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Johan Lenox Is Lost In The Sauce On “I’m A Mess”

Revel In The Opulent Hangxiety Of “I’m A Mess” ft. Lancey Foux — Debuted This Morning On Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 Show — HERE

In-Demand Collaborator (Kanye, Lil Nas X, Travis Scott) Realizes Idiosyncratic Pop Vision On DebutWDYWTBWYGU, Out March 11

Watch Stripped Down Performance of “No One Gets Me” For Colbert HERE


Blurred nights, stumbling drunk: In the video for new single “I’m A Mess” — which had its World Premiere this morning on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 show this morning — Johan Lenox pours drink after drink in hopes to drown his feelings of uncertainty. 808s collide with the deep reverb of a weeping cello, violins careening in and out of the mix as Johan wryly confesses to personal failure. “Am I killing it? No. But am I growing up and learning s***? Also no.”

Expressively orchestrated and filled with energetic angst, “I’m A Mess” bridges the gap between partied out bliss and late night hangxiety as Johan wages a sardonic battle with the darker side of hedonism. Featuring a cameo verse from Lancey Foux that careens between cockiness and despair, “I’m A Mess” is the sonic equivalent of catching a haggard glimpse of yourself in the mirror after a few too many — and then having a few more. 

Watch “I’m A Mess” (ft. Lancey Foux) here.

“I’m A Mess” 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 a tender examination of Johan’s struggle with aging into adulthood and all its attendant expectations, held together by grand orchestration and ambitious song structures. He fantasizes about an escape from deadend suburbia (“Fuck This Town”), bristles against the expectations of his peers (“No One Gets Me”) and, on “Hitting Different,” laments his generation’s lack of stable career options as he gets paid cents on the dollar to drive an Uber and take a pet to doggie day care. "is this all part of getting older? or is everything just f*cked," he wonders.

Across the 14 tracks on WDYWTBWYGU, Lenox showcases the breadth of his compositional acumen. There’s no guitar, no synths, just woodwinds, strings, brass, vocals, and programmed drums. It’s a singular musical vocabulary that’s made Lenox an in-demand collaborator for Kanye, Lil Nas X, Travis Scott, Teyana Taylor, Snoh Alegra, and many more. 

Listen to a playlist of Johan’s production work here

Last week, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert spotlighted Johan’s avant-pop vision with a brand new performance of his "masterpiece" (Lyrical Lemonade) of a single "No One Gets Me." Accompanied just by a string quartet, Lenox paints a pained picture of adult resentment with tenderness and drama. Stripped of the drums and maximalist production of his original version, the performance emphasizes the idiosyncratic but beautiful pairing of auto-tuned vocals and chamber music accompaniment. Watch here:


What Happening (ft. 070 Shake)

I’m a Mess (ft. Lancey Foux)

You Up? (ft. Ant Clemons)

Some Sort of Intent

Get My Shit Together (ft. Thouxanbanfauni)

Fuck This Town


Hitting Different

Burning Sky (ft. Mr. Hudson)

Don’t Be A Loser

No One Gets Me (ft. RMR)

Phases (ft. Cousin Stizz)

What Do You Want To Be?

Don’t Wait For Me


Johan Lenox Online