Introduce yourself to our readers and describe your music to readers:
My name is JOYA (spelled with all caps). I am a vocalist, songwriter and recording artist. My professional career began in the late 90’s with Atlas Records based in the UK. I was later picked up by A&M Records (Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis) and recorded for Universal Music. I am a native Detroiter (home of Aaliyah, Eminem, the late great Aretha Franklin and the living legend Diana Ross). Because I am a lover of many genres, my primary genre would be SOUL. SOULFUL music is my area of expertise :-) LOl.
How did you get started in the music industry?
I got started in the music industry singing at funerals. In the early 90’s, violence was very prevalent in Detroit. Whenever a mutual acquaintance passed away, I was asked to sing at their homegoing service. Eventually, I was discovered singing at a mutual friend’s funeral.
How was working with such a huge industry vet like Vincent Herbert on your debut album?
It was magic! Vincent Herbert is a perfectionist and perhaps one of the gentlest spirits you will ever meet. He started his career at 19, so he was very young... but still my boss. I always tip my hat to Vincent and The Burrell Brother’s because they had a lot of artists to guide and work with.
It was not easy, but it was a blessing to have come into the music industry at that time. Analogue was moving out and the age of music technology was moving in. Therefore, I have a vast knowledge of both worlds. I learned so much from Vincent and The Burrell Brothers. That knowledge still stays with me today.
What advice would you share with ladies that are interested in entering the music industry?
For those interested in singing and songwriting:
Study and practice. Find an extraordinary artist from a previous era and study. Pay attention to their breathing techniques, tone and delivery. Pay attention to the songs and how they were structured. Study their vocal patterns, dynamics, and practice. Practice until you become better than the records you hear. After that, go outside of the box and study the greats in other genres.
Learn Protools, Logic, Garage Band etc. so you can engineer your own sessions and collaborate with others from a position of empowerment and intelligence. Learn the basics of at least one to two instruments and travel to other areas and countries whenever time permits because when you go outside of your city and experience traveling, you come back with new inspiration and learn something new each time you travel. It may not be Africa or Paris just yet. Perhaps you are from Georgia and you’re going to Los Angeles or New York! Or, if you cannot afford to travel fancy or far, you can drive, purchase a train ticket or bus fare to a place that’s unfamiliar to you simply to get more experience and new energy. Make it affordable and you can still get the experience of a lifetime.
For example, I live in Georgia and recently traveled to Memphis. I cannot explain how rich the town is in Music History and it’s only 5 hours away! When you go to a different area, you get a chance to hear what’s playing on the radio somewhere different than where you reside. All of this is essential to you becoming a phenomenal talent. Trust me, people will hear your experiences inside of your gifts whenever you play, write, or sing...it will shine through!
Regarding artistry and conduct:
Know thyself. If you don’t know, find out who you are. What makes you happy, sad, angry etc. If you’re easily upset, bothered or have thin skin, you will have to change that before moving into this profession. Stay professional. Be pleasant and courteous, even when someone is being a ‘jerk’. Stay prayerful and humble --- I’ve seen people get breaks in the business who were not as talented as their counterparts, but they were super nice and very likeable. Lastly, have a team or a point person who will tell you the truth. Keep people close who genuinely want to see you excel.
What's next for you in the new year?
OMG! I am super excited for 2019! I have worked so hard on my music and been fortunate to collaborate with some very awesome talents. My album ACCOLADES comes out in the 2nd quarter of 2019. On a personal note, in the Fall I marry the love of my life. I am finalizing plans for a Brick & Mortar of my arts and entertainment business THE FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY which is set to launch in 2020 and will bring together innovative individuals in music, art and fashion. I will continue speaking, songwriting and performing. I also have another album dropping in 2019 entitled “ME”.
How can readers connect with you online?
I love interacting with people and collaborating with other artists, producers, and writers. That’s what the Friendship Society is all about--having a network where talented people can come together to build and share. In addition to being available for live performances, I do motivational and speaking engagements plus I offer vocal coaching via skype. They can reach me on the following channels:
IG: Thisisjoyaofficial www.thisisjoyaofficial.com FB & Twitter: Thisisjoy