Community//

Joy Oladokun: “Make space to make music”

Have a space in your home dedicated to just being creative. Even if it’s just a corner of the kitchen table. Make space to make music. When I moved into my current place my girlfriend and I built this little studio that has become the safest place in the world for me. It’s not the […]


Have a space in your home dedicated to just being creative. Even if it’s just a corner of the kitchen table. Make space to make music. When I moved into my current place my girlfriend and I built this little studio that has become the safest place in the world for me. It’s not the most advanced spot, but having a separate place to work has further helped me set boundaries and open up creatively as a result


As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun. She is signed to Prescription Songs and just released a new track “bad blood” and is gearing up to release more new music.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Joy! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in a small town south of Phoenix Arizona. My parents are from Nigeria so I definitely felt a lot of the loneliness that can come from being a minority. However, even when things were hard my house was full of a lot of music and dancing and people and food. I think growing up in such a colorful environment is what draws me to what I do.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I don’t know if there is one specific story, but the defining moment that made me a musician was seeing a video of Tracy Chapman singing Fast Car at Wembley or something. It was the first time I had ever seen a woman of color holding a guitar and it woke something up inside of me. I begged my parents for a guitar that next Christmas

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I think the day that Russell Wilson and Ciara used my song to announce the birth of their daughter was pretty wild. I was in Walmart with my dad when my sister called to say that she heard my voice on Russell’s instagram. I didn’t think it was possible, but I checked anyway and it turned out to be me. That bizarre little viral blip of my life brought a lot of amazing opportunities. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was very uncomfortable in my own skin and not confident in what I could do and I think it led me to do and say some dumb things. I also botched a lot of rehearsals because of nerves.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m putting out a full length project for the first time in years and I cannot wait. I’m starting to get a hold of my sound as an artist in a really exciting way. I’m self-producing a bit as well so it’s exciting to see how much I’ve grown even over the course of an album.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in music? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Music exists because of diversity.

Music exists because of diversity.

Music exists because of diversity.

I don’t know that I’m super interested in having the diversity conversation. Music was born as a way for people from different places and emotional states to connect with each other in a way that transcends language. If you don’t realize that it’s important at this point, maybe you don’t want to?

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Don’t work on weekends unless you want to. I used to run myself ragged to make things that were really uninspiring. I don’t think things started moving forward for me professionally until I learned to say no.
  2. Have a space in your home dedicated to just being creative. Even if it’s just a corner of the kitchen table. Make space to make music. When I moved into my current place my girlfriend and I built this little studio that has become the safest place in the world for me. It’s not the most advanced spot, but having a separate place to work has further helped me set boundaries and open up creatively as a result.
  3. Take as many opportunities as you can but keep your integrity. That may come off as intense, but you have to look out for yourself and your values. No one else knows or can protect them like you can.
  4. You don’t have to have the right vocabulary to have the right instincts. I fought through a lot of frustration about not knowing everything about ProTools or compressors, but if you want something to sound different ask for it and ask how. Take some time to read an article or two and keep growing in your craft. Have fun with it!
  5. Make sure you like your lawyer. I didn’t realize how key they were.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I think boundaries are key. Personally and professionally. Also, take care of your body. Try to learn what it needs to feel it’s best and honor that as best you can. Also, always pack water and snacks.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I think getting clean water to people who need it has always been something that I care about. Water issues tend to affect communities of color even here in America. Flint, Michigan hasn’t had clean water for six years.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My landlord and his son and LA were so patient with me while I was starting out and had no money. They were also family of a friend of mine so they took a big risk to help me in that time. I’ll always be grateful.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Keep it simple, stupid. Great advice. Hurts my feelings every time.”- Dwight Schrute.

As someone with big feelings who tends to overcomplicate things, it’s relatable content.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them.

I think like Kacey Musgraves or Rick Rubin. I think they are both geniuses.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

instagram: @joyoladokun

Youtube: youtube.com/joyoladokun

TikTok: @joyoladokun

Facebook: facebook.com/joy oladokun

Twitter: @joyoladokun

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

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