5 Questions with Joyann Parker by Sam Shansky
1) How would you describe the overall theme of your 2021 LP Out of the Dark?
Much of the music on Out of the Dark is about figuring out who you are, acknowledging the good and the bad and using all of those experiences to become a better version of yourself. Hope has always been a theme in my music and is on this record, as well. You’ve got to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on.
2) You said of the album’s title track, “It’s about the way I’ve been feeling and changing over the past year, figuring out who I am. I was coming out of my own darkness.” For others on a similar path, could you share more about the personal experiences of change that you’re referring to?
That’s a pretty long conversation but I’ll try and put it in a nutshell! COVID and the resulting quarantine was a very interesting period for me. While there were definitely a lot of difficulties, there were also a lot of positive things that happened for me. I got a chance to slow down and examine the reasons behind why I was doing what I was doing. I had been constantly hustling and running and doing everything that being an independent musician requires and I hadn’t been taking care of myself. I had to figure out if all these things I was doing were helping or hurting me and if the music I was making was really what I wanted to make or what I thought I should make. Though I had mostly conquered the anxiety that I have struggled with most of my life, I felt it rearing its ugly head again. The quarantine was the perfect time to pursue some of the real, hard work that it takes to truly heal some of the trauma from my past that I hadn’t tackled yet. This is allowing me to really see and understand my purpose here in the world and what I’m meant to do.
3) How would you describe your relationship with music?
I started singing in church when I was 2 years old and I haven’t stopped. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t singing or playing music, it has always just been a part of who I am. I have never had a voice lesson, God just blessed me with that ability and also with parents who saw that and encouraged me to sing and play piano. I also had an uncle who was a total audiophile and introduced me to so many different styles of music that my parents probably would never have allowed (sorry mom!). He really shaped my influences and made me a lover of all different styles. Singing is like breath to me, a constant joy. I believe I’m here to share that joy with the world.
4) What was the last song that you listened to that really made you stop and think, and why?
I really love Mavis Staples’ “One More Change.” It really just resonates with the theme of all that I’ve been writing about and thinking about which is – Hey, let all that stuff in the past go. You’re here now for a reason, you’ve still got work to do as long as you’re still breathing, get up tomorrow and start again.
“One more chain to break
One more day to wait
One more step to take
One more change to make”
5) We’re thrilled to offer the official video World Premiere of “Out of the Dark.” Could you tell us about the process of creating the new video and what you learned along the way?
This is the second video I have made with Tony Sylvers from Aglow Cinematics and what I have learned from working with him is to make sure that you find someone to work with who really understands your music and the vision you have for a song. Tony immediately came up with an idea that was right along the same lines as one I was having so it was really easy to find the pieces to the puzzle. When I wrote this song I was thinking about how I felt when I was truly in the depths of anxiety and depression and then the journey I took to find hope and restoration. Tony found an amazing lighting tech to create the light show in the video that really captures the story of going from darkness to full on glorious sunrise. He also created some very moving scenes in which all the negative words I used to describe myself are projected on and around me and then they change to the positive words I now use and believe about myself. We shot the video in a beautifully restored vintage theater which fits the vibe perfectly.