This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
I’m Joyeur and I’m a singer-songwriter. I make electronic pop.
My interest in music began when I was a tiny baby. Just humming a lot, singing a lot, but really once I was introduced to more soulful singers—Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder—I was hooked on karaoke. I did a lot of karaoke and tried to sound exactly like them, the artists I was listening to. That’s how I started. Just a love for singing, honestly. The writing came later.
When did you know you could do this for real?
I realized that it wasn’t out of reach to be a musician when I was working in the music industry. I was working at a music management boutique firm a long time ago. I was plugging songs—meaning I was getting songs from other artists and helping them get cut by bigger artists—and I realized, I feel like some of my songs could be pitched for that. I realized that maybe other songwriters weren’t as above or superior to me. It was kind of like a self-worth thing, I guess.
What would you say to young Joelle?
If I could time travel, a) I would be so happy. I have a thing for time travel. But b) if I could time travel and I could talk to myself back in the day, what would I tell myself? I would tell myself it’s okay to be imperfect. Just start. Just start and do it imperfectly. That’s what I would say to myself.
“If I could time travel and I could talk to myself back in the day, what would I tell myself? I would tell myself it's okay to be imperfect. Just start, just start and do it imperfectly.”
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity, to me, encompasses the experience of expressing yourself. For me, it’s just self-acceptance. I think to be creative, I have to accept myself where I’m at. If I’m out there doing the musical equivalent of squiggles and doodles, that’s what I’m doing that day. Creativity is just arriving each day and accepting what’s happening, and not getting in my own way. I think creativity is basically the opposite of resisting yourself and resisting an experience, if that makes sense.
What makes you come alive?
What makes me feel alive? That’s a deep-ass question. I would say it is the spectrum. It’s going from sadness to joy, from joy to sadness, and everything in between. It’s being present for every experience I’m in so that I can truly reap the benefits of that situation, whether it’s pain or it’s pleasure. It means not trying to rewrite the story as it’s happening. I think what makes me come alive is when I’m truly present and not trying to control my life, a song, a person. That’s what makes me feel truly alive: when I’m present and just experiencing what I’m experiencing, and that is it. There’s no control of that. Just losing myself to find myself.
This interview was conducted on October 28th, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.