The R&B genre is very much alive and well, and Joyce Wrice is here to stay. From her stunning Colors performance – which came out 5 years ago, quite a feat for a YouTube channel that rose to fame merely 2 or 3 years ago – to her infectious Tiny Desk video are proof of this. We talk to the Los Angeles-based artist that released her EP Motive just a few months ago about her influences, her collaboration with multi-hyphenate artist and producer Kaytranada, and what's next for her.
Can you introduce yourself and describe your sound?
Hey, y’all! My name is Joyce Wrice and I’m an R&B singer and songwriter based in LA who also loves to dance in case you've been out to one of my shows or watched one of my music videos! I would say my sound is feel-good R&B with some smooth, warm, and sultry vocals on it.
What are the key moments that got you here and contributed to your music style?
Meeting Polyester the Saint, SiR and Mndsgn are some key moments in my life that led me to find my sound, style and voice. These artists took a chance on me! Polyester the Saint was one of the first people I created music with in LA before I moved out here and then Mndsgn presented me with a batch of beats that helped me define what type of production I really needed at the time and SiR really introduced me to great melodies, vocal production and songwriting. I wrote my first project with SiR and it was mostly produced by Mndgsn.
You said previously that you “want to see what other styles I can do.” What inspired this change? And how are you going about being experimental?
As an artist, it’s important for me to evolve and challenge myself to new tasks. Ideally in an effort to outdo myself. I also want to surprise myself and my listeners so it’s been great experimenting with new producers and writers. My new EP Motive is a new sound for me. A bit edgy and uptempo unlike Overgrown and Stay Around.
Speaking of Motive, what was the motivation behind the EP and its title?
After the success of my debut album Overgrown, I was inspired to be free-spirited and to let loose during the recording process. In between coming off of my debut album and brainstorming ideas for my sophomore album, I was motivated to create an EP that the world could dance to. Motive is experimental, fun, carefree, and sexy.
With a different sound from your 2021 debut album Overgrown, what inspired the change to the more up-tempo dance-ready music in Motive?
As I enter these next steps in my career, I’m inspired to be more experimental and continue to have the most fun creating. With so much chaos going on in the world, my motive behind my art is to always get people to dance and feel good and to make them feel seen.
What artists did you look to for inspiration for your new EP?
There are so many but Janet Jackson, The Neptunes, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Toni Braxton, and Britney Spears were top of mind when creating Motive.
Tell me more about your creative process for Motive, what sparks your ideas? How did your writing process differ from Overgrown?
Overgrown was way more personal and an album where I was purging and healing from heartbreak. Motive is more carefree and not too deep. It was very playful and more collaborative songwriting-wise.
Having frequently collaborated with Kaytranada and other artists, what draws you to collaborate with specific artists?
Kaytra just makes great choices and has really cool textures in his production so I had to explore that and I am so grateful for him. Mack Keane and I just work so well together so it was important that we reunite for the EP.
Who would you love to collaborate with next?
I would love to collaborate with artists like The Neptunes, James Fauntleroy, Nija, Novawav, Sean Garrett and Missy Elliott!
Directed by Xavier Tera, your amazing music video for Iced Tea incorporates some Japanese influences. Can you talk us through your idea for this video?
We wanted a more narrative-based video so my creative director helped us come up with the idea of a Lady Snowblood/Kill Bill-themed video where I could tap into my badass side while still incorporating my sweet side that everyone knows about. And of course, I love choreography so we definitely wanted to showcase me dancing more than ever before as well.
Having recently performed in Tokyo and opened for Lucky Daye’s nationwide Candydrip tour, how was the experience? What did you learn?
I learned how to command an audience, pace myself throughout my sets so I can keep my stamina while singing and dancing and the importance of rest and recovery. For Japan, I did two shows in one night for 2 days and that was a great learning opportunity and challenge for me.
So, what comes next for Joyce Wrice?
There is so much coming that I cannot wait to share with everyone! However, I don’t like to give too much away so stay tuned and follow me on socials. And thank you to everyone who has continued to support me – I am so grateful!
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