October can be beautiful in Berlin. When the green of the leaves changes to golden orange and the trees slowly shed their skin crumbling under the sole of winter boots. Fall is the season of change, the nature getting ready for the cold season, alongside the Berliners dusting off their Dr. Martens and trading leather jacket for winter coats. On one of the sunniest days of the changing seasons I meet Joy Bogat.
The Hanover-based musician just released her second EP and fitting the season’s vibe it celebrates change. Working through its hardships, endless possibilities, and the excitement that comes with that, the six songs on It’s Different Now are a reflection of a broad range of emotions felt throughout the last two years.
Hope You’re Good
The title of the EP is what connects all of the songs, the musician tells me when we sit down in a cozy café. “It did not feel right to choose one title track. Instead I looked for a commonality between all of the songs.” The last two years inspired a lot of personal and musical change in the musician’s life, reflected by the choice of title. It’s Different Now applies to each one of the songs with a slightly different meaning.
The optimistic Hope You’re Good featured on this week’s Listen Ahead Playlist Update is a genuine wish for a former lover. On Sometimes the singer croons “sometimes it is had to let go” – a statement that most of us are able to relate to. It is the only track that Joy did not write within the last two years. Sometimes is a dusted off version of a song she composed four or five years ago, she tells me. Following the concept of change, the reworked version features smooth vocals as well as rapped verses and a lush RnB-tinged production.
“Hope you’re good / I hope you’re better than the last time we spoke / I hope you think of me in the way that I do of you”
Finding Voices And Setting Boundaries
“I have learned a lot since my first EP. Especially when it comes to producing, I have grown more confident to do things on my own”, the singer explains over a cup of oat milk cappuccino. “I always have entire songs in my head but before I sometimes found it hard to express my visions in words. I have gotten better at it. That’s also why I am able to produce the sounds that I want to get on my own now.”
In that process, Joy Bogat also learned how to draw boundaries and to trust her instinct. Musically and lyrically It’s Different Now is the proof of growth. Drawing on the roots of the debut EP’s spoken word parts, the musician experiments with different vocal styles, rapping, singing, and harmonizing. “I love when music and spoken word come together”. Aside of writing music, Joy writes prose and poetry. “One of my life goals is to write a book”, she grins.“I love language.”
Even though the title for the record was decided upon early this year, Joy explains that it has proven to be foreseeing for the rest of 2021. “I lived very consciously this year. I dissected my life and I have grown so thankful for the people in my life now. It was a year filled with so many different emotions.” The range of emotions also found a space on the EP. With prevailing optimism, Joy Bogat sings of learning to trust her intuition, of awakening, and of claiming the space she deserves.
Space is the last track on the release. “It had to be the last song. I am usually a really quiet and harmonious person but on Space I pushed myself to tap into the louder parts of my soul. The musicians I worked with encouraged me to pretend I am alone in the studio and to really let it out and to take the space I need.”
“I dared to be loud, and I have never heard myself sing like that.”
It’s Different Now
On It’s Different Now Joy Bogat claims her space as a musical and lyrical talent on the rise. Between soul, pop, and RnB the artist settles in her own niche. With intricately woven layers of instrumentation and vocals, she explores a wide range of emotions highlighting the potential of change. “I am at a really good place in life right now”, the artist tells me. And it is positivity and confidence that she radiates as well on our sunny walk through the autumn-colored landscape of Berlin.
It’s Different Now. But it is better. Joy Bogat is a musician of constant growth embracing change and that is what makes her approach to songwriting such a pleasure to listen to.
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