JJ Shurbet, who records as Scruffpuppie, has released their newest song “paint” on Saddest Factory Records. At just-turned 20, JJ has already released a string of performances and music videos for the last few years, garnering an army of ardent fans and millions of views. The latest track is an introspective piano ballad reflecting on her history of drug abuse. The visual for the song – directed by Mowgly Lee – follows a similar tone, spotlighting JJ for an emotional performance. Produced by frequent Phoebe Bridgers songwriting collaborator, Marshall Vore, the track is JJ’s second release on Saddest Factory Records, following last month’s “assignment Song”.
Says JJ,“‘paint’ is an emotional ballad, talking a lot about the relationship I had with drugs, and how they controlled the other relationships I had in my life,” “In the song I say ‘how am I the bigger one, when I never took out my gun, and played along to all your games, but never really felt the same’ which draws a lot from how my relationship with drugs was so one sided, how I never meant to play along to the game they put in front of me, but how it was almost impossible not to.”
Born in Paris, Texas, JJ – who uses the pronouns she/her and they/them – spent much of her adolescent life in a state of uproot, moving from town to town as her parents’ jobs required. After spending the first 12-odd years of her life in Texas, JJ and her family moved to Georgia; a year after that, Utah. At 15, JJ and her family finally moved to Wisconsin, where they would end up spending the rest of JJ’s adolescence.
Along with a talent for skateboarding, she began to foster a love of film, taking joy in writing scripts and making short films with their friends; music became a significant part of her life. Slowly, JJ started to post videos of herself playing songs on YouTube, eventually finding that she could make enough money to support herself from that alone; her videos would frequently garner over 100K views, with some of them reaching over 3M or 4M. At 16, she quit her job at the local pizza shop and started focusing on music. She released Zombie Boy, her debut project, on Bandcamp, in 2018.
Around the same time that they were becoming known for her rough-hewn, spellbinding YouTube videos, JJ began experimenting with drugs. Amidst it all, Scruffpuppie began to take off and she started traveling around the Midwest to play shows. At 18, she dropped out of high school; completely unmoored, but still always creating. It was her summer 2019 track “Never Coming Home” that caught the attention of Phoebe Bridgers and the wider team at Saddest Factory Records.“Never Coming Home” (1M views and counting) was the last video JJ posted online before entering rehab.