This week we had the pleasure to interview Joyce-Lou & JDMC who released their album “Blank Page” with SWEET SOUL RECORDS on November 19th, 2014.
Please take a moment to hear a little about them. I hope that you enjoy their story.
Q1. Can you tell the Japanese readers a little about who you are and how the collaboration Joyce-Lou & JDMC started off?
Hey there, we are Joyce and Jonas from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and together we are Joyce-Lou & JDMC, a singer/songwriter – drummer/producer duo. We met a few years ago at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam where we both studied jazz music. It was also where we figured out that we both have a passion for soul and hip-hop, so we decided to meet up and try to write music together. And bit by bit the whole project started to roll… now we have a CD out in Japan.
Q2. How do you describe your music to people?
That’s a tricky question. We could try to put in a genre and that would be something between R&B, soul and jazz. But in general I would describe our music as a try to give something nice back to the people. We want to share good feelings, love and happiness. This sounds a bit cheesy, but in fact that is the power of music.
Q3. What was the idea behind the Live Off The Floor versions of some of your songs on the ‘Blank Page’ album?
We love live music and we have the best band we could wish for. They are the best and nicest people, really good friends, and it is always so much fun to play with them. So we wanted to cover that atmosphere and record with the whole band in a live setting. Musicians playing live together, this is where magic can happen.
Live Off The Floor version of ‘Blank Page’
Q4. How do you feel about releasing your music in Japan and why did you decide to release your music here?
We really appreciate the big platform that the Japanese music business provides for us and other artists in our genre. The fact that we could release music that we stand by a 100%, even though it’s specific and hard to define because it surpasses one genre, is a gift and encourages us, and many other artists to keep doing what they do, because at the end of the day, there is an opportunity to release an album and let people enjoy the music you make. In our case, that is Sweet Soul Records. Thank you guys! We actually had a plan of trying to reach out to Japan with our music. We thought it would really fit in. Also, we’re very curious to your country, the way in which you are so advanced when it comes to technology, architecture, fashion and many other things, makes us want to know more.
Q5. Do you know or listen to any Japanese artists?
I (Joyce-Lou) am of Philippine descent. My mom is from the Philippines, and my dad from the Netherlands. I got to visit many places in Asia already, but I haven’t been in Japan yet! Who knows, maybe we’ll visit you guys soon. I got to listen to a lot of Japanese singer-songwriter artists, because my cousin and best friend in the Philippines, has lived and studied in Osaka for some years. I think that via him, my curiosity for the Japanese culture came about. We used to talk in emoticons on the ‘Line’ app, and we drank 1,5 liters of Roncha daily! He sang songs from Seiko Matsuda for me all the time.
Q6. Joyce-Lou, you also sing in the band called ‘The Junction’ where you do a lot of covers from famous songs. What do you like about covering songs?
The Junction is a great project, a dream come true. I have always sung in choirs and vocal groups, both classical and jazz. We are an a cappella group, two guys and three girls, we cover pop and jazz songs, but in a special way. We re-arrange the whole song, so it fits to 5 voices. This is a creative process in which we not only try to approach the sound of the original song, but add our own touch to it, since a band consisting of 5 voices will sound very unique. We try not to imitate and cover, but re-create. What I like about covering existing songs is, that you kind of get a toolkit, a really good and fun one, to work and play with. The composition, melody, rhythm, harmony, lyrics and instrumentation, are your building blocks, and you can use your fantasy to make it your own. Also, an existing song has come to life for you personal, because it brings back memories, or it has been your favorite song for a while, or it has been really popular and a big summer hit and means a lot to many people. That’s what I also like about interpreting existing songs, and that’s the power of music.
Q7. JDMC, I read somewhere that you were in India while your album was being released. What did you do there and how did you get there?
Yes, that is true! I had the chance to go to Mumbai and teach drums at one of the few western music schools in India. I am glad I went there, it was a great experience to see a totally different part of the world. I taught a lot but in fact I learned even more.
Q8. Are you currently working on new songs? If yes, can you tell us something about them?
At the moment we are fine-tuning a lot on five songs we already recorded a while ago, but somehow there is a whole list of little ideas and snippets we had and we are always working on them. To see an idea grow and become a whole song is a very exciting process. We love it and we plan to have a long writing session this summer, to be able to finish some song and to share them with our fans!
Q9. In closing would you like to send a message to your Japanese fans?
Dear Japanese fans, how do you like our music? We really hope you enjoy the album, and got inspired. We’d like to thank you big time for supporting us, following us and appreciating our music. Keep it up! Stay curious! Sweet Soul Records has many great artists under their wings and thanks to them, it’s possible for everyone to get their music heard. We’re definitely creating more music for your ears to enjoy, and we’d love to give you some love back one day by playing for you guys live. You deserve it!
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