This is a love song in which Joji is identifying his significant other as his “sanctuary”. This is due to her fulfilling his desire to “(fall) in love”. They share a mutual relationship goal, which is “sincerity”.

So basically, this track is an expression of his yearning for the two of them to be together. And he is especially fond of their nighttime interludes. Indeed Joji specifically tells his boo that when she needs some loving in the evening, he is just “one call away”. 

Moreover he has already concluded that this particular individual is “the one”. Or as the title implies, he enjoys her company so much that she has become his “sanctuary”.

Lyrics of "Sanctuary"

A Deeper Analysis

This is a love song which features an ample amount of religious terminology and, perhaps it can also be argued, symbolism. For instance, in the chorus, Joji makes a pretty interesting statement that he has in fact “been aiming for Heaven above”. But with that noted, it isn’t “an angel”- i.e. spiritual salvation if you will – that ‘he needs’. 

So basically, this is another track in which the word “Heaven” is utilized in a secular manner, though the term, as presented, harps back to its Biblical origins. But as is more common in the music industry, what it is ultimately meant to point is a notion akin to romantic/physical gratification.

As presented, the only way for him to do so is by hooking up with this particular addressee who has stolen his heart. The way Joji sees it is that the two of them are akin to kindred spirits. For example, both are currently suffering a state of loneliness. And Joji has deduced that hooking up with each other would mitigate their predicament. 

Indeed the word “sanctuary” is only found once in this piece, and as utilized it alludes to that very idea, that the vocalist perceives the addressee as being his soulmate, if you will.

But by the looks of things, they have yet to actually hook up. So what this track consists of is more or less highly-poetic pickup lines. And as to why Joji decided to express being smitten by this lady largely via the utilization of what reads to be Biblically-derived symbolism would likely be because such motifs are commonly found in the mainstream music industry.


When was “Sanctuary” released?

It was released on 14 June 2019 by 88rising. FYI, this is the first single Joji dropped in 2019.

Did Joji write “Sanctuary”?

Yes. But Joji didn’t write this song alone. He was assisted by three others, namely:

  • Luke Niccoli
  • Daniel Wilson
  • Justin Raisen (who produced the track)

Chart Performance

While “Sanctuary” wasn’t particularly a hit in United States of America and United Kingdom, it was a significant hit in Malaysia. Here, it hit a peak position of #7 on the nation’s official singles chart listing.

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