If you haven’t heard of Vance Joy by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock.
The Australian folk pop superstar behind the catchy tune Riptide (above) is in town as a part of his Fire and Flood tour, and stopped by CKNW to chat about what inspires him… and offer Lynda a little personalized Ukulele lesson.
The 28-year-old, who’s real name is James Gabriel Keogh, easily sold out a pair of Vancouver shows at the Orpheum.
He says the response has been so good next time he swings through again he’ll have to consider a third.
“Maybe next time we come back – hopefully there’s people who are as keen as this time. I love playing here, and to have that many people in a room is special. It was the first show of the tour and the crowd was great… we’ve played a lot of first shows of tours, and I think this was the best one.”
Joy has played from small rooms to big stadiums with Taylor Swift, but he says when it comes to his icons it’s all about songwriting.
He says he looks up to creators like George Harrison and Bruce Springsteen who have had long careers where they’ve managed to stay creative.
“People who can continually write songs, and – the bar’s set high. Those people are just geniuses, and so many amazing songs. I’m happy to write the bests songs I can write, but I think you’re inspired to write songs when you hear amazing songs by other artists.”
If you’ve ever heard Riptide (and by now, you must have) the ukulele driven melody is unforgettable.
But while it’s become one of Joy’s most recognizable sounds, he says he really prefers playing the guitar; finding the ukelele was a lucky accident in a music shop.
“I picked it up and I started playing it and was like ‘this sounds cool.’ That was the only reason I had to want to play it, it sounded cool and it made me want to play and write songs.”
He says he’s hung on to the instrument because he finds it helps inspire him when songwriting.
Joy says his songwriting process is an organic one.
When writing Riptide, for example, he says he let his mind wander to memories and images, rather than anything conscious.
When he write riptide.
“I think its a good idea when you’re writing a song to have specific images. If I’m writing a song or I’m co-writing a song and someone starts using really strong visual images my mind just goes there and it’s so cool.”
Listen to Lynda’s full interview with Vance Joy – and hear her play the Ukulele