Curating an essence that’s completely unique to his electic taste, the 21-year-old crooner has been fighting his own Silent Battles on his road to stardom. Off the back of his 2021 EP Proud Of U, it’s adapt or die for the Silver Springs emcee — finding “redemption” on his most polished effort to date.
“A lot of people aren’t going to feel the same way as me about this, but I felt like with my ‘Proud Of U’ EP, I didn’t really put my best music out at the time,” he revealed. “I feel like ‘PRETTY IN BLACK’ is sort of my redemption in terms of my feelings toward my music. ‘Proud Of U’ was rushed… But this ‘PRETTY IN BLACK’ moment is where I’m really showing the world I’m coming back stronger than ever.”
Positioning himself as one of the most underrated artists in today’s underground scene, the new wave genre-bender is a beacon for entrancing melodies that seemingly seep into your soul. On the come-up as a versatile voice in the new wave — sitting at just over 100,000 Spotify monthly listeners — Joony triumphantly turned heads with his inimitable mixtape Silent Battles last summer (2021). Prior to its subsequent B-Side in Silent Battles Deluxe, he was featured on Brent Faiyaz’s unexpected DropBox release “Paper Soldier” — introducing Joony to a slew of die-hard Faiyaz fans and music lovers alike.
As a part of Faiyaz’s Lost Kids collective — also enlisting the help of up-and-coming stars like TyFontaine on “Outta Town” and remixing “Milan” on KANKAN’s RR — Silent Battles was truly a moment for Joony, becoming synonymous for melding his off-kilter, R&B-centric voice to the confines of pluggnb. Where there’s success, there’s evolution, as Pretty In Black sees Joony in his most captivating era yet — pushing the envelope for creativity as the album progresses track by track.
“I feel like what separates ‘PRETTY IN BLACK’ from any other project I’ve done is how I’ve polished it is — how far I’ve come sonically, creatively and artistically from where I was with ‘Silent Battles.’ A lot has changed. Not just creatively for me, but in the physical world too. It’s mad different. It’s a better version of everything you’ve heard from me.”Joony to Our Generation Music
Whether it’s experiencing the turmoil of relationships or seeming unfazed by it all, the DMV enigma’s latest record can be summed up in one word: Black. “Everything is Black.” he said, explaining that concept for the album derives from not only his all-Black outerwear, but his identity and aura as a Black creative. It embodies Joony’s art in ways that listeners may not understand on the surface, yet, Pretty In Black shows that Black is beautiful in every single way.
Atmospheric pluggnb tracks like “ON DAT SHIT” and “HIGH AS ME” contrast the groovy, electro-infused vibes on “DRIFTING IN TOKYO,” ZOOM ZOOM” and “IM IN LOVE” — shining a light on Joony’s otherworldly knack for combining both somberly spit love ballads and the “MISERY” he puts himself through. “Do you love me that much?” he questions on the Charlie Heat-assisted ‘70s-inspired cut, finding balance in the alternative missteps of the track’s shimmering chimes with his hypnotic cadence. Overall, the 23-minute LP sees Joony achieve his goal of creating “beautiful music” — crafting a timeless, genre-bending escapade of street-ridden quips and love-torn indecision throughout.
“It’s a lot of variety,” he said of PIB. “I never really stick to one sound throughout the whole tape. Every song is different — lots of crazy shit. I got a ‘70s sounding track — like some Silk Sonic vibes (“MISERY”). I got a trap, Yeat type of vibe (“HIGH AS ME”). I got Cash Money AP-produced cut “HIGH LOWS,” it’s like a Southern, YoungBoy and NoCap vibe. It’s all over the place. Just know that with any project you get from me, I’m never not going to give something that’s versatile.”
“I’m really trying to shake the industry and wake them up to who Joony really is. I want to get them to not only believe in the music, but believe in me as an artist and get them behind me. I just want to give out beautiful music so people can have great feelings to it.”Joony to Our Generation Music
As Joony continues to break sonic barriers, he sat down with OGM host Hakeem Rowe to speak on his recent projects, TyFontaine, Lost Kids, Silent Battles and more in our latest Our Generation Music exclusive interview.
Watch Joony’s OGM exclusive below!