Polished and precise, yet buoyed with an airy grace, Joy Ike paints with a broad palette that defies easy categorization. Born to Nigerian immigrants, the singer/songwriter’s music, voice, and writing have drawn comparisons to female musicians such as Nina Simone, Laura Nyro, and Regina Spektor. But her percussive piano-playing and soaring vocals give homage to her African upbringing.
Leaving her career as a publicist in 2008, Joy has spent the last 10 years playing thousands of shows across the country. She has had the opportunity to share the stage and open for Cody Chestnut, Allen Toussaint, Butterfly Boucher, and Tyrone Wells to name a few. A write-up on NPR’s All Things Considered says “The depth of subjects she tackles in her poetic lyrics are perfectly complemented by a unique blend of neo-soul, with just the right dash of pop…a truly compelling act to watch in person, with the ability to create an intimate setting in locations big and small.”
Joined by upright bassist, Jason Rafalak, and percussionist, Ryan Socrates, Ike hits the road this Spring in support of her new album Bigger Than Your Box (April 2018). Written over a four-year period that included a relocation from the comparatively small Pittsburgh to the gritty, thrumming metropolis of Philadelphia, the record is joyously defiant, standing proud and wrapped in blasts of exotic color. It dares us to believe in ourselves, to knock down the walls of fear and doubt we build around ourselves. “This is an open-armed invitation to dive head first into the unseen”, says Ike. Bigger Than Your Box boldly explores what Ike often refers to as divine discontentment; the restless middle ground between what is and what ought to be. “The spiritual mystery of life and the ever-present Spirit of God that embraces us in our most helpless state.”