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30 seconds interview: Joy Crookes

Original article from: http://www.m-magazine.co.uk/newmusic/30seconds/30-seconds-interview-joy-crookes/

Seventeen-year-old South Londoner Joy Crookes may not be out of school yet, but what she lacks in experience she certainly makes up for in sonic dexterity.

Her languid trip-hopping R&B hits a similar key to the nostalgic, noir-drenched Bristol sound of the late nineties, layering stately strings and syncopated rhythms over classic soul songwriting.

With just two singles under her belt – Sinatra and New Manhattan – she seems content setting her own, unhurried agenda, as tastemakers and tipsters fall for her substantial musical charms.

Just this year she’s been heralded by The Fader, The Line of Best Fit, The 405 and Clash, becoming one of the most blogged about newcomers on Hype Machine.

Her music has also been compared to classic Bond themes – high praise indeed for a songwriter still in her teens.

We spend 30 seconds with one of 2017’s brightest hopes to find out more…

I started making music because…
I was an only child for far too long and needed something to do. I’ve always been creative but my favourite thing whilst growing up would be driving with my dad in his car and listening to new bands and artists every week. I remember being nine and buying a Led Zeppelin t-shirt in HMV. I was brought up on Black Uhuru, The Pogues, Marvin Gaye and just became super inspired to have a shot at what my favourite artists do. It’s also super therapeutic.

I have been making music since…
I spent my breaks in the playground at primary school. My best friend, Olivia and I used to come up with raps and remix lullabies into what was going on during playtime. By 12, I’d learnt a couple chords on both guitar and piano, learnt covers and started writing about secondary school, boys, my family and people I didn’t like – I never had the courage to say it to their face, instead I just wrote it in a song.

My music is…
Personal. Even the most upbeat tracks, such as one I have called Hands Up, which sounds like something you’d dance to, has an underlying message within it. The chorus is ‘hands up – if you had to drive very far, hands up – got my girls in the backseat, dreaming about our future, where we going to get to?’. It’s about being a child of parents who aren’t from the country you grew up in and learning how to survive and grab opportunities the way they did.

My favourite female artists, even outside music, such as Frida Kahlo and Barbara Kruger, are quite provoking and personal throughout all their work. I like to be frank, that’s how I am as a person and it’s important, for me, to resonate your personality in your art.

You’ll like my music if you listen to…
A variety of genres. I love reggae bass lines, dramatic choruses with orchestral sounds and jazz and pop influenced melodies. A band I love that cross genres beautifully is Massive Attack.

My favourite venue is…
Brixton Academy. I always get up close to the stage and my friends and I have had many memorable nights there.

Music is important because…
It is a therapy to both the artist and the listener, it’s mutually beneficial. As an artist, you can write about whatever’s bugging you, which is a cathartic experience. It humbles you and almost makes you feel better when you find out you’re not the only one who feels that same way. That’s the role listeners play for artists. I always listen to music that fits my mood on the day or the week, and I love when a lyric completely understands and says what I’d been thinking through that whole moment and emotion.

My biggest inspiration is…
My family and friends. Love is so motivating and knowing that people who you admire believe in your craft is so important in your artistic development.

My dream collaboration is…
At this moment in time, it would be Kendrick Lamar.

To try out my music, listen to…
My newest single Sinatra, accompanied by a video my boyfriend and I created and shot in a South London flat over the course of two nights with best friends over.

If I wasn’t making music I’d be…
In school studying history. And I’d be Irish dancing. Potentially even being an Irish dancing teacher. Or maybe be learning to become a professional pool player. My career choices are ambitious.

In 10 years’ time I want to be…
Inspiring and motivating more and more people through my music. I’d also like to be able to afford a classic Porsche for my dad and a trip to Bangladesh with my mum again. I want to find a way to give back even a drop of what my parents provided for me – it doesn’t necessarily have to be materialistic, ha.

https://www.facebook.com/joycrookes/

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