Meet Jofi, who battles isolation with her new single/video, All My Friends Have Boyfriends
The Sydney musician's latest single - and her first for 2020 - is an anthem for the lonely through quarantine.
If there's one positive lining to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it's the art that has come out of it. As we've seen in the past two months, artists - particularly musicians, despite working in an industry amongst the hardest hit from the pandemic - have used the slowed-down world to create some of their best work to date, whether it's singles or videos taking on new life - or even new forms - in the face of the pandemic, full-length albums born out of isolation (like Charli XCX's how i'm feeling now on the Friday just gone), or online shows and festivals such as Isol-Aid.
Sydney-based musician Jofi is someone who - like everyone else - has been feeling the flow-on effects of isolation, and the music she's making at the moment has been directly influenced by this period of quarantine and its effects on her mental health. Her new single, All My Friends Have Boyfriends, tackles the loneliness of isolation, born from watching her friends quarantine with partners while she stays by herself, and finds other sources of comfort during this time (she name checks wine, dogs and TikTok dances as her sources of relief during this time, and to be honest, same).
"All my friends have boyfriends, stuck in isolation / Kinda wish I had one for this situation," she sings in a lyric that summarises the whole song perfectly. After a string of singles across last twelve months, All My Friends Have Boyfriends summaries the beauty amongst Jofi's work thus far, and the qualities that make her music really shine amongst the saturated local pop scene; her vocal dynamicism similar to someone like FKA Twigs or Kate Bush as it navigates a relatively stripped-back production (also by Jofi, who is a real master of all trades), laden with theatrics and drama which give it a distinct edge.
However, it's with All My Friends Have Boyfriends' video clip for the single's true potential to shine. It's a nod to her DIY, self-made work ethic - the single was written, sung and produced by Jofi, and her sister shot its sombre cover art - as she builds the video in her time alone; the video transforming the single from a message of loneliness to a message about how she's battling it, and utilising her time and keeping herself sane during the lonely months.
"I propped up my phone against my laptop and filmed some authentic scenes of the things I’ve been doing in isolation- drinking wine, face masks, snacking, learning TikTok dances (I know everyone is guilty of this), cutting my own hair, and cuddling my dogs, of course," she says on the video clip. "I recorded these scenes over a few different nights - 3 or 4 different nights. Then put it together on iMovie... and voila."
It's wonderfully brilliant - how could it not be, when it features puppies and wine? - and it's really reflective of the light-hearted, but jaw-dropping quality of Jofi's work which really makes her stand out. If you're yet to be acquainted with her, she's well and truly one to keep an eye on, so take a dive into the single and its official video clip below, and better introduce yourself to the rising musician underneath:
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Jofi and I am a 22-year-old singer, songwriter and producer living in northern Sydney. I love to make songs and cuddle my dogs.
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
I create synth pop with lots of vocal harmony and minimalist electronic beats. I’ve been told I sound like Regina Spektor and FKA Twigs. My songs have a narrative-like structure and dreamy atmosphere. The lyrics are honest, self-aware, and sometimes playful and comedic.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
I usually start with lyrics, jotting down something I’m thinking or feeling on my phone. Then I take it to my keyboard and get down chords and melody. During the production process I rely heavily on using my microphone to sing through heaps of layers, which I then manipulate. During production, I like to be creative with structure and make sure there are parts of my songs that are soft and delicate, and parts that are passionate and powerful.
Can you tell us about your new single, All My Friends Have Boyfriends?
The song was mainly inspired by my 2 best friends who have been living with their boyfriends during quarantine. Quarantine is a lonely existence, and it sure would be nice if there was a special someone I could pass the time with. While I wrote the song specifically about how I feel, I thought that there must be lots of others experiencing the same feelings as me.
The song was speedily written, produced and mixed by me within just a couple of weeks. With all this time on my hands, making music has kept me sane and has given me purpose.
I thought it would be fun to make a video to go with the track, and film myself in my authentic quarantine day-to-day state- wearing pyjamas and hoodies all day, drinking wine, applying face masks, learning tik tok dances, and cuddling my dogs, of course.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
I have lots of songs up my sleeve that I’m really proud of, which head in a bit more of an R&B/hip-hop direction. I don’t want to say too much, but I’m really excited to release them later in the year!
What do you want people to take away from the project?
I feel comforted by the fact that we’re all in this strange isolating situation together, if not physically, and I hope this song provides that same comfort to others. I also hope people see that while coronavirus has put a halt to regular life, it doesn’t have to stop creativity. I hope it inspires others to find a hobby that brings them satisfaction and joy, whether that be painting, writing a story, starting a blog, whatever. Or, write an isolation song! That’s what I did.
Where can we find more of your music?
You can find my songs on your streaming service of choice. My music is also on Soundcloud and YouTube. I post covers and other music content on my social media pages.