Singer JoiStarr talks about her musical influences and creating her first album.
Rising artist JoiStaRR is set to make a splashy debut with her new album Magic. However, she's no stranger to the music business. A seasoned writer, JoiStaRR has written songs for Chris Brown, Brandy and Mary Mary, T.I., Estelle, Musiq Soulchild, and sung backup for Kanye West, who personally selected her for his "Glow in the Dark" tour.
Although she was raised in the church, the Los Angeles native has been working hard to create a new genre of music called "Art & Beat," which has proven to be hit with fans. ESSENCE.com caught up with young artist to chat about all of this and more.
ESSENCE.com: How did you get started singing?
JoiStaRR: I started singing in church like many people in the world, except I was five. Actually, I started singing around the house. My mother had me singing at a church conference. There were like 5,000 people there and they had to stand me on a chair because I was so little. From there, I’ve been singing in church pretty much in L.A. That’s how I got started.
ESSENCE.com: Why don't you sing Gospel music now?
JoiStaRR: I don’t believe it was my choice. I believe God put me in this position for a reason, because I actually used to struggle with not understanding why the songs in my heart were not Gospel songs. And I had a long conversation with God for several years. I would ask, "How come I don’t feel connected with gospel music the way I was raised to? How come I feel the need to share this type of message with the people?" I believe I’m here to bridge the gap between people that will never in life go to church and will never in life believe in God, like atheists and people that weren’t raised to know God.
ESSENCE.com: What kind of music are you doing? Are you doing R&B?
JoiStaRR: It’s actually called "Art and Beat." It’s me painting the way I visualize it. It’s a blank canvas. Like for example today, I have a blank canvas and I’m going to paint a new picture. So that’s my art that I’m going to be painting over a beat I hear today. It’s not a particular genre. Somethings sound a little more soulful. Somethings sound more abstract. But it’s all part of me. It’s all coming from my soul. So I’ve basically been chosen to call it "Art and Beat."
ESSENCE.com: Are you working on your first album?
JoiStaRR: Yes, I am. It’s called Magic. We’re looking to put it out this summer. I’m working with my brother, Warryn Campbell. I’m really excited about that. I would say that the surprise would be me working with my brother because I don’t know a lot of brother-sister team that really worked together besides Michael and Janet. I don’t know any to be honest with you. Sometimes I can be the classic little sister and be stubborn... but this is my first album. We’ve been doing this a long time. We work very well together. We write great songs together. People can expect to hear what the Campbell kids have to offer.
ESSENCE.com: So you worked with Kanye West. What was that experience like?
JoiStaRR: I was touring with Kanye for five years and some months. It was great. I consider it like going to college or going to trade school because I basically dropped out of school to do it. It was like learning and relearning what I needed to know to be where I am today. I needed that five years to really understand what it really is to be an artist and to understand this choice that I was making to be a singer. I wanted actually sing background for him for as long as possible. I asked Kanye if I could sing background for him forever, and he said 'You're too talented to stay in the background, I wont let you do that, you can come out and be featured, but you're too talented of an artist to stay in the background.'" I found magic on tour. It sparked even more when I decided to do my own music. That’s were it sparked the magic in me. That’s why I named my album Magic.