Joi Cardwell

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Joi Cardwell
Birth name Joi Cardwell
Born (1967-10-08) October 8, 1967 (age 49)
New York City, New York
Genres House, R&B, old skool, pop, dance
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, record producer, musician
Instruments Vocals, piano, violin
Years active 1988–present
Labels Curly Gurly Records, Nervous Records, No-Mad Industries, Eightball Records
Associated acts Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Lil' Louis, Toshinobu Kubota
Website www.joicardwell.com

Joi Cardwell (born October 8, 1967) is an American singer-songwriter.[1] Born and raised in New York City, New York, she performed in various singing as a child and rose to fame in the early 1990s as guest vocalist for Lil Louis on the number 1 Dance singles "Club Lonely" and "Saved My Life". The release of Cardwell's debut album, The World Is Full of Trouble (1995), established her as a solo artist worldwide and featured the Billboard Dance top-five singles number-one singles "Jump for Joi" and "Love & Devotion". Her second album, Joi Cardwell (1997), spawned the top-charting singles "Soul to Bare", "Run to You", and "Found Love".

In 1999, she released her third album Deliverance on her own record label No-Mad Industries. Her fourth album, The Plain Jane Project (2005), yielded the top-ten singles "Freedom" and "It's Over". She continued to release albums on her recording label including Wanderlust (The Soundtrack) (2009) and Must Be the Music (2011). In 2014, Cardwell resurfaced with her seventh album The Art of Being, which was released on her new recording label Curly Gurly Records.

In 2016, Billboard magazine ranked her at #43 amongst the Greatest of All Time Top Dance Club Artists.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in New York City in the late-1960s and raised in various areas of Queens. Cardwell appeared on stage at Carnegie Hall at the age of five in a dance recital, and was used to being on a stage by the time she was a teenager. She worked as a back-up session singer for Melba Moore, Jermaine Jackson, LL Cool J, and The Pointer Sisters. After graduating from New York University with degrees in English and Music in the mid-1980s, she studied voice for a year primarily in order to master control, as she had already developed and retained her own personal style. After her studies, she wrote and published songs for major R&B acts such as Kashif, L.A. Posse, and Malika Thomas.

Career[edit]

1988–1993: Beginnings[edit]

Her close affiliation with Kashif led to an album deal with Arista Records in 1988 for her pop R&B girl-group, The Promise.[3] Since the market in the 1980s was already saturated with sweet-sounding, bubbly R&B groups, it was difficult for The Promise to stand. As a result, Cardwell decided to answer an ad in the Village Voice that read, "Epic recording artist looking for a background singer for a live tour." The recording artist turned out to be house-music innovator Lil Louis. She recorded two songs; "Club Lonely" and "Saved My Life" for Lil Louis' album Journey with the Lonely, which both peaked at number 1 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart.[4]

Cardwell's experience as a vocalist and songwriter turned out to be exactly what Lil Louis had been searching for in a singer. He proved to be an early influence for Cardwell’s sound, which melds a new dance beat with a thoughtful lyrical twist. Cardwell creates material that sounds as though she’s musing quietly about life while a dancing throng gyrates with joy nearby, and her lyrics are soulful, romantic, and thought-provoking. Shortly after meeting Lil Louis, Cardwell conceived the single "Dancing in My Sleep", and within a week of penning it, she was in Chicago cutting demos and well on her way to a career as a dance-hall diva and R&B songstress. When "Club Lonely" reached the number one mark, Cardwell distanced herself from the Lil Louis project. In 1993, she toured in Japan for eight months as a background singer for Japanese soul singer Toshinobu Kubota. Cardwell gleaned experience from the large overseas tour returned to the U.S. significantly more focused and ready to tackle a solo singing career.

1994–1998: The World Is Full of Trouble and Joi Cardwell[edit]

In 1994, Cardwell signed a recording contract with Eightball Records, an independent label based in New York. In 1994, Cardwell released her first single "Trouble" on Eight Ball Records, which was a double-pack single including remixes from Junior Vasquez, Sotoshi Tomiie, and Deep Dish.[5] The song charted at number 11 on the Dance chart.[6] She also released a non-album single "Holdin' On" with Jay Mac. Her first solo album The World Is Full of Trouble was released on May 15, 1995. The album spawned the top-charted singles "Jump for Joi" and "Love & Devotion". In 1995, she recorded the single "Luv Connection" for Towa Tei's album Future Listening!. Cardwell contributed guest vocals on the single "The Creator Has A Master Plan" for the Brooklyn Funk Essentials' album Cool & Steady & Easy. She also toured with the group throughout the year. In 1996, she toured as a backing vocalist for Toshinobu Kubota on the Oyeees! Tour. In July 1996, she released the single "You Got to Pray".[7] The single peaked at number 1 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart.[6]

