An Interview with Joy Daniels
LIR: So Joy, tell us, what do you do?
JD: I am, for the first time in my life a full time artist, musician, producer & songwriter. Music has always been an integral part of my life since my parents have pastored a church my whole life. I went to Berklee College of Music and received my degree in Music Business/Management.
LIR: That's wonderful. What are some of the things that you have learned as you navigate your career?
JD: Making my business profitable has been an interesting road. To be honest, in music you're going to take a lot of losses before you begin to see profit. If you want to do music, you have to be sure that you want to do it for the love, and not for the money. Money will be scarce until you hit a certain place in your career.
LIR: Great insight. How have you faced fears in your career?
JD: Last year I decided to step out on a limb and try something different. I never had an interest in singing background vocals, but I began to actively seek those opportunities out. I asked a friend to refer me to any gig that she felt fit my personality and the rest was history. My first gig was with Sam Smith, which eventually led me to touring with Stevie Wonder, with whom I'm currently on tour. It's opened the door for me to support my family while still being able to actively pursue my solo career, all the while making connections while on the road.
LIR: That's really incredible! What made you take that risk?
JD: I was at a stand still in my career, so I was willing to try anything. It goes to show that when you're willing to step out of your comfor zone, opportunities you never expected present themselves.
LIR: That's great. What are some of the ways that you keep your business current and relevant?
JD: I keep my business current and relevant by working with people who are younger than me. The folks I choose to work with are normally around 5 to 10 years my junior. They have a way of keeping me in the loop on everything that's new. I don't like trends because they disappear, but every once in a while something pops up that's trendy and classic, and that's magic. As the late Whitney once said, "the children are our future!"
LIR: Haha, nice. What is the best advice that you've received, and who was it from?
JD: The best advice that I've ever received was from a production mentor of mine. We were talking about a terrible situation that had happened to me involving a close business associate. And he said, "Joy, no one cares. It's going to be tough, and you'll have a story to tell, but when it comes down to making it happen, no one wants to hear your sob story. Everyone has had it hard. You either make it or you don't." That changed my perspective. I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and start taking action. Since that conversation I feel I'm a better me. It's not about what happens, it's about how you react to what happens. You have to move on.
LIR: What are three things that you want to pass on to the next generation?
JD: This generation needs to know a) there are no short cuts & the only 'way out' is through it - while instant gratifaction may sound nice, anyone who is successful will tell you that they've climbed many mountains and jumped through many hoops, you are not exempt; b) a good look does not equal good money - likes and retweets do not translate into money, and while you may look really cool, what the world needs and is looking for is substance; work on your substance, and the good look will happen; c) faith without good work is dead - if you are passionate about an idea, you must actively pursue it. do not waste time waiting for others or for certain situations to materialize; you have to manifest your own destiny.