There is a bewitching quality to the suburban melancholy that runs rampant in Johan Lenox’s music. It is one informed by his own classical upbringing and his own icons and collaborators, ¬the likes of which include Travis Scott, Kanye West, Nas, and more. More than just a much sought-after producer and composer, Lenox’s own music sees him bridging the world of classical composition and the emo-leaning nature of late-stage of hip-hop.
Up until 2010, Lenox was solely an award-wining composer and self-taught pianist who had never given any serious thought to the world of popular music. All that changed when he was introduced to Kanye West’s opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, while on acid at a Massachusetts house party in the suburban town he called home.
Forever changed, Lenox began exploring and creating pop music, infusing his lush orchestral background into his own brand of haunting left-of-center pop. The range of influence comes to an emotional head in his latest single “Bad Decisions,” which sees him joined by rapper WifisFuneral to explore self-destructive tendencies.
Backed by a rich and emotive orchestral soundscape, Lenox and WifisFuneral weave together an intoxicating narrative, one fueled by regretful highs and the ensuing lows. The confessional nature of the track arrives with a beautifully-shot video that speaks to underlying themes of temporary, forgetful bliss. Altogether, “Bad Decisions” is an understated ode to isolation that does not shy away from our darkest feelings or tendencies. Lenox spoke further on the new single, sharing,
“I wrote ‘Bad Decisions’ about missing someone so much that you act out your stress and unhappiness in self-destructive ways. You know in the moment that what you’re doing is fucked up, yet you’re not be able to stop yourself. I also wanted the song to reflect this isolated feeling I had as a kid growing up in the suburbs of Boston. Besides drums, the only sounds in the track are orchestral instruments, especially violin and cello, which I’ve felt a close connection to since I started composing live orchestra music when I was 14. Wifisfuneral came with his own maddening verse to finish off the record, expressing his feelings about self-destructive behavior and not appreciating the people you’re with when you’re too lost inside your own head.”
Watch the video for “Bad Decisions” below: