14 January, 2022Print
Johan Lenox Builds A Sonic Monument To Never-Ending Youth On “No One Gets Me” Ft. RMR
In-Demand Collaborator (Kanye, Lil Nas X, Travis Scott) Comes Into His Own On Debut AlbumWDYWTBWYGU Out March 11
Featuring 070 Shake, Lancey Foux, Thouxanbanfauni, Ant Clemons, RMR, Mr. Hudson, Cousin Stizz + The Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Retirement home bingo, home ownership, childbirth, marriage: In the video for today's new song “No One Gets Me,” Johan Lenox stares down the traditional earmarks of adult life and vows to find another way.
In this miniature epic about clinging on desperately to the abandon of youth, Lenox — an artist who’s strayed from the conservatory path and found himself collaborating with Kanye, Lil Nas X, and more international superstars before honing his own idiosyncratic and maximalist sound — crafts a decadent atmosphere as cavernous strings and his melodic melancholia give way to a triumphant piano key change and guest vocalist RMR’s emotive coda. The result is an internet-poisoned, red-lined inversion of Brian Wilson’s “teenage symphonies to God” that revels in Lenox’s singular vision.
Watch the video for “No One Gets Me” (featuring RMR) here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YEF_RG8Ke8
“No One Gets Me” is the latest track from WDYWTBWYGU (short for “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up”), Johan Lenox’s debut album out March 11. It's an opulently arranged set of pop and hip-hop songs held together by Johan’s auto-tune croon and his observations on dashed hopes, adult shortcomings, and exactly how much he can really shift the blame away from himself for his disappointments. There’s no guitar, no synths — just woodwinds, strings, brass, vocals, and programmed drums, arranged via musical notation.
Across the 14 tracks on WDYWTBWYGU, Lenox showcases the breadth of his compositional acumen while chastising his unreliability (“I’m A Mess”), fantasizing about an escape from dead end suburbia (“Fuck This Town”), and bristling against the expectations of his peers (“No One Gets Me”). It’s a tender examination of Johan’s self-deprecating life perspective, held together by grand orchestration, ambitious song structures and enveloping soundworlds.
On lead single “You Up? (ft. Ant Clemons), pizzicato string plucks and skittering hi-hats spiral into late-night hangxiety as Johan grasps at any semblance of intimacy. Listen to what Lyrical Lemonade called “a testament to Lenox’s innate talent and ability to turn concepts into masterpieces” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig-ISz2Y0mI
Originally trained as a classical musician, Johan Lenox spun years composing for the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Yeethoven — a concert that intertwined the music from Yeezus with the stylings of Beethoven — into a compositional prowess that landed him credits for Kanye West, Lil Nas X, Travis Scott, Channel Tres, Teyana Taylor, Snoh Aalegra and more. In subverting maximalist pop and hip-hop production orthodoxy, Johan stands out. As UPROXX succinctly says, “The name Johan Lenox is one you should know.”
Praise for Johan Lenox and “You Up”
“The name Johan Lenox is one you should know.”
“A testament to Lenox’s innate talent and ability to turn concepts into masterpieces.”
— Lyrical Lemonade
“An intimate song perfect for late night drives.”
“A cleverly written and string-laden banger.”
— Ones To Watch
“Unlike anyone else.”
— Daily Chiefers