The Miami-based singer-songwriter, producer, and electro-pop recording artist Jogïr makes his big debut with a conceptual and groovy 10-song album entitled 'Neon.'
With an artistic career inspired by 80s music and old-school video games, not to mention the invasion onset of adulthood, it's safe to say that Jogïr's music is far from ordinary. He perfectly reflects this through his debut album, 'Neon,' which demonstrates the story of a millennial struggling to find his way and make peace with his existence. Without further ado, let's jump into the new record.
The album kicks off with the interlude-type introductory song, "Press Start," similar to the opening of a video game, which Jogïr also mentioned was an inspiration of the entire album's concept. The sonics take off with the sound of a car starting and zooming off into the night, where we later hear the footsteps of someone walking into some type of arcade. Then, while the synths begin to rise with anticipation, we jump into a seamless transition with the next song.
Song number two, "Headlight Mist," opens with the brightest and grooviest electro-pop/80s synthpop sonic landscape. Alongside a brilliant electric guitar, we jump into the first verse where Jogïr makes his warm vocal appearance. We love the vibrance of this song; it perfectly starts the album with nothing but life and vitality. As Jogïr jumps into the pre-hook with the utmost anticipation, he takes us into the beaming and melodic hook, where he drenches us in his catchy and rhythmic vocal delivery. This is a quality introductory song; it leaves us excited to see just where Jogïr might take us.
Another great transition leads us into the third song, "Descent," but this time around, it feels like we're being transported into the second level of a video game. This interlude-type piece opens with the chirping of crickets and the same footsteps approaching a dizzying sci-fi noise that opens its doors to accept the protagonist. Several industrial noises and a maniacal laugh roam the background while more dizzying synths heighten the anticipation and drop us into song number four.
As the muffled synths in "Fatalist" open song number four, they sink into this dazed state where a laser-like synth begins piercing our speakers alongside a bright and radiant 80s sonic landscape. As the airy drum breaks and bright keyboards begin to drift through our speakers, Jogïr jumps in and sings of his fatalism getting to him while he approaches the onset of early adulthood. This is the perfect song for the average millennial enduring a quarter-life crisis; it has all the soul and emotion to get anyone back on their feet. Not to mention the song's overall stimulating feel; it leaves in search of a dancefloor.
Uh oh, we're approaching "Level 6," there has to be some obstacle in our way. This interlude is much shorter than the other two and kicks off with what sounds like an elevator approaching "Level 6," where the protagonist hesitantly walks off with heavy footsteps on a metal floor and approaches the next song. We must mention that we deeply appreciate how Jogïr tied in his love for video games into this conceptual album; it makes the record all the more engaging.
Onto a fan favorite and previously released singles, "Easy," the song takes off with Jogïr's soothing and melodic vocals that sing about the emotional theme of a troubled relationship. While the bouncy and quick drums begin to pound through, a radiant and electrifying synth begins to jump through our speakers while we land on the exhilarating hook. We love how Jogïr placed such an emotional message over a vibrant sonic foreground, especially with his rich background vocals that spice up the song's energy and life. The production of this song is impeccable, and Jogïr's emotional lyrical portrayal offers boundless relatability.
With the next song, "Hologram," we're taken way back into the 80s with the array of pulsating synths and robotic vocals that shower us in darkness and introspection. As Jogïr's low and deep vocal portrayal enters the song, the tappy drums begin to snap through while taking us into the transcendent and synth-heavy verse. The keyboard solos on this song are incredible, and they do a brilliant job of bringing the song to a vibrant climax with endless energy. The song's second half transitions into this reflective spoken word from Jogïr, who speaks with the utmost vulnerability about making up for his mistakes.
Moving onto the eighth song with another seamless transition, "Light Years" opens with a soft pulsating synth and a light piano melody. As Jogïr opens his heart and sings of searching for a lover, the drums begin to kick through our speakers alongside a video game-like synth while leading us into the exciting hook. Jogïr belts his vocals while singing of yearning for someone's love once again alongside the exhilarating sonic background that keeps the song pumping forward. A beautiful piano melody leads us into the dark celestials with a dizzying synth towards the song's end.
While another array of dark and sultry synths pour through our speakers on the ninth song, "Real World," the effects of rain and thunder strike our ears while the sensual and heavy sonics pound through our speakers. There's also the blazing addition of a wailing electric guitar that haunts this interlude with the utmost emotion and reflection. This song's sonics feel like they're straight out of The Weekend's latest album, filled with lust, energy, and emotion.
