JOYA MOOI

The Netherlands-raised musician chats about her latest release 'Blossom Carefully', celebrating her mixed heritage through music and taking a look back at her extensive discography.

What were the main inspirations that went into your latest release Blossom Carefully'?
 

I was in need myself of hearing something soothing, yet not looking away of the current state of the world. 

When I'm in the studio i tend not think about what i want to create, a certain sound of genre. But creating the

EP i just felt like a needed a big old, uplifting and honest Auntie hug. That's why i really liked working with

producers who have their unique, warm and upfront sound, but most importantly are down to experiment as

well. So it was a joy working with producers like Blazehoven. Sim Fane and SIROJ, who are all great people and musicians.


What were the main narratives that you wanted to cover throughout the project?

It's about enduring, seeking hope, setting yourself from the disenchantments in life. It's about the never-ending love for my lineage and everything I received from them. It's about growing on your own terms and much more.

 

What were the main narratives that you wanted to cover throughout the project?

It's about enduring, seeking hope, setting yourself from the disenchantments in life. It's about the never-ending love for my lineage and everything I received from them. It's about growing on your own terms and much more.

"Bringing all my worlds together ... and telling my personal story,

a layered history ..."

What was the inspiration for ‘The Ease of Others’ and how was creating that project?

My family and my own transnational identity is the main inspiration for my last album. Bringing all my worlds together - South Africa, The Netherlands and telling my personal story, a layered history - with the helps of my aunties and uncle back in Soweto. I started writing the album back in Cape Town, where I also took the time to figure out how i wanted to express my own search for belonging.  


How did your 2017 project ‘The Waiting Room’ act as a stepping stone to the sound you’re creating today?

I use writing as a tool to arrange my thoughts and when i'm struggling it's one of the few ways I can cope. In 2014 I spent months in a hospital, my brother was sick and that same year he passed. That notebook from the hospital i eventually opened again and started to bring it to the studio. In my mind the hurt, grief and disconnect to the everything could only come together in an electronically heavy project. for a long while i wasn't sure what to do with, if i even wanted to share - but i'm glad i did. 

 

If you had to choose two of your tracks to show your range as an artist, which two would you choose and why?

Each project is very personal and dear to me. Each chapter is a phase where try to give each element a whole lot heart and a little bit of though love so i doesn't feel right to chose. 

"Sometimes I am a bit abstract in my storytelling ... "

Do you take inspiration from other artistic mediums other than music such as art, fashion, film etc?

I am a great photography, fine art, film and series enthusiast. I like to be intrigued, surprised, represented. I used to love documentaries a lot, like binging history flicks or biographies. Nowadays I'm more into fiction or a combination of reality and fantasy. I sometimes am a bit abstract in my storytelling, but because I write about my own experiences, my message does get across. At least I do hope so.


How important has it been to stay creative during lockdown?


My main priority is to stay sane personally - being creative comes second always. Taking care of myself and others has always been important. Normally i'm kind of a hermit, but since we're now all stuck at home, i feel a bit trapped. So I've been taking my time with creating, doing some cooking and adjusting my plans for the future every week :D 

When did you first start creating music?

 

I think i was 8 when i started playing saxophone and 10 when i wrote my first song. I slowly grew into singing and later started studying music. 

"With this one I literally felt the 'release' once it was done. With other projects, I hardly took the time to rest and reload ..."


What is the music scene like in The Netherlands? 

There's really a lot of talent in The Netherlands when it comes to musicians, producers and songwriters. And with luckily a lot of cool concert venues - but currently, like everywhere else in the world, venues and artists are having a hard time.

Are there any local artists you would recommend?

 

Nana Adjoa, sor, Ray Fuego and Gaidaa is truly amazing.  

Which artists first inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?

 

The artists that spoke to me when i was growing up, were the artists where i felt an urgency. I was quit a serious child, haha, singing along Georgia on my mind like it was it written for me. I kept playing records by Ray Charles, Etta James, Alice Coltrane and later Lauryn Hill. Nowadays i still tend to play those classic album or listen to inspiring artists like SZA and Kelela. 

If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners, who would they be?

 

I enjoy listening to Muzi, Beach House, Play Nice, Boogie and Stevan.

What’s coming up for the rest of 2020?

 

Enjoying this release honestly. With this one i literally felt the 'release' once it was done. With other projects I hardly took the time to rest and reload - that's actually what I'm gonna do now.

 

KEEP UP WITH JOYA MOOI BELOW
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Instagram
  • Black YouTube Icon
  • Black Spotify Icon

twitter      -      instagram     -   spotify     -     contact