Named as one of the The Guardian’s ‘One To Watch‘, Joy Crookes is a soulful storyteller with Bangladeshi-Irish heritage living in South London. Joy’s music and visuals embody her dual identity as well as her down-to-earth, friendly and assertive nature.
Hints of Joy’s eclectic musical taste can be found across the ‘Perception‘ EP which covers multiple genres, from R’n’B and Jazz to Rap and Grime. For example, in ‘No Hands’, Joy takes the jazzy, soulful route to explain how to maintain independence in a relationship, whereas, ‘Hurts’, which was performed at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, has tones of the grime genre.
A personal favourite has to be ‘London Mine’, which was written during the Windrush scandal. Joy responds to the treatment of immigrants and counteracts their negative stereotypes, celebrating London’s multiculturalism: “Bangla noise on brick lane/ That’s the sound of my home/ Ay Mami Que Haces?”.
Joy presents her faithfulness to the city in the line, “I’m never gonna give you up”, which is supported by her passionate vocals and raw, refreshing London accent.
Joy’s vocal comparison to Amy Winehouse is clear in ‘Since I Left You’. The song takes a hopeless romantic tone, like much of Winehouse’s music, and expresses the tragedy, rather than a celebration, of love. Not only does Joy show intense emotion in the music video for ‘Since I Left You’, she also embraces her Bengali culture.
The video’s director, Leonn Ward, who specialises in capturing vibrant intimacy, puts Joy’s individual style first with flamboyant colours which actively contrast with the melancholic mood of the overall video.
Joy reflects upon highs and lows of life, how to handle these, and her supportive traits in ‘Darkest Hour’. Speaking with Gal-dem magazine, Joy describes herself as a “huge advocate of therapy, doing things for other people”, embodying the songs shoulder-to-cry-on message: “You call me and I’ll be round”.
Following ‘Reminiscence’ and ‘Influence’, Joy’s 3rd EP has, once again, showcased her prowess and potential. Believing a single label can’t handle her multi-genre sound exploration, Joy remains independent and focused on topping the success of ‘Perception’ with the next EP.
Listen to Perception here.