Featured Artist: Joy Ike

May 16, 2013

Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter Joy Ike hasn’t always wanted to be a musician but in 2013, she’s already released her third full-length record, All Or Nothing. “The depth of subjects she tackles in her poetic lyrics are perfectly complemented by a unique blend of neo-soul, with just the right dash of pop,” say NPR about Ike. We reached out to Joy Ike prior to her Buncearoo show, asking her about inspirations, her latest record, and more.

When did you realize being a musician was what you wanted to do?

I actually never wanted to be a musician, but I did want to be a songwriter. Especially in high school. Every time I listened to music, I was always intrigued by how artists crafted their words and how someone could find new ways to say the same thing.

Who were your musical inspirations growing up?

There weren’t too many, but I truly loved artists like Jars of Clay, Audio Adrenalin, and Vertical Horizon. In my later years I’ve come to deeply love the music of Sara Groves, Brooke Waggoner, Death Cab for Cutie, and Aqualung.

You released your third full-length record All Or Nothing earlier this year. How has the reception been to it so far?

It’s been exciting to hear people’s thoughts on this album…especially those who have been following my music over the past 8 years. The feedback has been encouraging. I think people see (and have voiced that they’ve seen) a development in the song writing, musicianship, and production quality.

rom songwriting to recording, what can you tell us about your creative process for this record?

I have a lot of friends who will write 1 song a week or a couple each month. I on the other hand, don’t write that often. I probably average 5-6 songs a year. I dunno why it works that way, but it does. So for me, the songs are always very centered around what was happening in my life during this 2-3 year time frame. Songs take a lot of time to boil up in me and it usually takes months of processing an idea before it materializes. So for that reason, most of my projects have been themed. As soon as 10 songs are done, I know its time to go into the studio. There are rarely songs that “didn’t make it.” All that to say, the songwriting-to-recording process almost feeling like living out a chapter of life before moving onto the next one. I guess there could have been many ways to answer this question :)

Was the experience any different this time around from your other records?

Yes, recording this album was very different. I really felt like I had a partner in the studio and someone to bounce ideas off of. My producer took on the project as if it were his own, which made everything easier. Recording an album is a huge undertaking and for the previous two projects, I wanted to get it over as soon as possible. This project was just enjoyable from start to finish.

You’ve got some shows coming up, one being the Buncearoo show at Foundation. What do you love most about touring?

Meeting people. No doubt. “Hate getting there. Love being there.” If I could invent a teleportation device that would magically transport me to all my shows, I would. If I could get rid of spending hours in my car while on tour, I would. But my favorite part of traveling is certainly the people I get to meet on an almost daily basis. People are so interesting. Every single person is unique and just…interesting!

Favorite current guilty pleasure musician?

B.Reith. When I need a pick me up I listen to him. He’s a singer/songwriter out of Nashville who blends hip hop and soul. His writing is quick, quirky, contemplative, and comedic. I especially enjoy how much he writes about the plight of the starving artist and that idea of wanting to “make it.” It’s just something I identify with on a daily basis.

Thanks for talking to us at Pick-Up Productions. We look forward to your Buncearoo show. Any last words for the readers?

I’m looking forward to the evening and thanks for having me :)

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