Joyce Wrice is stepping out. You may recognize her name from features with Dom Kennedy, Polyester the Saint, Jay Prince, and Blu, but the 24-year-old songstress refuses to be remembered for just “doing hooks for rappers and covering songs.” Joyce shouldn’t have to worry about that though—her solo career is taking off, with a premiere of a music video a couple weeks ago, the release of her latest EP Stay Around, and a show at Highland Park’s Hi-Hat venue that she hosted and curated herself. Luckily, I was able to catch the show and witness her radiance and contagious energy as she danced and sang to an enthused crowd that reciprocated her excitement. But it hasn’t been an easy hill to climb for someone who’s self-proclaimed shyness and lack of identity as an artist has, in the past, gotten in the way of her feeling like herself.
“I didn’t know what I wanted or what works for my voice and who I represent and the things I talk about,” Joyce remarked thoughtfully when I interviewed her just the other week. I was sitting at the foot of her bed, taking in her shrine to R&B. She was playing with her hair and gazing up at the ceiling. A record spun softly in the background, a Bell Hooks book sat besides her. Joyce recentered her focus on me and offered a light shrug—an acknowledgment of the growth she’s been through.
Joyce isn’t dwelling on the challenges. She’s all smiles—the same energy I witnessed at the Hi-Hat several nights before—but more contained. Joyce has so much spirit—a truth that surprised me a bit after listening to her smooth, mellow, and soulful EP Stay Around. But she knows how to channel her vigor into different areas: songwriting, recording, performing, and even walking dogs and teaching English to Japanese American kids. “I’ve really learned to just be the music, be in it, and be vulnerable in it,” she smiles. It’s a feel-good moment.
Joyce Wrice & Live Band
5.12.2017 | 20:00 CET
Musik & Frieden | Falckensteinstraße 48 | 10997 Berlin