“I’m an author who happens to have musical abilities,” says seventeen-year-old Julianna Joy. “I am constantly writing. I never stop thinking about stories I can turn into music.”
Growing up in the suburban community of Noblesville, Indiana, Julianna Joy received her first guitar at age 9. She taught herself to play chords and started composing songs and writing lyrics. It wasn’t long after that she attended her first concert – Taylor Swift’s Speak Now Tour and left knowing without any doubt that songwriting and performing would be the focus on her life.
After her family relocated to Batavia, Illinois, a suburb outside of Chicago in 2011, Julianna’s passion for music continued to grow. At age 14, Julianna became determined to record and release her first song.
“I struggled to fit in after we moved. Songwriting was the only thing that I could count on to be consistent in my life,” says Julianna. “Friends came and went but the music was always there.”
In December 2016, Julianna (going by the artist name JJ) released “Close Enough,” a sad yet sweet ballad about never feeling like you’re enough.
Realizing that making music for a living was within her grasp, Julianna spent the last several years working on her craft. At 15, she was invited to attend the GRAMMY Foundation‘s GRAMMY® Camp in Los Angeles studying music with industry professionals, and fellow aspiring artists, producers, and instrumentalists. In 2017, she co-released “Neptune,” and then self-released “I Don’t Owe You Anything” in late 2018, reaching 200K streams on Spotify.
In December 2019, Julianna found herself evolving as a person and an artist and she began to find her sound and her words in a whole new way. Rebranding to Julianna Joy, she released “nevermind,” an 80s rock-inspired love song about loving someone who just doesn’t feel the same way. Produced by Dylan Gardner (“Let’s Get Started”), the track represents a new era in Julianna’s music that mirrors the music of that has most influenced her over the years. In January, Julianna released “Cherry Bomb” followed by a full EP in February, “Cherries,” produced by Dylan Gardner.
Julianna has always listened to an eclectic group of artists in country, alternative rock, and all genres of pop and her music is influenced by artists in every genre. Lyrically, she looks to Lorde, Declan McKenna, and The Japanese House for inspiration. Melodically, she credits Taylor Swift, Charli XCX and MARINA for influencing her sound. Jack Antonoff, Taylor Swift and St. Vincent have impacted the way she composes her music. Her current inspiration is Queen.
“I focus on choosing words and creating scenes that will allow the listener to get inside my songs and recognize moments in their own lives,” says Julianna.
As Julianna finds herself evolving as a person and an artist, she is finding her sound and her words in a whole new way. Julianna has a form of synesthesia whereby she associates sounds, words, numbers and people with colors. As she writes, her songs generally follow a single color or color family. Her music is intended to not only take listeners on a color journey but also an emotional one.
While pursuing music is Joy’s first passion, she is also extremely passionate about supporting individuals and communities that are more traditionally under-represented. She aspires to have a platform where she can support AIDs research and the LGBTQ+ community.
You can currently follow Julianna Joy on all platforms at @juliannajoy69 or catch one of her live performances around the Chicago area.