Exclusive: The Joy Formidable To Celebrate 10th Anniversary Of Debut EP With Welsh Version

The Joy Formidable 

Courtesy of Corona Capital


Exclusive: The Joy Formidable To Celebrate 10th Anniversary Of Debut EP With Welsh Version

The Welsh trio sit down with the Recording Academy in Mexico to talk 10th anniversary of 'A Balloon Called Moaning' and more

GRAMMYs/May 17, 2019 - 03:46 am

It's been 10 years since Welsh alt-rock band The Joy Formidable released their first EP A Balloon Called Moaning. No small feat, the band is celebrating with a project unlike any other they've done before.

"Instead of re-releasing [the album,] we recorded it in Welsh," Vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan told the Recording Academy.  "We're excited, it sounds beautiful and it brings back a lot of memories."

The band, whose latest album is Aaarth, says their love of music and frienship is what has kept them strong this long.

"It's actual friendship, and caring about each other and also the music, absolutely the music," bassist/vocalist Rhydian Davies said. "I think when we get on stage and we're playing what we're playing, we forget about everything and enjoy the moment and it's not because of business."

The Recording Academy talked with the charming trio after their set at Corona Capital Guadalajara in Mexico about more details of their Welsh release, how important personal songwriting is to them, what's next for them and more. 

Tell me, how does it feel to be in Mexico?

Rhydian: Hot.

Ritzy: It's been a little while. I think we were here in 2012. It's been seven years and we had a really lovely time last time that we visited. So I think we've been just excited to come back and hoping and kind of, I feel a little bit torn, I wish we'd been back more but, no point in having regrets. Hopefully we can come back more regularly from now on.

Rhydian: There are so many things that get in the way unfortunately, you know? We'd like to go everywhere on every album cycle but, certain things come in the way; logistics or whatever it is, personal circumstances, but, It's just nice to be here we've not been to Guadalajara before.

You're celebrating 10 years together this year. What is the glue that keeps you together?

Ritzy: I think a lot of respect for each other, good communication and, I think, all of us have got quite different personalities, and just over time you learn how to I suppose just build, inspire each other, how to still have a sense of humor, how to still be really good friends but, we're all quite different people. Over time we've just created this dynamic that feels very intuitive and very, I don't want to say easy, 'cause we fight as well you know.

Rhydian: It's friendship and love isn't it?

Ritzy: Yeah.

Rhydian: Friendship, love and respect comes from that because you spend 24/7 with someone, you're bound to have some arguments and how'd you get over that? It's love isn't it? It's actual friendship, and caring about each other and also the music, absolutely the music. I think when we get on stage and we're playing what we're playing, we forget about everything and enjoy the moment and it's not because of business. We are not doing it just because we want to be famous or it's like I'm getting paid at the end of this so those are pretty major things I think. Don't do music if you doing it for those reasons, that's my opinion. 

Matt: Rhydian Davies with his opinions (all laugh)

Where do you get your inspiration from? I mean you have made music for so long, where does it come from constantly?

Ritzy: It comes from the smallest little thing that happens, maybe. Just you see something that triggers or it makes you feel something and it can go from there, something as simple as nature or just a moment in time watching something through the window, walking down the street to something much more expansive, where you just feel like you need to get something out, you have a story to tell, or you feel like you need to share something that has happened to you good or bad. I think it could be—

Matt: Could be anything—

Rhydian: It could be very personal.

Ritzy: Yeah very.

Rhydian: Because it's been something cathartic for us as well, trying to get over things. You know, there's been things, traumas and fear and into sometimes, what would you call it, mental problems, mental issues, which is obviously something that affects so many people, and we don't like to talk about it but, I think whatever you talk about, you can't help but put your personal element on it because it is obviously how you see the world, isn't it? The personal is always, I think, a really big part of this band. It's not like trying to fit in lyrics to go "DA DA DA" so it sounds nice at the end. "In the air, we're gonna fly, I feel so high," and that's fine. There's a place for everything isn't it? But, I do feel like it's also been a benefit for us to also talk about something that actually means something personal you know?

Matt: We've also got a song about a cactus.

