Sitting before an eager class of journalism students, Joyride would be seen by some as looking out of place. After all, hip hop and R&B are not the first things to come to mind when one thinks of the academic world. But despite all appearances, this up and coming musician has much to share and to teach, drawing from his own journey and experiences of the wider music world. From humble beginnings as a DJ through to his first EP release, this diverse artist has learned first-hand about the challenges of being a musician on the Australian scene.
From day one, Joyride began to discover the realities of music, with his first project 2 On A Joyride. He and a mate would make their music using keyboards, drum machines, and samplers, however he soon found that this was an underappreciated skill on the scene. “[You] get paid just as much by just showing up with CD’s and headphones…” so that’s exactly what he did. Scrapping all the excess gear, he began to play simply as a DJ three times per week, and eventually landed a gig to DJ for Spit Syndicate, while also playing in other bands. From here he went on to host his own radio show, his reputation spreading further with every new opportunity taken up. When asked about advice for musicians starting out, Joyride emphasised the importance of reputation building as a key point, from who you know to what music you put out. “This is something that I’ve realised through the radio show. Younger artists, they’ll finish a song and send it out, get it out there, put it online, all that, when it’s a bit undercooked.” Creating good first impressions and building contacts are key.
Now at the top of his game as a huge figure in Australian Hip Hop, it seems that Joyride has finally been able to go back to making his own music, which he had sacrificed at the start of his DJ career. Having survived the journey from obscurity to influence, writing has clearly become more viable than it ever was in the 2 On A Joyride days. It would also seem that his self-confidence in music making has been bolstered. Chivalrous, the first in a 3-part EP series, was actually recorded 4 years earlier, but hidden from the world all this time. Apparently, this release and the planned follow-up EP’s came out of a “kick in the butt” from his musician friends – another possible benefit of networking. When asked why this was a 3-part EP series, rather than combined as a full album, Joyride explained that he preferred each section to be a cohesive whole, while also a way of building momentum. “I couldn’t really put Chivalrous with the newer stuff because it’s really different.” A collaborative, full album with other musicians is a dream for another day.
Having enthralled the class for a full hour, Joyride receives an enthusiastic round of applause. It seems even outside the clubs and dance halls, he can draw a rapt audience. And yet he remains modest. In his own words, “ego in Australia will be shot down and beaten to death.” But with Joyride, his right to an ego has well and truly been earned.