Flying all the way from Texas, USA, talented up-coming singer JoAnna Lee is touring the country as part of the ‘Coffee House Sessions’. On Halloween itself, I got the chance to interview her about all things JoAnna, from how she first started out to what she would bring if she was alone on a desert island!
During her performance, she sang four songs from her new album ‘So Free.’ Her edgy yet soulful music represents her life story starting with the track, ‘Sunshine’ provoked by a childhood crush, as she later confessed. The youthful tune highlights her journey from adolescence to adulthood, with the rough and gritty songs heard at the end of the album.
After a fantastic performance, we sat down. Being Halloween, I discovered she loves Cadbury’s chocolate and particularly enjoys ‘those little egg things’! She was raring to go and find some special Halloween ‘Screme Eggs’ after the interview!
We chatted about how her tour was going and she said she always keeps snacks in her tour bus, along with her fluffy slippers and pillow. When asked about where she’s been to in the past, she said she loved the Camden Markets but later revealed she’d love to go to Japan where she can eat her favourite food, sushi.
We discussed her new album, ‘So Free,’ discovering that her favourite song is ‘Drinking By Myself’ as she uses it as a reminder that she can ‘get through anything’. She is due to release the music video next week!
I moved on to talk about the first song she wrote when she was eleven, ‘Sunshine’ and she claimed it only took her a few weeks as she was motivated by a huge crush at the time. We laughed about how the relationship between her and ‘Matt Fewson’ (stating his name without any hesitation!) didn’t amount to anything yet she created a beautiful song from her feelings at that stage in her life.
I asked her, ‘if you weren’t singing, what job would you do?’ which is when I found her love for cooking. She said she would love to be a pastry chef and make ‘some real pretty cakes’!
When I asked her what three things she would take if she was alone on a desert island, she said it would have to be her dog, her guitar and an ‘unlimited supply of Top Ramen,’ which I thought was very logical!
JoAnna seemed so natural and easy-going – I felt like I was talking to a friend. It’s clear from her music that she has encountered many obstacles in her life but it seems her family are always there to support her and they were the reason she started singing.
Later in the interview, I asked her, ‘if you could give one piece of advice to yourself as a child, what would it be?’ to which she responded, ‘don’t hold back’ and ‘go for it.’ She spoke about how she felt insecure when she was younger and wants to tell people to ‘love being who they are’ as she wasn’t told that enough. She came across as an inspiring role model for younger people. The album’s inspiration is about being who you want which is such an important message.
We discussed future plans and she confirmed she is in the process of creating new music, but it will have a different feel to it; more of a ‘soul-rock’ style. She hopes to try out different techniques which will reflect who she is now.
Effortlessly cool, calm and collected, talking to JoAnna was an absolute pleasure. Her new album ‘So Free’ is positive, upbeat and edgy; quintessentially JoAnna. It’s on sale now and available to listen to on Spotify.
The Coffee House Sessions take place every Tuesday at 2pm in The Courtyard, don’t miss it!
Listen to the full interview here.