EXCLUSIVE: Joy Kate chats new single “Body”

In just 2 years, Joy Kate has amassed over 621k streams on her singles and debut EP. 

Now this 16 year old is studying production at NYU’s prestigious Clive Davis Institute and is continuing to create music to promote positivity and confidence.

Her latest single, “Body” is about finding the person you cannot live without and realizing that you deserve them. 

We chatted with Joy Kate about “Body,” studying and what fans can look forward to next.

How did you first get interested in music?

I started singing because my older siblings were involved in music, and I wanted to be just like them.  They were singing in our state fair and I begged my parents to let me do this too. I was actually very introverted so it surprised everyone when I hit the stage and a whole different side of me emerged. That experience really ignited my first love of performing! Continuing with early productions in musical theater and anything I could find including singing jingles in my backyard, I found every opportunity that I could to surround myself with music and even began formally songwriting at about age 11.  New to middle school, I wanted to use my voice to speak up about troubling situations I was witnessing. The first published song I wrote was an anti-bullying anthem called “You’re a Hero” and thereafter, I knew I had to continue writing to use my voice. I also began using music to journal milestones and events happening in my life – both the good and the bad.

You’re currently at University. What has it been like to balance classes and your music, especially during Quarantine? 

Yes, I am currently attending NYU Tisch Clive Davis School of Recorded Music, and I couldn’t be more excited as this has always been a dream of mine. I have just started classes so I can’t really say yet about balancing that, but moving from a small town in the South to New York City has definitely been a big adjustment. I’ve been slowly finding my way around and the professors and faculty have all been so helpful and welcoming especially in these challenging times. During quarantine, writing has been such a wonderful outlet, and I have been lucky enough to continue to collaborate with numerous artists and producers through Zoom and FaceTime. I’ve actually been creating a lot including original music for myself and others as well as music videos from home, and I am hoping to continue releasing new material while in school.  

What inspired your single “Body”?  

Going to college is a time when students are exposed to many different types of people and new experiences so I wanted to write a song to myself before arriving as a reminder to protect my heart and never settle for someone who wouldn’t love me as I am and respect me. As a teenager navigating the challenges of dating and the emotional experiences that love brings, it can be hard to not confuse fantasy with reality. This song relays the message of wanting to find deep emotional connections with one person instead of settling for flings, random hookups, and meaningless or manipulative relationships. I am communicating that my heart personally does not work that way.  I want to encourage all of my listeners to keep searching until they “find the one you can’t replace.” 

You worked with Johnny Black (Jessie J, Estelle, Mr. Probz, Daughtry) and Mike Piazza. How did you get connected with them? 

I connected with Johnny Black and Mike Piazza through mutual friends in Nashville, TN and have loved working with them ever since. My listeners can look forward to more songs with them in the very near future.

What was the writing process like?

The writing process was a breeze because Mike, Johnny, and I have such a great creative chemistry. Johnny began to play some chords while I freestyled over the mic, and soon enough we were humming out the melody and lyrics to “Body.” 

If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “Body,” what do you imagine it looking like? 

Whenever I listen to “Body” I imagine myself in a dark room with neon lights. The lyric video that I’ve created for “ Body” will hopefully capture some of what I imagine the fan space to eventually look like when we can all go back to live performances. It has neon graphic designs that tell the story overlaying neon lyric impressions.  

Like “Body,” your music is often about positivity and authenticity. Why is it important to you that your music captures that message? 

Throughout my entire life music has always been one very solid and reliable thing that has comforted me and offered me an “escape” when I needed it so when creating music, it was vitally important to me to write music that might do the same for others. I also wanted to be a positive role model and use situations in my life that may have been hard to talk about and spin them into something beautiful. I encourage everyone to not care what other people think and never worry about being unique or different because as someone who felt out of place, I wanted to be told those exact words. I have always called music my getaway, and one of the biggest rewards I can imagine would be having someone tell me my music helped them through a rough time and made them feel less alone.

You are also an actress. Has acting taught you anything about music or vice versa? 

Acting has taught me so many things about music especially when filming music videos. I love to pull my acting experience into the storylines and come up with concepts to continuously push myself as a performer. It is so much fun to act out the words I wrote and create a performance that mimics what I envisioned in my head.

What can fans look forward to next? 

Fans can look forward to many cool releases and collabs this year. I am especially excited about a very personal original song and it’s emotionally captivating music video coming out in October. I have spent over a year developing this piece and can’t wait to share it with everyone. 

What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?

Remember to always stay true to yourself, and don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something or be who you are because who you are is incredible!