First, thank you Queen for this Opportunity! This is a humbling experience and to be able to be a part of something so great as this and with a Queen from Home, It’s Amazing! So Let’s go!
1. Tell us when you started to sing and how did you fall in love with music.
Just like many others that have come before me, I have always sung in the choir. I went to Wesley United Methodist Church on Meeting Street in Charleston, SC, right across from the Piggly Wiggly and that is where it all began. I remember singing in the children’s choir, at the age of 5, and having the deepest voice in the choir. The older women working with the choir would say, “Joy, women don’t sang dat low. Sing high like the woman supposed ta!” But I didn’t know what that was or what that meant at the time and it took me a while to even understand that statement. It wasn’t until high school that I learned to appreciate the vocal range that I had.
My choir director, Vivian Jones, heard me sing and about passed out. She looked at me and asked me if I knew what a gift I had. I responded, no! It was at that time I realized that there were other women, Wonderful Female Musicians with deep rich voices and I was not by myself. At that point, I became proud of my voice. I fell in love with Sara Vaughn, Ysaye Barnwell (of Sweet Honey and the Rock), Cassandra Wilson, Nina Simone and then Rachelle Ferrell!! Oh My! Jazz became next to breathing and my singing was my reason for existing!
2. What genre do you identify your music with?
It is so hard to identify with just one genre when you Love Music. Kyndra Joi’s motto is “Where RnB meets Funk and marries Soul…”I have an appreciation for all creative outlets through song and rhythm.
3. Who inspires you?
Wow! What a big question! My family inspires me. Parents want best for your children. They want their children to have stability and be able to sustain. So needless to say, my parents weren’t always for my decision to pursue a career in music until they realized that I wasn’t quitting. No matter how hard it got or how much was lost, I stuck in there and my parents stuck in there with me, sometimes with a lot of doubt. : ) But through prayer and God’s grace, I’m still standing and my family is standing behind me so I Give Much Thanks! I don’t take this charge lightly and I know it is mine to fulfill.
4. What are typical mistakes people make when trying to pursue this career?
I think because of reality shows and what the public calls “overnight sensations” many new independent artists have a misconception that they can get the millions, the Grammys and fame in a few months. Mistake! Many independent artists have been working for years, spending their own funds and sacrificing before they can even be seen by a major label! Because of these misconceptions, many artists rush to finish their musical projects. In this Industry, you are often afforded only one opportunity to present yourself; and when you have that opportunity, you want to be polished to let the label or manager know that you are marketable.
2nd , Balance! You will see many artists just wanting to do their love or their passion and that’s great! However, you have to eat and live. So don’t forget to balance because many great artists get burned out before they have even begun!
Lastly, don’t forget to pray! Being a human, we sometimes forget to seek guidance from more experienced professionals and think that it’s our own talent that is going to get us that deal, those millions and those accolades. Deception! Take time, meditate, be peaceful and everything that is supposed to be yours (Your Destiny) will be revealed to you and for you.
Now, the list can continue but if an artist can keep those three things in mind, which are often our most costly mistakes, they will end up on Top!
5. Do you write your own songs?
Yes, I do write my own songs. I have also collaborated with other musicians and have had offers to collaborate as well! Writing is my therapy, whether it being released in a form of poetry, song or just journaling. It is an opportunity to express my experiences and hope that someone could either relate or learn from an experience that I may have had.
6. What are some of your future goals for yourself and your music career?
Oh, where do I begin? Lol! I want it All!! Lol! I am a Social Worker by day and a Musician by night! Many of my future goals include combining the two careers. For short term goals, I am working on my second project, currently untitled and would like to have that completed the summer of 2014. In addition, I have begun hosting events such as poetry slams and a series that showcase hip hop, poetry and soul called Love and Lyrics. I would definitely like to do more hosting and do more work in the community. Community work is really important to me. It gives me an opportunity to show our youth positive role models and to nurture and encourage their dreams.
Comedy, theatre, tours and many more collaborations are in the works, so you just have to stay tuned to keep up with a Sista!
7. The music scene in Louisiana is my favorite. What lessons have you learned from your move there that weren’t learned in your hometown of Charleston, SC?
This is a difficult question because I have learned so many things from home that I was able to use here and vice versa! However, from the entertainment perspective, New Orleans has given me a fast track course on “How to Handle Your Business!” With so many talented Musicians, Vocalists and Business owners in this city, you cannot afford to be shy on anyone’s stage! You have to be respectful of all musicians and pay homage to those who have come before you to be able to stand and sing on stages weekly in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter and on Frenchmen Street! So, I have learned how to be a band manager, a host, a guest, an administrative assistant, marketer and social media person all at one time and all in one night!
In addition, I’ve learned contracts, how to conduct business professionally and ethically, how to network, how to support your fellow musicians, how to be quiet, when to talk, when to just observe, when to make a move and how to pray more fervently! But my time in New Orleans has been Amazing! You have to take the good with the bad and be thankful that you are one of the many who can say, I did that!
8. What does music mean to you in your own words? One word, LIFE! Music is how I survive any emotion that I may feel at any given moment in my life. When I’m discouraged, I listen to Gospel. When I’m in Love, I listen to a little Jill Scott or Luther Vandross. When I’m feeling deep, I will listen to Lauren Hill or Meshell Ndegeocello, Lol! If I want to hear great harmonies, I will listen to Earth, Wind and Fire or Dr. Buzzard and the Savannah Band! And believe it or not, Silence is music for your soul. So one word for me is LIFE!
And get in contact with her here