Corona Capital's mission is to bring more international music to Mexico, what does it feel, for you, to play in a new city? To get your music in a new place?

Ritzy: I don't think we ever get in a place all weary. It's not like we wake up in the morning and we're like, "Uh, Where are we? It's fucking ground hog day". That isn't what drives our band or us as individuals, we still are hungry to play music, we are still excited to wake up in a new city but—

Rhydian: You know, we love to play anywhere. New city, old city, we are always excited to go back.

Matt: The key thing is your message is in there, you ask about lyrics and I don't think it's just the lyrics as well as what your message [is], I think.

White Lies Talk Touring Mexico, 'FIVE' & Why Friendship Is The Key Ingredient To Band Longevity

Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More



Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 10:04 pm

In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.

"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.

Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.

"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."

Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American. 

"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."

Mumu Fresh On What She Learned From Working With The Roots, Rhyming & More

Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour


Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images


Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour

El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances

GRAMMYs/Mar 20, 2019 - 12:25 am

Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.

El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.


RELATED: How Rosalia Is Reinventing What It Means To Be A Global Pop Star

"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.

Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork. 

Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist. 

Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.

2019 Music Festival Preview: Noise Pop, Coachella, Ultra & More

Listen: Tame Impala Release New Track "Patience"

Kevin Parker of Tame Impala

Photo: Rick Kern/WireImage


Listen: Tame Impala Release New Track "Patience"

It's been four years since we've heard new music from Tame Impala, but their new release has come just in time for festival season

GRAMMYs/Mar 23, 2019 - 12:08 am

Tame Impala have released a new single appropriately called "Patience." The GRAMMY-nominated music project by Australian singer and musician Kevin Parker had not released any new tracks since 2015's Currents.

The long-awaited latest release embodies the exact feeling of having to wait for something: "Has it really been that long? / Did I count the days wrong? ... I've been waiting here / Waiting for the day to come," Parker's soft voice sings on the track featuring an equally soft piano. 

Parker, who has come to fame for the psychedelic, dreamy pop sound he shares as Tame Impala, teased the single on Instagram last night. "New track. 1 hour. Speakers/headphones people," the post said. 

He and his touring band will be headlining Coachella and Lollapalooza this year and starting a U.S. tour after the Indio, Calif. dates. He said that he would like to release a new album by mid-2019. 

"I'd be really disappointed if we didn't have something out by then." Parker told Matt Wilkinson on Beats 1. "I love playing the songs live, I love playing Currents songs I love playing Lonerism songs and everything but I think I'm ready to play some other songs live."

Behind The Board: Matt Ross-Spang On Why Memphis Is The Reason He Produces

Lila Downs Announces New Album Paying Tribute To The Chile Pepper, Releases Tour Info

Lila Downs 


Lila Downs Announces New Album Paying Tribute To The Chile Pepper, Releases Tour Info

The announcement was made with the release of the first single, a cover of the Peruvian cumbia classic "Cariñito"

GRAMMYs/Apr 11, 2019 - 04:42 am

GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Lila Downs, known for her eclectic mixture sounds from Mexico and beyond, has announced that her latest album, Al Chile, will pay tribute to the chile pepper and will drop May 3. The news came with the release of the first single, "Cariñito."

Al Chile, produced by the GRAMMY-nominated DJ and producer Camilo Lara (Mexican Institute of Sound) and mixed by Mario Caldato Jr., who has worked with the Beastie Boys and Jack Johnson, is not a joke; it sincerely shows love for the fruit. 

"Yes, the music is a tribute to the fruit that causes us so much craving and suffering, but that we really love!" Downs said in a statement. "We fry the chile, add beats from the city, then saxophones, trumpets and drums from the Mexican coast to keep the dance going. The village and the city are united by the same beat. With a mezcal in hand, we dream of a place with a palm tree where one falls in love and reflects."

The first single is Down's take on a Peruvian cumbia classic. The singer also released dates for the album's supporting tour that will take her to Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall, New York City, Seattle and other cities across the U.S.

For more information on the tour, visit Downs' website

Closing The Gap: How Latina Artists Are Combating Gender Inequality In Urban Music