Archives For Vance Joy

When you ask Vance Joy about the celebrities he encountered while touring with the world’s biggest pop star, the first people he brings up are Taylor Swift’s backup dancers. Then Joy will mention the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team and eventually you’ll get a funny anecdote about telling his friend’s father that he once met Julia Roberts.

That is Joy in a nutshell. He’s a tall, good-looking guy with an Australian accent that can sing and play guitar; he can effortlessly command any room he’s in. The artist has a successful album with a big hit already under his belt and he played stadiums across the country with the aforementioned Swift. Yet none of it has seemed to affect Joy much. The singer, nee James Keogh, is still a kind and unassuming person who will even on occasion (and by accident) introduce himself by his birth name.

Joy is blessed with many talents, one being the ability focus on what matters and not take the rest of it too seriously.

“The most important thing is just songwriting and dedicating a lot of time and focus to the craft,” Joy responded when I asked what he learned from his first album that he’s bringing in to “Nation Of Two,” due out February 23. “It can be hard and it can be frustrating but you have to keep pushing and the songs will eventually come.”

There are four songs out ahead of the LP, including the lead single “Lay It On Me,” which he performed acoustic for us at Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17. Joy noted that the tracks were chosen because of how they represent his body of work, with special attention given to tempo.

“I’m proud of all of the songs, but those are probably the most upbeat,” he explained. “Those are the ones I wanted to show first, and then some of the slower songs I think will sink in to people over time.”

His fans will have a chance to hear them live as well, as shortly after our chat Joy announced a massive world tour, with dates in North America kicking off April 13.

Taylor Swift covered Vance Joy’s single “Riptide” during a recent appearance on BBC Radio in the UK. Joy, a 26 year-old singer/songwriter from Australia, posted a video of the performance on his Facebook page along with, “There is a lot of emotion and joy in this cover. Thank you Taylor Swift.”

And in perhaps another sign of his appreciation, Joy told me Monday on “Ralphie Tonight” that he preordered Swift’s new album, 1989. At the time we spoke, he did not yet have an opportunity to listen, but stated he was a fan of “Shake It Off” as well as “Out Of The Woods,” two songs released ahead of the album’s Monday reveal.

Joy also noted that, via his manager, he noticed an impact from the world’s biggest pop star co-signing on one of his songs.

“I saw my manager a couple of days later and he said, ‘There’s been a lot of feedback about the cover and… it’s kind of I guess brought the song in to a whole new field of people’s vision,’” Joy recalled. “I saw these big bags under (my manager’s) eyes and I knew he’d been working hard.”

But for the artist from Melbourne, the experience transcends the priceless exposure.

“As a songwriter, I just admire what a great cover she did,” Joy stated. “Totally flattered.”

The nod from Swift comes as the Aussie begins his attempt to break in to the US market. It’s been a good year for Australians, as 5 Seconds Of Summer, Sia, and Iggy Azalea have all enjoyed success in the States.

“We get all the American music, we get all of the music from the UK,” Joy began to explain. “The sound of Australia is a unique sound but it’s also very easily passed around the world. There’s no barriers to sharing music now.”

While Joy talks about the globalization of music with the same subtle confidence he exudes on his debut album, he is quick to mention that the aforementioned artists are big names, and is a bit hesitant to be grouped in with them because of that. But when jokingly asked if he or 5SOS would be approached in a mall back home first, the hesitation vanishes.

“Definitely (5 Seconds Of Summer)!” he said through laughter. “I definitely wouldn’t get mauled. I think people would be like, ‘Oh, is that? Oh, maybe not? Oh, he’s gone.’”

Joy is speaking from personal experience at this point, so the confidence is definitely back.