Hypnotic guitar riffs blend with 808s and RnB inflected vocals on this stunning and sensual debut from the Los Angeles newcomer, JOYN. The dizzying guitar solo at the end of “Fake the Funk” is a bold statement from a young artist who is clearly walking in the footsteps of Prince before him.
JOYN has a sound uniquely his own. Hypnotic guitar riffs blend effortlessly 808 drums and trap style grooves. His voice at one moment childlike and innocent, in the next grotesque and eccentric, recalls a bad-era Michael Jackson, while attempting to wear his grunge influences on his sleeve. Though where JOYN undoubtedly shines are the moments he reaches for his guitar.In the current state of popular music, where the majority of African-American artists are chasing after big hip hop records, or generic RnB, JOYN is a rare commodity.
While Gary Clark Jr. remains the torchbearer of black guitar players, he is for all intents and purposes a basic Texas-bluesman. Throughout the history of popular music we’ve had all but three black rock musicians. Jimi Hendrix. Prince. Lenny Kravitz. JOYN is cut from the same cloth. In an age instruments have been largely replaced by software, here is an artist who has figured out a way to help the two coexist.
His six string is his ex-factor. Combined with his gift for sharp pop songwriting and production skills, his music echoes the sentiments of a young rock musician with a firm grasp on what it means to make music in the contemporary age.