UPCOMING: Joy Crookes

If you’re 18 and already being compared to the likes of Lauryn Hill, you know you’re doing something right. London’s Joy Crookes may be young but she’s making all the right moves, delivering a hugely accomplished and mature sound on Bad Feeling (which gained a lot of traction thanks to a post from one Brooklyn Beckham). We decided to find out more about young Joy by way of a quick Q&A… 

First musical memory?

I’m not sure whether I want the world to know this but all my extended family do and I guess that’s the world right? It was performing my very own choreography to Liberty X – ‘Just a Little’. In the video, they had leather cut out tops and I decided to cut a hole in my black vest and use the back scrubber in the bath as my cane. Watch the video, and imagine a completely amateur version of that by a 4-year-old. That was me. I can remember it so well, my parents’ faces said “We’ve created a nutter”.

That is quite possibly the best answer we’ve ever heard. Achem, moving on: first album you ever bought?

Probably either ‘What’s Going On?’ by Mr Marvin Gaye or ‘Searching for the Young Soul Rebels’ by Dexy’s Midnight Runners or ‘London Calling’ by The Clash.

Describe your vibe in three words (but then tell us a bit more about Bad Feeling).

Impulsive, cheeky, emotional… sounds like a singles ad, haha! Bad Feeling is a story about temptation, a trap we’ve all fallen into at one or more points in our lives. It’s a reminder to not waste your opportunities for temporary comfort and to trust your instinct. A huge musical influence for this track was Buena Vista Social Club. I grew up in Elephant and Castle, a predominantly Latino community. I’ve always loved the use of percussion in their music, it gives songs more energy and life than they actually have and automatically promotes hip movement.

You’ve had some interesting comparisons and some famous fans (the Beckhams). How do you take things like that at this stage?

I’m not going to lie, it’s crazy getting comparisons of that level! New artists are always going to need comparisons for new listeners to familiarise themselves and get eased into new music, I just need to make sure to not let that define me or get into my head too much! I really don’t want a mad ego, only a lil one! As for the Beckhams being fans, I’m super grateful for that support and people like themselves even noticing my existence let alone music. It’s super humbling and motivating all at the same time.

An album you would never listen to again?

I’m not throwing shade like that!

Your inspirations, musical and otherwise?

I’d say I was inspired by everything I listened to growing up: The Pogues, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, Gregory Isaacs, Prince to name a few. I’m particularly influenced by females such as Nina Simone and Frida Kahlo. They wore their heart on their sleeves at all times and said things as they were. I appreciate that vulnerability and ‘frankness’ in their art. Authenticity I feel goes a long way.

What are your current jams?

Lost by Frank Ocean, Chevrolet by Tev’n, and all of Karim Tha Peasant’s new music, which will be out soon

Any guilty pleasures, musical or non?

Frida Kahlo, my place is basically a shrine to her. Irish dancing, James Baldwin and interpretive dance moves and choreography to any tunes with my friends.

Your dream collaborations?

Sir Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack, Kojey Radical (but i’ve only gone and ticked that one off the list)

Favourite Beyonce song?

Does ‘Say my Name’ count? (It does.)