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“When it comes to singing, there are some voices that are just unforgettable. Joya has one of those unique voices that from the moment you hear it, you want to hear it again, again & again."
Drew Rives, C.O.I.N. Handlers
When artists like Ledisi and Erykah Badu take center stage, listeners pay a little more attention. They are now tuned into something more intimate, something deep. As it turns out, singer/songwriter Joya made a very intimate audience feel something deep when she was discovered while singing at a mutual friend’s funeral. Not long after, Joya made her mainstream debut in 1995 during the glory days of the record business among artists like Aaliyah and TLC.
Joya is a native to Motown’s birthplace; Detroit, Michigan, where she developed her passion by continuing to sing at various funerals. Without having ever made a decision to pursue music professionally, Joya’s childhood poetry pieces soon led her poetic to eclectic.
One evening while recording with a local group Joya met Vincent Herbert who in 2007 signed one of today’s most successful pop acts, Lady Gaga. Vincent signed Joya and she secured a record deal with Polygram/A&M Records in 1995. Her blend of deep poetic lyrics and eclectic R&B sounds are first heard on her debut album, Here I Am, released in June 1995 on Atlas/Polydor and then A&M Records, also executive produced by Herbert. It would be six years before Joya would release her follow up but she didn’t stop working. She toured as a backing vocalist with Mary J. Blige on the Share My World Tour in 1998 and also appears on the tour’s live album. Joya’s heart felt lyrics can be heard on the works of recording artists such as Monifah, Carl Thomas and Ray J.
Joya received early musical training from Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, mother of the legendary Clark Sisters and more recently Dr. Kevin Johnson of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.
After turning down a new deal with Motown Records in the late nineties, Joya independently released her second album entitled Page from the Book of Life: Chapter 1 in 2001. Though turning down Motown Records, Joya created songs which were placed on projects for HBO, Showtime, FOX, BET and several independent films through her publishing deal.
Joya’s passion for singing is still blossoming and as she’s listening to the likes of U2 and Nas, she anxiously awaits introducing future projects. JEWEL Joya’s latest EP was recently released on iTunes and features Picture of Me, produced by the Grammy award-winning producer, Fanatic. Other songs include Letting Down My Guard and Happily Ever After. Prepare for her new EP to be released this Spring, entitled Accolades.