tunesday – a little chat with joy crookes
The soulful singer-songwriter penned one of her first tunes at the age of 12.
How would you describe your music to your grandma? I’m pretty honest with my grandmas about what’s going on and what my songs are about, so I tell both that my music is how I am when I’m speaking to them, except you can do little dances to the music.
What do your mates call you? I find it really weird when someone calls me Joy. My best friend calls me Challay. My other best friend calls me Crookes. Some friends call me Crookesy. The man at the pub calls me Cookie, Challay or Busher.
Tell us about one of the first songs you wrote. I used clouds as a metaphor for depression and once they cleared up, it made everyone feel happy. I was about 12 – I don’t know what was on my mind at that time, but I was obviously going through something.
How has growing up in South London influenced your music? I was exposed to so many genres growing up here. If you walked down the road, you’d hear everything from reggaeton to rock. It’s such a melting-pot area in a melting-pot city. South Londoners are also traditionally very upfront – they always tell you how it is. I think I’ve always prided myself on that and have gotten more unfiltered as I’ve gotten older.
What did 14 years of Irish dancing teach you? How to navigate bitchy girls and not give a shit about a certain kind of woman who wants to bring you down. It doesn’t make me less of a feminist. There was a clear difference between how many white girls and how many brown girls were in those classes – it was easy to feel ostracised very quickly. I have an anti-group mentality because when you move in a pack, you can start being a horrible person.
What did teenage Joy used to dream about? People I fancied on TV.
What would you do if you won the lottery? Distribute the money, fund climate change solutions and help displaced people.