Vance Joy: ‘I Have Something Worthwhile to Offer’
Music lovers will find it hard to escape the haunting ukulele chords of Vance Joy's 'Riptide.' The breakthrough single for the singer-songwriter, real name James Keogh, gains him new fans on a daily basis. And Vance Joy is poised to take his career to the next level as he gets ready to open for pop queen Taylor Swift next spring.
While Joy may seem like a surprising choice to accompany T Swizzle during her '1989 World Tour,' it's not as random as you may think. Swift played her own beautiful cover of 'Riptide' on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge this past October:
According to Joy, the idea to join Swift on tour was already in the planning stages. However, he had no idea she intended to give her own take on 'Riptide.'
"I think it was in the works," Joy tells us of the tour. "Taylor’s cover was a surprise though. A delightful surprise."
The former Australian football player joins the list of surprise hit makers that includes Gotye ('Somebody That I Used to Know'), the Lumineers ('Ho Hey') and Of Monsters and Men ('Little Talks') -- to name a few. That amount of attention for a relatively unknown artist can seem quite daunting, especially when Joy just released his debut full-length album, 'Dream Your Life Away,' in September.
It would be understandable for Joy to worry about maintaining his success in the music industry. He probably thinks about how to extend his longevity every time he walks on a stage, right? "No. If that thought comes up I just snap it out," Joy reveals. "It’s like, 'Yo, it’s all good.' Here today, gone today. Don’t hold on too tight."
Joy is currently on the last leg of his North American headlining tour, which has been selling out clubs all over the U.S. and Canada. "Who doesn't like playing to full rooms? They have been special shows." he shares. Joy will face a much larger audience in stadiums during the '1989 Word Tour.' While his preparations for next year's shows may differ compared to smaller venues, the general approach will remain the same.
"I’m sure there are things that I need to learn about playing to stadiums," Joy admits. "But the general 'deep breath and let’s go mentality' will be there."
Movie fans will notice that veteran actress Michelle Pfeiffer is referenced during 'Riptide.' One of our favorite Pfeiffer roles is her seductive portrayal of Catwoman in 1992's 'Batman Returns.' Luckily, Joy is an actual fan and didn't just randomly choose an actress to name drop. "Yes, total fan of her as Catwoman and in 'The Fabulous Baker Boys,' says Joy. "Both are really great movies and such amazing performances. I love movies."
Like any musician who dreams of making it big, Joy wants to make his mark on the industry and plans to stay in the industry for a long time.
"I think the process of making music and sharing it definitely suggests a desire to make an impression and be heard," Joy explains. "I have that feeling like I have something worthwhile to offer and that is what leads me to express myself in music."
Watch Vance Joy's 'Riptide'