Harry Styles‘ upcoming world tour is going to be one for the books. While it’s a time to remember for some of his most loyal fans, it’s also an opportunity of a lifetime for promising young acts. Harry’s latest addition to Love On Tour is South London native Joy Crookes. The 21-year-old will be opening a handful of shows on his UK arena tour alongside King Princess.
Joy has quickly made a name for herself in the UK music scene—her raspy unique vocals setting her apart from some of today’s hottest musicians. She infuses her own heritage into her music, the bold mixture of her Irish and Bangladeshi roots shining through in every aspect of her art. Colorful imagery and symbolism mix well with her devastatingly beautiful lyrics.
“It just makes me, doesn’t it? My dual identity reflects more about me as an artist. I grew up with so many different cultures and influences around me, but it’s not as if I play the fiddle and sitar in my songs. Irish people have a real way with words, we have incredible writers like Oscar Wilde, Paddy Kavanagh, Van Morrison,” Joy says about her culture influencing her music. “Then Bangladeshi culture is different – the way we style our hair, the way we present ourselves, our mannerisms. Sure, it would be easy for me to do lots of Indian scales—they do, after all, influence jazz—but I’m more about my lyrics.”
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It's been a year since Don't Let Me Down came out. I released this track with zero expectations but it turns out it was the first domino in what has been an unreal 12 months that I still haven't quite wrapped my head around. Working with @leonnward to bring to life this visual inspired by Lakshmi was such a special experience. 2,500,000 views later and this is still some of my favorite work that I've made. Thank you for your continued support over this year, it means the world.
Since her debut, she’s released three EPs, all proof of a singer-songwriter only just scratching the surface of what she’s capable of. Comparisons have been made, linking Joy’s voice and range to well-known artists like Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill—but her talent is all her own. In her 2018 EP Influence, there was no doubt her sound was something else, a different direction than most chart-topping pop stars. Her personality doesn’t shy away in her track “Power,” the lyrics inciting an empowering anthem for the women in her life. She even features some of her own family members in the song’s music video, showcasing the powerful bond she has with her mother and grandmother.
“The day we shot the video was extremely emotional for all of us because of the topic of the song and the fact that such a special relationship between mother and daughter was being almost exposed right in front of a camera,” Joy says. “I’m so happy with how it all turned out and I really couldn’t have asked for more.”
She delves into breakups, the hardships of love, and what it means to lose someone. One of her standout tracks “Since I Left You” from third EP Perception speaks volumes—it’s a ballad that translates heartbreak into real-life pain.
Her latest single “Early” features fellow musician Jafaris. It’s a groovy, hope-infused track about falling in love too fast, dealing with the consequences, and learning as we go. It further catapulted her 2019 into a year of soul-baring music and projects an even better 2020.
There’s an edge of authenticity in her voice, one that’s often lacking in today’s competitive music industry. Joy doesn’t sacrifice her vision for superficial popularity—and there’s something refreshing about that. With a husky, soft voice and brilliantly-delivered wit and strength, Joy is a soon-to-be star that will effortlessly kickstart a new music generation.