Cardwell's eponymous second solo album Joi Cardwell was released on November 11, 1997, in the US.[8] The album's lead single "Soul to Bare", featuring Jay Z, reached the top five on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart.[6] The second international single "Run to You" was a commercial success, reaching number one in the United States.[6] The album also produced two other singles; "Found Love"[9] and "Power".[10] By December 1997, Cardwell had sold a total of over 1.5 million records worldwide.[11] In 1998, Cardwell left Eightball Records. In November 1998, she released a two-disc compilation Clubland's Greatest Hits which features a few club mixes of her earlier singles on Eightball Records.[12]

1999–2004: Deliverance and More[edit]

In April 1999, Cardwell self-produced and released the lead single "Last Chance for Love" of her forthcoming album. The song peaked at number 17 on the Dance Club chart.[6] She later released her third album Deliverance on her new independent recording label "No-Mad Industries". A second single "Superstar", an interpretation of Delaney & Bonnie's "Superstar", was also released. In 2000, "Last Chance for Love" won for "Best Dance Song" by the GLAMA Awards.[13] In February 2000, a remixed version of "Jump for Joi" was released on Nervous Records.[14] The remix single peaked at number 7 on the Dance Club chart.[6] In 2001, she toured again as a background vocalist for her long-time friend Toshinobu Kubota during the Nothing But As One Tour.

In September 2003, Cardwell released a compilation album More (1992-2003), which featured unreleased songs and new remixes.[15][16] The album spawned the singles "After the Rain" and "If You're Ever Lonely", which were released on her manager's label, Junior Vasquez Music. In 2004, she participated in the Keep Hope Alive Project to benefit LIFEbeat, the music industry AIDS-awareness organization. Cardwell appeared alongside other house-genre singers on the song "Keep Hope Alive" and she also co-wrote and recorded a song "Be Yourself", which appear on the Underground Dance Artists United For Life: Keep Hope Alive album.[17] In 2004, she released her greatest hits album entitled Hits and More.

2005–2010: The Plane Jane Project and Wanderlust (The Soundtrack)[edit]

On November 18, 2005, Cardwell released her fourth studio album, The Plain Jane Project. The album features more R&B-styled songs as opposed to her earlier electronic dance and house records. The album's lead single "Freedom" spent thirteen weeks on the Dance Club Play chart before peaking at number 7. The second single "It's Over" peaked at number 4 on the chart. The album's final single "What It Feels Like" peaked at number 30 on the Dance chart.

Her compilation album A Beautiful Life was released on May 7, 2007 in Japan-only.[18] The eleven-track album featured a combination of past singles and DJ mixes. On April 7, 2009, she released her fifth album Wanderlust (The Soundtrack). The album spawn the singles "Imperfect",[19] "Happy",[20] "People Make the World Go Round",[21] "Come Together",[22] "Change the World",[23] and "What's Freedom".[24] Her single "People Make The World Go Round" received an IDMA Awards' nomination for "Best House/Garage Track".[25]

2010–2015: Must Be the Music and The Art of Being[edit]

In June 2010, she released a maxi-single "All Night", which features the original version and various remixes of the song.[26] A single "We Got the Night" was released, which featured production and mixing by Chus & Ceballos and DJ Koutarou.A.[27] Caldwell released her sixth album Must Be the Music on March 19, 2011.[28] In July 2011, she released her original song "How Deep Is Your Love?".[29]

In 2013, she released a single "Love Somebody Else", which earned an IDMA award for "Best House/Garage/Deep House Track of the Year". In September 2014, Cardwell released her seventh album The Art of Being on her own independent recording label Curly Gurly Records. The album spawned the singles "Return to Love", "Feels Like Heaven", "Indian Giver", "Lucky Charm", "Shot through the Heart", and new remix of "Jump 4 Joi".

Artisty[edit]

Voice and songwriting[edit]

Cardwell's voice is classified as an alto.[30] Barry Walters of The Advocate highlights her tone and timbre as particularly distinctive, described her voice as "more subtle, more ethereal and seductive."[31] Other critics praise her vocal abilities, with Larry Flick of Billboard saying she "proved her potential as a multiformat star with a funk version of "Jump for Joi" that exploded with Ella Fitzgerald-style scatting."[32]

Cardwell's music is generally house,[33] but she also incorporates traditional jazz, funk, and blues into her songs.[34] Deliverance demonstrated Cardwell's exploration of neo soul, as well as further use of soul and hip hop than compared to previous releases.[35] While she exclusively releases English songs, Cardwell have performed several Japanese songs for Toshinobu Kubota (as a backup singer during his concert tours for a Japanese audience). To perform them, Cardwell was coached progessively by Kubota.

