Joi Cardwell is truly one of the most amazing divas we have and pretty much a national treasure for dance-music people. I was so overwhelmed she agreed to a Q&A with me. I was qvelling! Joi did not disappoint and gave good interview. In all her diva glory, I present Ms Joi Cardwell:
Joi Cardwell: Thanks for asking me.Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: Welcome, Joi, to Leave It to Beaverhausen. My international dance-music fans will be thrilled you joined us for this Q&A!
JC: As always, my fans can expect great vocals, compelling storytelling and a cohesive yet exciting mix of production styles from some really cool and talented international producers.
DBB: Let's talk about your new album, The Art of Being. What can your fans expect?
JC: We are currently exploring a limited release of the album in both cd and double vinyl
DBB: A new Joi Cardwell album is an event always. I downloaded The Art of Being at Amazon and am loving it. Do you expect to release it also in cd format and, if not, why not?
JC: [Laughs] The biggest change has been us. We as a group have never stopped dancing, singing, djing or producing music and I think that, other than jazz musicians, we are the only genre to stay true to the music through time. I'm not the biggest of club goers but of course the vocalists and live shows are far more sparse these days which is a shame. But the biggest difference is the blatant separation of partygoers. Of course, the boys always had their circuit but the rest of the time the best parties were gay, straight, black, white, Latin and everything else thrown in for kicks. Some things never change though labels like 8 Ball and Nervous were brands and now you have the same thing with Defected, Ultra, etc. Djs of course are all thinking they are producers and the main element of a record. Which truly is only the case for a select few.
DBB: Can we get your perspective on how much the music industry, and in particular, how dance music, as well as the club scene, have changed since the '90s and the days of labels like Nervous and Eightball?
JC: That's really sweet of you to say. I would really say I save the diva attitude for contract negotiation. And really just try to have fun making and performing music. It is a blessing to have my talent and I am truly grateful for it. It took a while for me to appreciate it and sometimes the pain that goes with being an artist.
DBB: You'll never remember this but I'll never forget meeting you once. It was at the late Louis Morheim's record and cd store, Heartbeat, on West 10th St. You were just as sweet as could be. Not a trace of a diva attitude. Do you save that for the stage?
JC: I was influenced by everything and everyone from Billie holiday and Sarah Vaughn to Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand. Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield as well as Ashford and Simpson to Steven Sondheim were my songwriting muses. I used to go to a lot of concerts and Broadway with my parents.
DBB: As a New York City girl, what singers influenced you growing up? And how did you first become interested in dance music as a genre for self-expression?
JC: My songs are always written subconsciously. The technique though is fairly straightforward. Either I see an incident or hear a phrase or theme and construct a melody based around a story. Otherwise, I get an instrumental and again hum out a melody. Usually, the sounds are my rough catalyst for words and then again the story just flows. They aren't always good. [Grins.]
DBB: "Trouble," "Jump for Joi," "Love & Devotion," "You Got to Pray," "Soul to Bare," "Run to You," "Found Love, "Mind Control," "It's Over." Your list of club hits is phenomenal. And each, I think, is imbued with a really poetic sensibility uniquely yours. How do you approach your songs?
JC: I wrote that sing one hot July by request of my label. I'm actually looking to write some more holiday tunes, maybe shock some people with my more classical songwriting abilities. We all know it's gonna be remixed. It was a lovely sentiment for a person I'm no longer with but I do appreciate the camp of it.
DBB: Every Christmas, I play "My First Christmas with You." It's been on my blog's Christmas countdowns. It's become kind of a club perennial, hasn't it? Does it bring back any special memories for you?
JC: "Last Chance for Love" was a song to my music public who at the time was so busy bootlegging my music I was pissed off. And heartbroken. I work so hard on my craft and for people to take it and not care about the repercussions for me as a person and artist ended up as that song.
DBB: I think my personal favorite Joi Cardwell song was "Last Chance for Love." I usually tear up when I hear it. Did it come out of a painful place for you at all?
JC: Well, we reached the top ten on the Traxsource top 100 albums in less than a week and I truly believe our work has just begun. Next, we push through on the other major portals and work press. I love Indian Giver personally. There will be a new video for that as well which, near the end, I bare pretty much everything but my soul. [Laughs]
DBB: "Indian Giver" is the hot new single off The Art of Being. I love it! Much success on the charts with it. Any word on how it's doing this early in the game?
JC: I would love to. All they have to do is ask. Well, and of course, pay me. [Laughter]
DBB: I was talking to my friend (and "brother from another mother") Nick Lion, who runs ICON in Astoria (Queens), which has become one of NYC's most popular clubs. The vibe is very '70s or '90s, with club-loving people who come to see, be seen, mix & mingle, and to dance! Any chance we'll be seeing you there sometime soon?
DBB: I'm sure they'll come knockin'.
JC: I would like to thank the LGBT community for its love and support for all these years and know that my experiences, shared and one on one have made me the artist and person that I hope has made the world a bit better one beat and note at a time. And... this diva has no intention of leaving you anytime soon. BIG love!
DB: Thank you, Joi Cardwell! Indeed, one of our major club-music artists. This was such a pleasure. As my blog is primarily written with fan LGBT audience in mind, I was wondering if you might have a final shout-out to your LGBT fans around the world?