JOOJ is Sook-Yin Lee and Adam Litovitz.
“Sook-Yin Lee is a one woman media arts convergence. One of those truly original people our culture spits out once every generation or so.”
– The Globe and Mail
“Lee turns darkness into light. Her work is raw and real…Playful but powerful.”
– Vice Magazine
“…fragile, ephemeral worlds…”
– The Toronto Star
Sook-Yin grew up in Vancouver, where she started the art-rock band Bob’s Your Uncle before going solo and moving to Toronto. Her first job launched her into the public eye as a VJ on MuchMusic. She now hosts and co-produces the personal storytelling program DNTO on CBC Radio One. Sook-Yin gained notoriety as the star of the groundbreaking movie Shortbus, a favourite at Cannes, and went on to write and direct the movie Year of the Carnivore, also dealing with a recurring theme: the lives of girls and young women as they navigate a confusing and difficult world.
Recently, she won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Actress in the film Jack, and started making and performing experimental dance narratives for theatre (How Can I Forget, On Display, Incompetence). Her stories are told through music, film, video, photos, comics, movement and radio. Her songs have been covered by artists like Neko Case, and she has released albums on Last Gang (Electric Blues, with Slan, and the Genie-nominated soundtrack for her movie, co-created by Buck 65 and Adam Litovitz).
JOOJ had its origin in Sook-Yin’s video and photography exhibition We Are Light Rays at the Ottawa Art Gallery. She created a musical score that was much like a movie score. This formed the basis of songs that she and her long-time collaborator, multi- instrumentalist, writer, and film professor Adam Litovitz make with JOOJ. Describing their process, Adam explains: “Sometimes, they don’t feel much like choices, but more like instinctive stabs, or something that makes me feel ‘whoo-ha!’ in a gentle way, something that lets us continue our shared dream without overpowering it. It’s probably a bit like the choices we make when dreaming.”
The JOOJ sound is guided by principles of minimalism, melody, and experimentalism — torch-songs from an interior, expressionistic place. Their live performance is intimate: cathartic and unhinged, yet grounded.
Their debut album is available worldwide on Last Gang Records.