This Toronto artist’s retro videos and songs about loving music are amazing

Where have you been all our lives, Joyslam?!

May 7, 2015

So I woke up not feeling 100% today. Nothing terrible – nobody died, Archer hadn’t suddenly been cancelled – just a little blah. Then I somehow stumbled across this guy’s videos. And after staring in awe for a solid thirty seconds, I felt great.

Joyslam is the solo musical project of Toronto based Aboriginal artist RJ Martine. And he loves music. From the sound of these tracks, he (like a lot of us) isn’t willing to let go of that late 80’s/early 90’s Chili Peppers funk/rock sound, and God bless him for it. Toss in some ska and the occasional dance track and you’ve got the trademark Joyslam sound. The lyrics, meanwhile, are awash with unbridled positivity – it’s all about love of music and believing in yourself. If somehow I haven’t swayed your black, soulless heart with that description, then just check out one of the videos, man. The videos.

We all love a somewhat quirky video. The recent Hasselhoff masterpiece ‘True Survivor’ featuring the most questionable of CGI effects, for example, was an instant hit. But before CGI, there were green screens and stock footage. Martine chooses to harken back to such simpler times, and the results are, in my humble opinion, pretty glorious. As the one YouTube commenter put it (by the way, great username, Mr. Kuddles McHerpes), “This reminds me of the public access channel in Seattle in the late ’90s.”

Battling grizzly bears, lunging dinosaurs, an off-brand Transformer and multiple explosions per minute? It’s like Michael Bay’s wet dream in there (and arguably more well directed). And with the clearly incredibly sweet Martine performing his ass off for the camera, there’s nothing not to love. Okay, I just talked myself into making this a two-fer: plus he reps the T.O skyline and a sweet Canada jersey in this one.

Let me be clear about something. I’m not being coy, I’m not being facetious and I’m not speaking ironically. I LOVE JOYSLAM. And I’ll scream it from the mountain tops. I want this guy to have all the success in the world, so show this to your Auntie, Grandpa and third-cousin twice removed. He’s looking for a band, so if you’re a musician and you’re smart you’ll get onto him before the train leaves the station.

Love of music is a beautiful thing. Like Martine says in ‘Music…The End’: “Music when I’m feeling high, music when I’m feeling low, music in the summertime, music when it’s 40 below.”


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