10 Questions with Joy Ike

Joy Ike
What do you get when you mix a beautifully talented artist with a piano and a pen?  Joy Ike!!!  I caught up with Joy Ike in between her busy show schedule to get the dish on her life as a touring artist.   There's a whole lot of interesting things I can say, but I thought she could tell it better...
What made you want to become a singer/songwriter?

I felt like I had so many words just waiting to come out. That feeling kept following me around for years and I remember being frustrated with the fact that it wasn't happening. I knew I was already a singer. I was singing in church all the time. But I specifically worked to be a songwriter because I knew I had something to contribute to the world. I had this idea of wanting to heal people with music, and to add to culture in way that I felt wasn't being done based on what i heard on the radio when i would hop into my car on an average day. When i picked up the piano after so many years of quitting, it was like a well spring burst, and the songs that had been waiting to come out finally did.

How would you describe your music using just 3 adjectives? pensive. passionate. fun.

Describe your very first stage experience.

My very first show was at a coffee shop on my campus called Kiva Han. I spent all my time telling everyone to come out to this show and the room was packed. I was scared out of my mind. I just remember being nervous and asking my sister to join on percussion because I didn't want to play by myself. I don't remember much else except a dimly lit room, lots of faces, and being nervous.

Tell us about your African roots and how they inspire your music.

My parents came here from Nigeria 38 years ago. They raised us very strictly in a Nigerian culture even though we were in the States.  I guess I never fully realized how much this has effected me until some 3 years ago when my upbringing started to work its way into my songs. These songs tend to be about being hard-working, proud of where you've come from, and allowing God to take the drivers seat in your life. All three things are the very cornerstone of Nigerian (Ibo) culture.

What is your songwriting process?

It changes from song to song, but it normally begins with a melody, that turns into a hook or chorus. I let that linger and simmer for as long as it needs to and then begin to work on the verse. Somewhere in the process of songwriting, I need to step back and ask myself, "what is it I'm trying to say with this song." I continue writing once I've determined my message. I don't like to be stuck in a place where my song makes no sense and is so abstract that it ultimately means nothing. I'm not that kind of writer.

What was the inspiration behind your album, “All or Nothing”? 

It's a love album, so the majority of the songs have to do with some aspect of love. I guess the inspiration lies in my relationships with people and also with God. What does it mean to love others fully. You'll hear the response to that questions (and the heartbreak of that) in this album.

If you could perform with any mainstream artist (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Mainstream? Hmmm...probably Aretha Franklin. That woman is classy. I'm a big fan of her song "A Rose Is Still A Rose".

What are your hobbies outside of music?

Movie watching. HA! Is that a hobby? Probably not...but I wish it was. I also loooove cooking! I love how creative it is.

What's next for Joy Ike?

Touring. My goal this year has been to tour the butt off this new album. So I'm excited for summer dates and the fall when college shows kick back up!

Where can we find more information about you?