The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: Joby
After cementing himself with a flurry of enticing releases over the last few years, Berlin-based Indonesian artist and producer Joby is getting ready to kick off his new year with the bold and dynamic new offering '4u'.
Channelling more of that rich and atmospheric R&B-inspired aesthetic he is known for, '4u' makes for a brilliant deep and passionate listen. With his rich and sweeping voice layered across a driven production throughout, he is continuing his rise as one of the more exciting names on the scene today.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and influences over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
The first artist I properly began listening to was Wiz Khalifa. Wiz Khalifa was the first artist to introduce me to rap music, and I’d listen to everything from “Flight School” to “Rolling Papers” to “Blacc Hollywood”. After Wiz, I had listened to a lot of Drake; “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” but mainly “Views”. After Drake, I would listen to a lot of Post Malone, “Stoney” and “Beerbongs & Benteleys”, and attended two of his concerts while I was still in high school.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
Although I had never formed a band myself, I took part in various local Jazz Big Bands in my area, where I played the alto saxophone. I began playing in a local school Jazz Big Band called Aloisiuskolleg Bonn, outside of my school, then moved on to play in the ‘Jugend Jazz Orchestra Bonn’ (The Jazz Youth Orchestra of Bonn). After I moved to Berlin after high school, I began focussing on producing my own music instead.
What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?
My primary inspiration for music comes from personal experiences. I find it easiest to write about a real-life event that I have recently experienced. Not only is the storytelling aspect better, as I’m able to list out the series of events in order, I’m also able to describe exactly how I felt at that moment with vivid detail.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
In terms of production, lyrics, melodies and arrangement, “No Idea” by Don Toliver is a song that I wish I had written. From the very first listen, Toliver’s timbre, melodies, inflections, flow switches, cadences, combined with production from Wondagurl and Cubeatz, had me in a trance from beginning to end. “No Idea” has become one of my favourite songs of all time, as well as my most played song for 2020 and 2021. However, with regard to songwriting and pure music theory, “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic is the song that I wish I had written for myself. Their ability to effortlessly modulate keys throughout the song through borrowing chords from other keys, makes this song a timeless masterpiece.
If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?
I would want to relive the moment of my first release “Locked In”. This had been the first time that I ever recorded myself on a self-produced track, and it was the first time that my friends and family could hear my voice on a finished song. The shocked reactions coming from my friend group after I told them it was me was absolutely priceless, and it became a moment I won’t forget. Although the music I produce now is far more advanced and better sounding
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
I would definitely say Don Toliver. I’m familiar with his entire discography and his songs go hard live.
And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?
Although the one artist I’d want to collaborate with would be Don Toliver, I’m not sure as to how well our voices would complement each other’s, which is why I’d want to collaborate with either Post Malone, Lil Nas X, The Kid Laroi, or Rich Brian.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
By this time I’ll already have at least a couple of albums behind me, and I’ll be touring globally and travelling with my team and circle of close friends.
Joby's new single '4u' is available to stream now. Check it out below.