The 19-year-old Chicago-born artist discusses her music and feeling like a veteran in the music industry.
If you’re good at what you do, age is just a number. Such is the case with 19-year-old Julianna Joy; the Chicago artist is now making her name known. “I’ve been in this industry since I was 15, but I feel like I’ve been in it forever,” she said.
My first impression of Julianna Joy came from one of those nights where you skip everything on Spotify, and through countless new artists I landed on Joy’s track, “Poseidon.” Something about the poignant lyricism with a voice like Alessia Cara’s screamed at me even though the song is so beautifully gentle.
In a bid to commit to a life of making music, Joy made the move to Los Angeles the same week her debut EP, Cherries, was released.
“I followed the advice that I got my freshman year, which was: ‘If you want to do music, you gotta be in L.A. It thrives there.” Now nearly a year removed from the departure, Joy is not in school — she is now working full-time to support her musical aspirations.
While the move has been one of those bets on yourself, her humility remains unmoved.
“I would say my goals have stayed the same, being in L.A. just made them more achievable.”
Having released Cherries on Valentine’s Day 2020, she currently sits at nearly 70,000 Spotify monthly listeners in addition to having well over a million total plays in just under a year of debuting on the platform.
“I’m hoping to be an important person in the music industry. I want to be touring and recording tons of music,” said Joy.
Joy’s instrumental ability spans across a variety of skill sets, including guitar, piano, ukulele, bass and even a bit of banjo. Paired with a desire to keep creating, Joy has been able to bring about something that is gaining traction online. While I have found similarities between Joy and Alessia Cara, she describes her sound as if “Lorde had a lovechild with Taylor Swift, and that child got really really really into classic rock and ‘80s pop music when they turned 16.” She furthers her point on an appreciation for older music with her dream collaborations, dead or alive. “My dream collaboration alive would have to be Jack Antonoff. Dead would have been Freddie Mercury.”
Muses come and go, but Joy says “Most of the time I write music for myself or for the person I’m trying to talk to, and for the people who find comfort in my weirdly personal stories that I choose to publicize.” Seemingly all of Joy’s tracks have a self contained narrative, but the must-listen from the young artist comes in the shape of “Cherry Bomb,” an upbeat concoction of guitar and strong percussion that could form the soundtrack in a coming of age movie.
Most recently in the blossoming career that is Julianna Joy’s, came the Spotify release of her song “Seventeen.” Its appearance on Spotify comes as a rerelease of sorts, seeing as the song previously existed solely as a YouTube video. With the song’s lyrical themes of young love, it becomes easy to remember her youth. “My age never comes into question when talking about my career. It doesn’t go unnoticed, don’t get me wrong,” she said. But when it comes to business, Joy is respected in her artists’ seat.
“It never changed the dynamic from what I can tell,” she added. Though expectations are sometimes high for promising young stars, Joy is not feeling any rush or schedule to drop an album anytime soon.
“Maybe the next three years or so.”
Even with things still being cloudy and shrouded in terms of when live performances can be held again safely, things still look good for Julianna Joy. For the fan of indie music and soothing vocals, Julianna Joy is not someone to overlook.