Vance Joy’s surname pretty-well nails it. Just 12 months ago, the Australian singer-songwriter was well-off the radar in his homeland. Fast forward to now, and his young career has truly lifted off.
Standing at 6’5,” Joy (real name James Keogh) had a big 2013. He signed a multi-album international deal with Atlantic, he also won a handful of awards, performed at the recording industry’s flagship awards ceremony, and can boast the year’s best-selling track Down Under by an Australia artist. And as of this week, he has a top-40 hit in the U.K.
The buzz is building internationally on “Riptide,” on which Joy gets down to business on the ukulele. “Riptide” captured the No. 12 spot on ARIA’s year-end chart for 2013 (the highest placing by an Australian), and is currently at No. 35 in the U.K. (via Infectious Music), where the track is A-listed at BBC Radio One and has enjoyed the backing of popular presenter Fearne Cotton, who called it her “song of the year” for 2013. “Riptide” is also climbing Billboard’s Nielsen BDS-based Triple A radio airplay chart at present.
“It’s awesome to have your song getting around the world,” Joy tells Billboard. “Songs can feel like gifts sometimes because they kind of come about without you knowing exactly how it happened – so I am grateful for the doors this one has opened for me”.
Joy will visit the U.S. this March and April for his third trek. He’s on the Young the Giant tour and he’s booked for SXSW. But before that, there’s high-profile slots at the Laneway Festival in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, and a tour of the U.K. and Europe through February (dates in London and Manchester have sold out).
In 2013, Joy was up for four ARIA Awards, and took out Independent Music Awards for breakthrough artist and best single/EP for his “God Loves You When You’re Dancing EP,” which was released Down Under through Mushroom Group label Liberation. There’s a whole lot more to come.
Joy says he’s “writing all the time” and is currently in the studio finishing his debut album. “I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone soon and heading back out on the road,” he says.
He’s represented by Mushroom Music Publishing in Australia and New Zealand, but hasn’t yet signed a publishing deal for the rest of the world. He’s booked by Paradigm in the U.S, The Agency Group in Canada, Village Sounds in Australia and New Zealand, and ITB in the U.K. and Europe. Joy is managed by Melbourne-based UNIFIED.