|James Gabriel Wanderson Keogh|
1 December 1987|
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|2013 - present|
James Gabriel Wanderson Keogh (born 1 December 1987), better known by his stage name Vance Joy, is an Australian singer and songwriter. He signed a five-album deal with Atlantic Records in 2013. He released his debut EP God Loves You When You're Dancing in March 2013. His song "Riptide" was voted number 1 on the 2013 Triple J Hottest 100. Joy released his debut studio album Dream Your Life Away on 5 September 2014 in Australia and on 9 September 2014 elsewhere. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2015 he won Best Male Artist.
Joy attended St. Patricks Primary School, Murrumbeena in Melbourne. Prior to his music career, Joy was a promising Australian rules football player. In 2008 and 2009, he played for the Coburg Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL), winning best first year player award in 2008. He still continues his support for the club, as Coburg's number one ticket holder as of 2015.
On 21 January 2013, Joy released his debut single "From Afar". On 22 March 2013, he released his debut EP God Loves You When You're Dancing. The single "Riptide" became a success on Australian commercial radio, peaking at number 6 on the ARIA Singles Chart and being certified triple platinum by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA). The song features in a GoPro TV advertising campaign in the USA.
"Riptide" was inspired by a motel Joy visited as a kid. "As a child, I used to go on family holidays down the coast of Australia", Joy told the Brand Alley blog. "While we were there, we would stay at this motel called Riptide. So that's where that part of the idea came from."
Speaking in an interview with Soundcheck in January 2014, Joy talked about how he thinks the album will sound, saying "I think there's always a bit of variety with my songwriting, so probably the EP is a good reflection of what the rest of the album will be like. It's all different songs, I guess, but all tied together in a way." Joy said in an interview with Triple J about his stage name, "I was going through a Peter Carey phase and reading a lot of his books. There's a book called Bliss. The main character's name is Harry Joy and his grandfather is Vance Joy. He's the storyteller and a crazy old man. Plus, I thought it was a cool name."
On 15 July 2014, Joy announced the title of his debut album, Dream Your Life Away, which was released on 5 September 2014 in Australia, 9 September 2014 in the United States, and 15 September 2014 elsewhere. In July 2014, he released "Mess Is Mine" as the third overall single from the album, and the song peaked at number 37 in Australia. He performed his debut album live from 5 September 2014 onward, starting in Melbourne and then worldwide. On 7 September 2014, Joy released "First Time" as the fourth single from the album in the United Kingdom.
Joy was announced as the support act for Taylor Swift's The 1989 World Tour on 3 November 2014. Joy appeared on all the tour dates in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. Swift performed a rendition of "Riptide" on 9 October 2014 for the BBC's 'Live Lounge' segment.
At Swift's Seattle show on 8 August 2015, Joy disclosed that he had done a lot of writing and all of the recording for his "Dream Your Life Away" at Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, Washington in 2012. On 9 November 2014, he performed "Riptide" at the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards in Glasgow, Scotland, during the Digital show, hosted at the O2 Academy Glasgow. Also in November 2015, he was picked as Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month and was featured on the American television network NBC's Today show hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb and broadcast nationally across the United States where he performed his single "Riptide" live.
"Riptide" has turned out to be the song which has launched Joy's career worldwide. Not only was the song a hit in Australia, but it's become a hit in the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Israel, Poland, and Slovakia. In the US, "Riptide" has reached number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the Alternative and Rock Airplay charts. In early 2015, it was announced that Vance Joy would perform at the Boston Calling Music Festival in May 2015.
On 13 May 2015, he performed "Riptide" in a duet featuring Quentin Alexander live to a standing ovation at the Dolby Theater during the season 14 finale of American Idol. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Joy revealed that he began writing "Georgia" in 2006, then sat on it until he figured out the words and melody. On 16 June 2015, Joy released "Great Summer", a single from the soundtrack for Paper Towns. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2015 he won the Best Male Artist category for Dream Your Life Away, with six further nominations.
Joy released his second studio album Nation of Two on 23 February 2018.
In an interview Joy revealed that he began his start in music by playing covers of songs. "I would play Green Day's 'Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)' and sing silly lyrics over it. I guess that was my first creative stab at music." He added that he soon realised the tracks he was penning were "crap". Joy stated that "My Kind of Man" was inspired by the Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Simple Man" after reading the lyrics on his uncle's Facebook profile.