Joy J Music, a Greensboro, North Carolina native, started writing seven years ago, recording six years ago, and performing solo three years ago. She has opened for prolific author and poet, Dr. Nikki Giovanni in Blacksburg, VA, shared the stage with the electrically balmy super-indie artist Quilla in Carborro, NC, produced an uplifting music video with the Indian Ocean as her back drop in Zanzibar East Africa, and played shows from Washington, DC to Charlotte, NC. She loves making music (clearly) but still, who is she?
Joy J Music is the girl that would sing and dance her heart out to TLC, Earth Wind and Fire, SWV, The Fugees (and a myriad of other soul and Hip-Hop staples) while doing chores, or safely in the confines of her room. She’s the girl that fell in love with Hip-Hop as her older brother would bring home classic albums like Illmatic, ATLiens, and Reasonable Doubt. She was the girl that kept this desire and yearning to sing and write rhymes to herself for most of her adolescent years.
It wasn’t until she graduated from college, was living on her own in a northeastern metropolitan city, working in sales as an account executive for a network television station, where she truly began thinking that there has to be more to life than working a 9 to 5 in the corporate world. With extra time on her hands, she began tapping into one of her foremost childhood passions – singing and listening to music. At the root, these activities made her come alive and she knew she could no longer keep it herself.
After auditioning for a small music label on the outskirts of DC, she was invited to come on board. Ecstatic about the opportunity, she worked with the group for almost a year, but ultimately their values and visions did not mesh with her outlook on the creative process and she decided to do her own thing. From that point on, Joy J Music began writing to a handful of instrumentals, creating with other like-minded musicians, and eventually decided to take it a step further by investing in Pro Tools so that she could record in the comfort of her own space. The rest, as they say, is herstory ;-)
That said, Joy J Music is influenced by an array of musicians and legends, such as: Rick James, Janis Joplin, Nas, Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, OutKast, WuTang Clan, Air, Astrud Gilberto, Chaka Khan, Paul Desmond, Sheila E, Daedelus, Thelonius Monk, Beck, Erykah Badu, and John Coltrane. While she feels it’s impossible to list all of her influences, in sum, she is inspired and influenced by musicians who are unapologetically themselves. They own their message, their story, and their sonic style. The byproduct of such ownership, in her perspective, is great, timeless music/art.
Under the influence of her mother (who is also musically inclined) she joined band in middle school and played the saxophone from 7th to 12th grade. The highlight of her band years was playing the alto and tenor sax in Jazz Band during high school. This is where her love of live music was cultivated and eventually flourished, and you can hear her blowing the horn (impromptu style) in her current jamz (“Blowing Red Wind” and “There is a Reason for Everything” ) and live performances as well. Her background in journalism and media management contributed to her interest in showcasing authentic visual images in her music videos and live presentations.
Joy J Music stays loyal to her musical craft by staying true to herself, and creating music and writing lyrics that are a reflection of the wisdom she’s gained throughout her life with frequent dashes of what she wishes for the future, not just for herself, but for everyone listening. Joy J music wants the audience to walk away from listening feeling better, more whole. With her sounds, message, and visuals, Joy J Music hopes to spread light, love, and positive energy to all parts of the globe, digitally and in person.
Her Debut Album, "Degrees of Freedom" is out now!!