Joji Malani is leaving Gang of Youths

You’ve surely seen the news by now. Shortly after finishing up their opening slot for Mumford & Sons tonight in Dallas, Gang of Youths announced that guitarist Joji Malani is leaving the band. His last performance as part of GOY will happen Friday night in Oklahoma City, at the band’s final support set with M&S.

As the band describes it, Joji “a few months ago made the tough decision to leave GOY and move on into the next phase of his professional life.”

The announcement is barely an hour old as I type this, and has already created an avalanche of replies from Joji’s friends and fans. Here’s the full statement:

It’s with great sadness but immense gratitude that we announce our wonderful brother, best friend and guitarist Joji Malani will play his final show with Gang of Youths in oklahoma city on the 11th of october.
He’s lovingly given 8 years (practically the bulk of his 20s!) to this project, and a few months ago made the tough decision to leave GOY and move on into the next phase of his professional life. 8 years is a long time for any job, and we are so grateful to have had him for as long as we did.
keep an ear and eye out for some of the exciting things he’s getting up to very soon —@pei_pei_shou !
@tamachochi, we love you and we’re looking forward to seeing all that you will achieve tomorrow and beyond. thank you, thank you, thank you for being part of this with us. we’re gonna miss you.
go farther.
love
your family

Joji is one of the band’s founders, and his departure leaves just Dave, Max and Jung as original band members. Prior to forming the band, Dave and Joji became friends as young boys at Hillsong church in Sydney, identifying a kindred spirit in each other — something they both discussed in the first 2-3 minutes of this 2018 Australian TV feature.

The band’s announcement invites fans to “keep an ear and eye out for some of the exciting things he’s getting up to very soon,” and tags a new Instagram account, @pei-pei-shou.

More thoughts on all this later. For now, as I wrote on our social media accounts:

😳😢😭 Sad for us but happy for him. Best wishes and thank you for all you’ve given the band and us over the years. ❤️❤️❤️

(Photo by Jones Willingham.)