Allysha Joy’s potent lyricism, unique musicianship and killer vocals have garnered legions of attentive fans the world over. She’s an integral member of the Melbourne soul jazz scene, known as part of the acclaimed 30/70 Collective and for her own equally revered solo work. Back in November Allysha Joy released her stunning solo EP, ‘Light It Again’, and she has now taken the time to join our Q&A series so we can learn a bit more about her musical journey:
Who are the musicians which inspire you to create music?
Oh too many to list! But the people that are inspiring me now are Georgia Anne Muldrow (always), Kaidi Tatham, Steve Spacek, Fatima, Sault, all the crew in 30/70 collective, Julien Dyne and Wu-lu and I love Ego Ella May’s music!
Where did you grow up, how did you get into creating music?
I grew up in Narrm, Wurundjeri Country in so called “Australia”. I started signing at a really young age and then got into writing poetry. I didn’t really start writing music until I was about 18 or 19 when I started teaching myself piano and now just over the past 5 years or so I’ve been doing a lot of production work and really trying to direct the whole sonic experience. Really listening to jazz is what brought me into creating music!
If you weren’t creating music, what else would be doing?
I’m actually deeply interested in Psychotherapy! Healing through art but also through conversation, expression, symbology and the subconscious. I think this will become a larger part of my work to come. But essentially if I wasn’t creating music I’d be creating poetry, creating change in other ways, creating conversation. But really, I hope to do all those things while I create music anyway.
So I first listened to your music as part of the ‘30/70 Collective’, and so I wanted to ask how the group got together, and the story behind your name?
30/70 was an instrumental band before I joined them and they had released one record before we made Cold Radish Coma. I’m super grateful as it was all just chance encounters through the jazz scene and we really came to build such strong relationships together in our love for hip hop and soul and jazz!
The name is significant for a few reasons but my favourite is the swing ratio theory, you’ll have to ask Horatio Luna about that one though!
I really liked your first EP with Rhythm Section – Elevate, how did you meet Bradley Zero, and whatis your rleationship like with him relationship like with him?
BZ is a legend and all the crew at Rhythm Section! We met him when he came out to Melbourne one time! RS had recently put out Silent Jay and Jace XL not long before our record and as we were all hanging out at the time BZ heard about 30/70 and wanted to put out the next record!
What was your favourite track that you created for the EP ‘Elevate?’
I love Misrepresented cause it really summed up a feeling for me and has continued to grow and take on new meaning in my life emotionally, politically and socially. I also LOVE the Get to Me remix by Setwun from this record.
Listen to ‘Watercolours’ Below.
Do you plan to release anything this year as the ‘30/70 Collective’?
Yeah!! We’ve got a single coming out really soon actually on Rhythm Section, with some incredible remixes on that too! Then hopefully we can look to releasing the next album soon!
What was your mindset going into your recent EP, ‘Light Again’, how did you want it to differ from your music as the ‘30/70 Collective’?
I think to a large degree as artists we don’t really have a choice in the music that we make, when we collaborate open heartedly it just is what it is! These songs are all my own writing and arranging as opposed to a completely collaborative process in 30/70.
But really these four songs on Light it Again are the deepest, realest shit I’ve ever written and they are completely unique and representative of past inquiry .. as is most of what we do, it’s always going to change and evolve as we as artists continue to change. Beyond that, I don’t think this group of musicians and producers will ever collaborate as a whole team ever again and that makes this record special beyond belief.
It’s the culmination of some of Melbourne’s finest artists in a really important moment of this city’s soul scene and I’m incredibly grateful for that opportunity and experience!
What made you decide to release with First Word Records?
I’ve been a big fan of First Word for a while now! I’m super inspired by Kaidi Tatham and Yazmin Lacey and Children of Zeus so it’s an honour to join the label and everyone on the team is super lovely! I feel like my music has found a little home between the jazz and the soul records!
Do you play any instruments?
Yes! I play piano and percussion on all my solo music! And I produce! I’ve also been getting lessons in drumming and percussion for the past little while with the legend, Ray Pereira!
Describe your EP, ‘Light Again’ in three words.
Art as healing