made, and that there’s probably still chicken hearts rotting in that apartment to this day.
Miller is also the creator of the biggest viral dance craze of 2013, “The Harlem Shake.” Something Miller says he doesn’t understand why people loved so much, but he was even able to do it live in front of Aerosmith.
Music was the original passion of Miller, not comedy. But when Filthy Frank and Pink Guy took off and took over the internet unexpectedly, he had to just “kind of roll with it,” he told Pigeons and Planes.
The “meme-lord” hung up his pink bodysuit and blue button-up and finally said goodbye to YouTube in late 2017 though, mostly because of health reasons, but also to focus more on his music career.
He uploaded a video to his YouTube channel breaking character (now deleted), where he talked about a brain condition he developed which causes him to have stress-induced seizures, which led to him shutting down his YouTube channels.
Miller was afraid that his Filthy Frank and Pink Guy era would be his peak, “I was depressed that that would be it,” he told Vice News.
In 2017, Miller started releasing music as Joji through the Asian music label YouTube channel, 88rising, to a great response from fans and non-fans alike.
Even though he says Pink Guy’s music was more fun to make, his music as Joji is much more real and serious, something he was unsure if people would like.
“I just didn’t know if people would embrace the serious stuff,” he told Hot Ones, “I wish I had the self confidence to switch earlier, because now it’s working out pretty well.”
It’s actually working out better than “pretty well,” as his first EP “In Tongues” made it to No. 58 on the Billboard 200, and his debut album “Ballads 1” topped Billboard’s R&B and hip-hop chart at No. 1 earlier this month.
Broadway World says Miller “defies convention” and describes his music as “characterized by down tempo, melancholic themes and soulful vocals, layered over lush grimy textures, blending elements of trap, folk, electronic, and R&B.”
When talking to Hot Ones about the hip-hop movement coming out of Asia with artists like Rich Chigga and Keith Ape, Miller said, “Even if you don’t understand the language, you can still vibe to it.”
Joji continues to rack up streams on both Spotify and YouTube, as his singles “Slow Dancing in the Dark” and “Yeah Right” both have over 60 million streams on Spotify among many others.
Joji’s unprecedented success has proven that he has some pretty loyal fans, and many new fans that don’t know of his “filthy” past. Joji has an internet, and now music, legacy that will last for a very long time to come.