On The Record: Joy Crookes


Tell our readers a little bit about Joy Crookes that they might not find out elsewhere.

I’m a grade 10 Irish Dancer. Big up Conor Academy in Streatham for lending me Irish groove; and my dad, for sending me there every Saturday for 14 years so I could have a ‘taste of what it was like for him as a Dublin born child’. I can also sing all of Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn’s song Nothing Without You in phonetic Urdu.

How did the new single unfold in the studio?

Koz had heard some of my stuff and asked me bluntly whether I liked Nina Simone to which I replied – “Nina? Are you serious? She’s a goddess to me”, or something along those lines. He wanted to take ‘Feeling Good’ and switch it to ‘feeling bad’ or ‘BAD FEELING’. I thought about what that meant to me and made it a song about your instinct in a time of temptation. We had live strings on the track and wanted to make it feel modern in the melodies so listened to Kendrick Lamar, probably my favourite artist right now and potentially forever. Funnily enough Koz was the producer behind ‘The Blacker the Berry’ (I had to calm down my fangirling around him) and listened to Kendrick’s flows for an hour. It was interesting to mix that quick and almost spoken word flow against the strings and old school feel to the beat to create the verses on what is now Bad Feeling. 

We love Tev’n, how was it working with him?

Tk’s basically one of my best mates now. He’s so incredibly talented, so young and it’s so easy to work with him. I care a lot about songwriting and having the song in the right place before production. I explained the meaning behind it all and the influences I wanted to put into the production of the track and he immediately got it. I honestly am so lucky to have met him. Big love Señor Tev’n!

Do you feel like the city you live in impacts your sound?

Definitely! Especially where I’m from in the city. South London is, for me, the real melting pot of London. I grew up around almost every culture, which are all rich with their own sounds and influences in music. Bad Feeling definitely has inspiration from the Latino community here in Elephant and Castle. Every time I walk through my shopping centre I can hear that fast moving percussion and a rhythm section that are goosebumpingly on point. Tk and I incorporated that into Bad Feeling just to make it feel a bit faster and advocate hip movement too.

What do your fans have to look forward to in the coming months?

I’ll be releasing an EP called ‘Influence’ this summer which I am overly excited about. There may or may not be some visuals alongside it, featuring my very own family members and a super talented artist, which will all be revealed. I couldn’t have directed or co-directed the videos without my beautiful team, just want to give them a little shoutout, we’re all super excited for what’s to roll out in the next couple of months!

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