In Session: Joy Anonymous

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You said before that you wanted to take your Joy Meetings worldwide and do them in obscure locations and different countries, how has that been going?

H: We always try to write in other places to kick off the year, so this year we started in Athens and did a couple of pop-ups and markets there, but quite quickly after that we went to Lithuania and did a pop-up, but the next day someone told us that we could do another in this converted prison – I say converted, they just put speakers into it! It was a fully working prison about two years ago but it shut during lockdown, you can still go into all the cells. It was such a mad experience, it’s probably the craziest place we’ve played.

L: We did a couple in New York on the Brooklyn side of the river which was really nice, that felt a lot like a South Bank meeting. It’s nice to see that it has the same impact wherever we go, we did another in Paris recently and people gathered, it seems to have the same magic wherever we go.

Have you collaborated with any of the strangers who have previously jumped on the mic ad-lib at your pop-ups?

H: On our first album, we did. All the features on ‘Human Again’ were people who would come to our South Bank meetings which was a really lovely experience. At this next stage on the next album, we’re coming at it with a different approach. We went away to this studio called Hideaway at Imogen Heap’s house but with a similar ethos, we invited a bunch of musicians to come and improvised a bunch of stuff. It was the start of this next album, we’re continuing that ethos.

Read this next: In Session: Chloé Caillet

You just dropped a new single, ‘Head To The Sky’, can you tell us a bit about it? What was the process behind this one?

L: The process kind of started with our friend Barney Lister who we collaborated with on the aforementioned writing camp. He came with the sample ‘Optimistic’ by Sounds of Blackness and he played with that a little and came up with a starting point, and then we just wrote it out from there. It happened really quickly that song, it really encapsulated what we wanted the album to sound like and how we wanted Joy to feel, uplifting, positive dance music.

What can we expect to hear from your next album?

H: It definitely has the same heart as the first album, but it’s a much bigger sound. The first album was more a document of that time we were in, whereas this one feels like the anthems for Joy Anonymous, the songs people want to hear at meetings. There’s a lot of uplifting messages, it’s a bigger sound, but it feels like a progression as opposed to a different lane from the last album.

L: ‘Human Again’ was quite introspective for its time, whereas we’re out of those times now so it’s about getting together and having fun.

What’s next for Joy Anonymous?

H: We have a few more festivals at the end of the summer, and we’re now back in plans for touring. We have an Australia tour in November, and then America in December. We’re also supporting The Streets on a UK tour which is a massive thing for us because Mike Skinner has been such a big influence on our sound. It’s going to be quite a mad little experience.

Read this next: In Session: Valesuchi

Can you tell us about your In Session mix?

L: We wanted to tease our new album, but there are elements of new songs in there with new context combined with other tracks, mixing a lot of our own stems together. We stemmed everything out and started with that, there’s plenty of mash-ups and edits. We’ve been doing more production mixes recently and wanted it to feel like that. We set a pretty frantic pace, there are lots of quick transitions – I remember when we were making it we felt like we’d done loads, but it was only about 10 minutes in!

‘Head to the Sky’ is out now, get it here

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter


Joy Anonymous – Beezley’s Poem
Julio Bashmore – Knockin Boots
Joy Anonymous – Overcome (Brothers Counsell Remix)
The 1975 – Frail State Of Mind
Daft Punk – Highlife
The Streets – Who Dares Wins
Sault – Wildfires
Joy Anonymous – Meet Me in My Dreams
Joy Anonymous – Don’t It Make You Feel
Joy Anonymous – Where I Wanna Be
Joy Anonymous – Loves Not Real
Joy Anonymous – In Me All the Time
Jorja Smith – Little Things (Brothers Counsell Remix)
Tessela – Rough 2
Joy Anonymous – 404
Joy Anonymous – Breathe Into Me
lo0uj ft Jazzi Sirius – Kill em In the Morning
Joy Anonymous – Seabird
Little Simz – Angel (Joy Anonymous Edit)
Joy Anoymous – A Place I Belong
Joy Anonymous – Make Some Noise For Yourselves
Joy Anonymous ft ?? – Hold On To Our Love
Joy Anonymous – Party Up The Street
lo0uj ft Oldboy – London Bridge Dub
DB – Boulevard (lo0uj edit)
Joy Anonymous X Blessed Madonna X Danielle Ponder – Carry Me Higher
Various Artists – Untitled
Sugababes – Push The Button ft, Killa P (Joy Anonymous Edit)
Sault – Son Shine
The Streets – Let’s Push Things Forward
Joy Anonymous – I Did You Wrong
Joy Anonymous – Weight Wings
Mr Oizo – JO
Joy Anonymous – How Did We End Up Here
Joy Anonymous – Fairground Edit
Romathony – Let Me Show You Love
Joy Anonymous – Head to The Sky

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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