By Emily Liddle
April 12, 2013
For three years Joy Ike’s doting fans have waited for the arrival of her fantastic new studio album All Or Nothing. Here at Muso’s Guide, we thought this would be a brilliant time to catch up with her, delve into her world of music, and find out what the wonderful lady has been up to for the past few years!
So, tell us what you have been doing since the release of Rumours.
Mostly traveling and playing for new audiences. I am always trying to get my tunes out to new ears in new cities, so I spend a lot of time on the road.
It would be difficult to put the music you make into a genre, but how would you describe your musical style?
I used to call it “soul folk” (and still do at times), but the songs on this new album are very energetic and poppy, so I’ve been leaning more toward Pop/Soul. Still, every song has a different personality. Some are ballads, some have more of a jazz nuance, and others are straight up mainstream pop-sounding. At the same time there’s heavy string instrumentation on most of the songs which gives it this classical, distinguished feel. I won’t claim I know anything about the classical world of music!
What inspires you to make music?
I feel like I’ve been given these songs and, to me, it wouldn’t make sense to keep them to myself. When I see or talk to artists, we often use the term “create”, but we also use words like “discover”, “find” or “came to me”. As much as art is a creation, it is also an uncovering of what’s already there. There’s nothing new under the sun after all. It’s like we’re peeling back the covers and finding a treasure. And we’ve been given the privilege of presenting it to the world. So as long as God gives me this music, I will continue to sing it and share it!
This album sounds different to Rumours. What has influenced you in the creation of this album?
Roughly 80% of the songs on this album are love songs. The album covers the spectrum of being sentimental, excited about new love, angry and hurt, apologetic, and wistful. I think it kind of explores all the emotions of being adventurous, too – both in love and out.
What is your favourite track and why?
This is a hard one. I love different tracks for different reasons – because of the instrumentation on the album, others because they’re more fun to play live, and still others because of the journey it took to get to a place where I could them – so it’s very hard for me to pick. But if I had to choose, it would be between “Time”, “Home”, and “No Matter What”. I’m sure that answer will change tomorrow!
The production of the album is absolutely phenomenal! Was it a difficult process?
I think being in the studio (for someone who does not like being in the studio) is, and can, be hard. For me, I personally hate the idea of creating something that will exist in permanence. That’s probably why I get nervous when doing radio interviews and anything that’s being recorded. But this was the easiest project I’ve ever done. I really just worked with a great producer who understood my vision and made it his own. He gave 100% to everything we did and I’d never worked with anyone who was so committed to what I was doing…and was even more of a perfectionist than me. I remember moments when I would be singing nonchalantly and he would say something like, “Wait! Can you do that again!? We need to capture that!”
What are your future plans with music? Are you planning on making another album?
Well this album is only two months old, so it’s got a lot of cities to travel to. My immediate plans are to tour it’s butt off! I’ll be on the road for much of this year in the United States. There are so many ears this project needs to land on. I am also working to secure placements as I feel these songs are extremely cinematic, and perfect for movie and television soundtracks.
Many of the songs were written about love, ‘Time’ in particular standing out to me as a brilliant love song. Are they written about a specific person or just about being in love generally?
‘Time’ is very dear to me. I was actually commissioned to write it by a couple in Philadelphia who wanted an original song for their wedding. They sent me the story of how they met and how their relationship developed and asked me to set it to music. It was the first time I had been commissioned to write a song. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say this song has much personal significance, as well.
Joy Ike’s new album, All Or Nothing, is out now and available from iTunes, and she’s currently playing a string of dates in the US. If you want to learn more about Joy and her music, then check out her website www.joyike.com, where you can find out more about the recording of the new album in a series of short videos.