Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy — still riding the wave of success of his double platinum single, “Riptide” — has two things working in his favor these days. First, he pens very catchy songs with heartfelt lyrics.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, he gets to perform them before millions of Taylor Swift fans as the opening act for the pop juggernaut on tour. That’s a built-in audience not all artists have access to, and Joy appreciates the opportunity.
“I played a couple of arenas in the last two nights. It’s amazing how intimate those rooms can feel when the lights go out,” Joy, 27, said in a recent interview. “I’ve had a very good run. I was lucky enough to get to perform to her crowd, who are super welcoming and warm.”
Stepping out onstage to a sea of Swifties can be daunting, but Joy is adjusting and now welcomes the jolt he gets when he hits stages much larger than he was previously accustomed to.
“You get this charge of energy, of electricity,” said Joy, who will tour with Swift internationally through December.
He’s also made a new friend in Swift: “I definitely consider her a friend. She’s lovely.”
Joy has been climbing into consciousness thanks to the popularity of “Riptide,” a Top 40 hit in the United States and the longest-running song in the history of the Australian Recording Industry Association chart, recently besting Lady Gaga’s 106-week record with “Poker Face.”
The breakthrough song won the grand prize at the 2015 International Songwriting Competition, he has played at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, watched Swift cover “Riptide” and in return Joy covered Swift’s “I Know Places.”
Joy released his debut album, Dream Your Life Away, last year, and he recorded some of it in a tree house at the studio of Ryan Hadlock, best known for his work with the Lumineers (“Ho Hey”).
“The actual tree house was designed as a space to record in. There’s a computer and it’s wired for recording. It just happens to be really cozy,” Joy said. “There’s a bed in there and a couple of chairs.”