Joyce Olong
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Introducing The Songstress Joyce Olong


I spoke to 22 year old singer/songwriter Joyce Olong, about herself and her sensitivities ranging from life history, her creation process, to future plans. I’m glad I conducted this interview considering I was reluctant at first. I took interest in her choice of lyrics and music appropriation; the pitch was insane and I just wanted to hear more and more of it.

Joyce was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria where she had most of her schooling there and graduated from Lagoon Secondary school in 2012 after which she left for Brock University in Niagara, Canada where she made a life decision not to go on there and pursue a purpose instead.

Joyce’s love for music began at the age of 6 after watching a Lauryn Hill performance ‘The eye is on the sparrow’ in the movie Sister Act, “Lauryn Hill set the tone for my music.” She began to sing when she was six and in order to develop her writing skills she started practicing at seven [ the age that I probably discovered hula hoops and hair attachments.

While developing her writing skill, she picked up records from Biggie, Common, The Fugees, and many others. She says she needed rap to master arrangement, rhymes and most importantly her swag.

Joyce Olong.

By 11, she had picked up playing the saxophone, piano, drums and was also learning production but without the proper digital format. She learnt all of this on her own. By her third year in secondary school she had written her first unproduced song. Consistency and determination was the drive that got Joyce to where she is now, although she does admit her weakest point is reading music itself.

My curiosity drove me to ask Joyce why she hasn’t released any mainstream music out to the public and if it was intentional; she replies by saying she intends to reach out to a certain crowd and does this through the vibe and process of her music, and she doesn’t release music for the sake of it but for the feeling and satisfaction it gives.

She says she thinks of her parents and little kids when she records, which is why she doesn’t swear in her songs. We spoke about a potential collaboration with Lady Donli which we should be expecting very soon.

Joyce describes her process in songwriting, where she grasps content and how she goes about with the interpretation. She prefers to write on paper, she believes it to be a more organic process. She gets a notebook and completely zones out; she draws inspiration from little kids and explains that she has empathy for kids and hopes nothing ever hurts them. Body movement and human interaction feeds into the ecstasy of her music, she highlights that she tends to feel highly sensitive during her creation process and tries as much as possible adding that her song ‘Stay Another Day’ is a personal song that she hopes could change someone else’s life and outlook on life.

Her forthcoming EP Merci Beaute is dedicated to the all the women around her that helped her through a very dark phase of her life, they gave her the power, in her own words. She describes the project as a thank you card divided into two parts, the first part being the first track and the reason for her thank yous and the second part being four songs dedicated individually to certain people in her life. The female inspired project is intimate and sensitive. I’m here for this and super excited about it. Joyce’s music inspiration explains much of what we hear in her music, they include; John Legend, Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, Aşa and of course the legendary Kanye West.

An emotional Joyce tells me of the history beneath ‘Stay Another Day‘ which she wrote partly in her third year of secondary school but the environment she was in had not allowed her to express the pain she was feeling well enough.

“I wanted to die” she says. Following this was the second verse and the chorus which she completed in 2013. “I wrote this verse thinking ‘I can’t die in a foreign land’ I mean, the stress of shipping dead body back”

She believes that her vanity would never have let her hurt herself which was funny because as much as she was hurting emotionally, she would never intentionally hurt herself physically.

‘Shekels’ on the other hand, speaks about war and the damage and also the good that it does ‘war is like a necessary evil because if you do not hurt how would you know how to love’. She speaks about the hurt of war, violence, and the world needing to be dominated by the spirit of unity.

She concludes by sending her gratitude and love to her supporters and people who have taken out of their time to listen and appreciate her art. We can get new music from Joyce Olong anytime soon, so be sure to stay woke kids.

It ended with the her sharing a few words for the kids facing depression,

For kids fighting depression, coming from someone who deals with this everyday, the healing process starts when they seek help from a trusted party, some days are harder so they should not let any temporary intense feeling warrant a permanent reaction/action. Do the little things you love and block out any negative vibrations; you deserve happiness.

Adaobi Ajegbo

Journalist and entrepreneur. there's not much to me honestly, I love money and I love to write x.

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