As we drift into the refreshing outro song, "Heaven," the song opens with a pilot preparing for take-off while an array of synths take us into what sounds like the sonics of heaven. As a mid-tempo drum arrangement pours through our speakers alongside a glimmering keyboard melody, Jogïr makes his soothing vocal appearance alongside a distorted synth while singing a reflective message of watching the years fly by and yearning to hold someone's heart for the rest of eternity. This song is a stunning modern-day ballad, and it closes the record with nothing but grace and composer.
Jogïr left our heads in the clouds with his debut album, and we encourage you to experience the record's emotion and sonic mastery for yourself. Find Jogïr's debut album, 'Neon,' on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Jogïr. Congratulations on releasing your passionate and conceptual debut album, 'Neon.' What life themes or experiences inspired you to create this record?
Thank you for having me! So the album was inspired by a time in my life where I felt incredibly lost. I had just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. I was hoping to begin some sort of an illustrious career like many of my peers, but I ended up stuck in a dead-end temp job that made me miserable. I didn't know how I would get out of there, and anytime I tried, I ended up feeling disappointed by the results. This seemingly endless cycle of getting my hopes up followed by repeated disappointments led to my existing anxiety getting out of hand. The negative thoughts in my head grew so loud I couldn't ignore them, and I found that the only way to process those feelings was to write and create music. Eventually, the things I was writing about were less specific to that particular experience and more about generally making peace with all the parts of myself, both good and bad.
Since this is your big debut, how can listeners know you more personally through the album 'Neon?'
I would say by really paying attention to the lyrics of each song! I consider myself to be a songwriter before anything else, really, and the lyrics on this album are the most personal and vulnerable I've ever written. You get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. That's part of why I took on my stage name, Jogïr because I felt like it gave me the freedom to be as open as possible without having any preconceived notions of my character or who I am attached to the music. It was more of a mental thing for me, but it led to lyrics that I hope will ultimately really resonate as honest and true to who I am.
Did you produce the entirety of your record, 'Neon?' How long did it take you to finalize and finish the record?
I did! There are some small production elements from a collaborator on "Fatalist," but aside from that, everything you hear, production-wise, came from me. It took me four years to complete the record, in part because life was happening simultaneously and because I wanted to give myself the room to grow and put out the highest quality work I could. It's wild for me to go back and listen to some of the earlier demos I had made for some of the songs compared to the things I was able to do later on with the skills I naturally gained as I worked more and more on the album. It was a process of getting out the raw ideas first, then teaching myself and refining my skills to bring what I heard in my head fully to life. As I grew and changed as a consumer of music, that also really impacted what I felt I could do and what types of sounds and experiences I wanted to craft for the album. For example, the way all the songs flow into one another was inspired by Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer. I thought that technique really created a cohesive listening experience that I felt would fit my record well. Those types of realizations also extended the time it took to complete everything.
Is there a song off 'Neon' that you resonate the most with, or that means the most to you? Could you explain why?
I would have to say "Light Years" for sure. In my opinion, it's the most nuanced song on the album by far, which is why it takes place towards the end, and honestly, every time I listen to it, especially the beginning, I get super emotional. It's a moment of clarity, realization, and acceptance. The song is about coming to terms with the parts of yourself that may have caused you or others harm while striving to do better and aim higher for yourself moving forward. The second verse of the song reads: "I know it's so hard to appease me/Self-immolation comes too easy/All these galaxies and stars make trails that run too far/Of all the sparks I've left between you and me," which I think really strikes at the heart of that sentiment. All the times I've been self-destructive or felt like the negative voices in my head have gotten too loud have created these sparks that looking back seemed like really negative moments but are now these really beautiful experiences that have made me who I am, as a fully realized human being, but that maybe have also pushed me away from being the best version of myself as quickly as I would like to have been. It's really bittersweet but authentic, and I hope, ultimately liberating, sentiment.
What did you want your audience to experience when listening to your album, 'Neon?' Did you want them to take anything away for themselves?
First and foremost, I want the audience to feel like they've gone through a journey by the time they've finished the record. I created the album to be listened to from top to bottom. There's a lot of verticality and space to the production design, especially with some of those interludes, which I hope leads to a really cinematic and cathartic listening experience. Beyond that, and more importantly, I want for listeners to leave the album feeling like they aren't alone in the experience of discovering and becoming their full selves. Especially for–but definitely not limited to!–younger people in their early twenties enter that emerging adulthood stage of life; there are so many pressures we place on ourselves, molds we try to fit, expectations we try to meet, that it's really easy to lose oneself along the way. Learn to make peace and love who you are in the present while also working to be the best, most authentic version of yourself you can, and everything will fall into place, even if it's not how you expected.