Joylissa is a singer/songwriter that has been making her mark on the top streaming music channels alongside her songs that each individually talk about different aspects of her life, that everyone seems to relate to.
And as she gets set to release her latest single entitled HOME, Joylissa is continuing to work alongside non-profits here in New York City to help other artists find their way.
The Levity Ball spoke to Joylissa, who now lives in Hollywood, CA, about it all!
When did you first discover that you could actually sing?
Since before I can remember, I loved to sing. My parents say that I used to sit in the front yard with my dolls and sing at the top of my lungs. As I grew up I pursued classical vocal training but when I began writing songs at fifteen, I really made my voice my own and began to experiment, creating the voice that I have now.
What did your parents think about you pursuing a career in music?
When I began seriously considering pursuing a career in music I was in High School. My parents were incredibly supportive, driving me all over my home state of Washington to perform at various venues. My dad is a painter and a graphic designer. I think in some ways he wanted to see me really pursue my art because he never got the chance to. I am incredibly fortunate to have them.
Your upcoming single is entitled, HOME. What does the song mean to you?
I wrote my song, “Home” in my childhood bedroom while visiting my hometown of Pullman, Washington. My parents, that town, my friends, the culture- those were the first things that I learned about this world. They’re foundational to who I am and how I see myself and the things around me. My first interests were formed in that small community on the east side of Washington state and I miss it. I will never get that world back because I am no longer a child, my friends have moved on, as have I, and my relationship with my parents have become more of a friendship between adults. I wrote this song not only as a thank you to my childhood and specifically my parents for giving me such a good childhood, but also as a lament- knowing that those days have passed.
You work alongside and have helped out a non-profit Christian arts organization called Transform here in New York. Why is this foundation so important to you and giving back to people not only across the US, but here in New York?
Many artists need help and guidance. Transform offers this to artists who are trying to figure out what it means to be an artist and a Christian. When I was younger, I felt lost on how to navigate making art in this big world while staying true to myself. Transform is an organization who cares deeply for the artist and desires to help them become who they were created to be.
Music has a way to heal, inspire and change people. What are your hopes for your music going forward with your new songs?
I was a bit of an angsty and depressed teenager but no one really knew that except for my parents. On the outside I was outgoing, and silly but when I was along I had all these questions, doubts and pains weighing me down. I never knew how to communicate them until I started writing music. Music was an acceptable medium to share the depth of what was going on in my life and when I started writing music, it was the first time I truly felt understood. That has been the power of music in my life and I hope that my songs help others to know that they are not alone in what they’re going through.
When it is safe to travel again, will you be coming to New York? What about here do you love?
Most definitely. Transform plans to start up our long term and short term residencies again, which are mainly based in New York and I am excited to come to help out with our artist residents. We offer assistance, education, studio space, etc. for artists depending on their medium. It’s all very exciting and life-giving!
Besides work with Transform, I love the food and Broadway! If i had my way, I would see a Broadway show every night! Last time I was there, I saw Beetlejuice and continued to be in awe for over a week after seeing the show!
What is your advice to other singers and songwriters wanting to make it in the music industry?
Don’t ever work with someone who doesn’t like your art or makes you feel small. Work with people who think your art is great and want to help it shine brighter. There are times to be teachable and times to stand your ground. Have the wisdom to know when to be each.
How important is social media these days when it comes to music promotion?
Social media is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal. Never before has an artist had the ability to directly communicate with their fans and the rest of the world. As musicians, we must use it! It allows us more ownership over our image and our art!
Where do you usually draw inspiration from when writing your music?
I draw inspiration from a kind word, a painful experience, a relationship, pop culture. Mostly my personal experience. Often I find myself overwhelmed with a certain emotion and writing a song is the way that I work through that.
And final question: What do you want to be remembered for overall when people look/listen back to your music in the future?
I’d like my music to be remembered for being honest, hopeful and beautiful. I hope that my music is seen more as art than as a product to be sold.