She has received co-writing credits for most of the songs recorded with Lil Louis and her solo efforts. Her songs were personally driven and dance themed compositions like "Run to You" and "You Got to Pray". Cardwell believes that, "Lyrics have to be meaningful and memorable enough that people will insist on keeping the vocals on the tracks."[36] She has also received production credits for many of the records in which she has been involved, especially during her solo efforts. As an accomplished pianist, Cardwell incorporates piano into a majority of her songs and often writes about love. She also played a violin, and piano, on the song "Brittany" for Lil Louis' album From the Mind of Lil Louis.[37]

Influences[edit]

Her musical influences included Billie Holiday, Barbra Streisand, and Minnie Riperton.[3] Cardwell credits Ashford and Simpson, Marvin Gaye, and Curtis Mayfield as her songwriting influences.[38] Her influences also include Sarah Vaughn and Donna Summer, the latter of whom she has been compared to.[38][39]

Discography[edit]

Tours[edit]

Headlining

  • Brooklyn Funk Essentials Tour (1995)
  • My First Christmas with You Japan Tour (1995-1996)
  • The Joi Cardwell Tour (1997)
  • Greatest Hits Album Tour (2011)
  • The Art of Being Tour (2015)
  • European Tour (2016)

Supporting

Awards and nominations[edit]

GLAMA Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1997 "You Got to Pray" Best Dance Song Won
2000 "Last Chance for Love" Won

IDMA Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2009 "People Make the World Go Round" Best House/Garage Track Nominated
2013 "Love Somebody Else" Best House/Garage/Deep House Track Won

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Joi Cardwell Biography". IMO Records' Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  2. ^ Greatest of All Time Top Dance Club Artists. Billboard. Retrieved on February 9, 2017
  3. ^ a b Biography > Joi Cardwell. Billboard. Retrieved on February 8, 2017
  4. ^ Chart History > Lil Louis. Billboard. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  5. ^ Joi Cardwell Discography Singles. All Music Guide. Retrieved on October 20, 2012
  6. ^ a b c d e f Chart History > Joi Cardwell. Billboard. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  7. ^ Joi Cardwell - You've Got to Pray (Remixes). All Music Guide. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  8. ^ Joi Cardwell Discography. All Music Guide. Retrieved on October 20, 2012
  9. ^ Joi Cardwell - Found Love. All Music Guide. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  10. ^ Joi Cardwell - Power. All Music Guide. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  11. ^ Interview with Joi Cardwell. Music Dish Magazine. Retrieved on February 11, 2017
  12. ^ Joi Cardwell - Clubland's Biggest Hits. All Music Guide. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  13. ^ Biography > Joi Cardwell. Billboard. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  14. ^ Joi Cardwell - Jump for Joi. All Music Guide. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  15. ^ Joi Cardwell - More (1992-2003). iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  16. ^ Published by Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (2003, August 9). Cardwell Compilation Covers 'More' Ground. Billboard, Volume 115: No. 32, Page 52. Retrieved from http://books.google.com
  17. ^ Keep Hope Alive. Billboard. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  18. ^ Joi Cardwell - A Beautiful Life. All Music Guide. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  19. ^ Joi Cardwell - Imperfect. iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  20. ^ Joi Cardwell - Happy. iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  21. ^ Joi Cardwell - People Make the World Go Round. iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  22. ^ Joi Cardwell - Come Together. iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  23. ^ Joi Cardwell - Change the World. iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  24. ^ Joi Cardwell - What's Freedom. Discogs. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  25. ^ IDMA Winners for the year 2008 presented in 2009. Winter Music Conference. Retrieved on February 8, 2017
  26. ^ Joi Cardwell - All Night. iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  27. ^ Joi Cardwell - We Got the Night. iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  28. ^ Joi Cardwell - Must Be the Music. iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  29. ^ Joi Cardwell - How Deep Is Your Love?. iTunes. Retrieved on February 7, 2017
  30. ^ Published by Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1996, February 17). Spreading Joi. Billboard, Volume 108: No. 7, Page 32. Retrieved from http://books.google.com
  31. ^ Published by Here Publishing. (1997, December 23). Sapphic Soul Sister. The Advocate, No. 749, Page 56. Retrieved from http://books.google.com
  32. ^ Published by Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1995, February 4). Divas Unplugged Icing On Rich 2nd Dance Summit. Billboard, Volume 106: No. 6, Page 11. Retrieved from http://books.google.com
  33. ^ Published by Gay & Lesbian Group of the American Musicological Society. (1996, February 17). GLSG Newsletter for the Gay & Lesbian Study Group of the American Musicological Society. Gay & Lesbian Group of the American Musicological Society, Volume 9-15, Page 28. Retrieved from http://books.google.com
  34. ^ Published by Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1995, July 29). Album Reviews. Billboard, Volume 107: No. 30, Page 86. Retrieved from http://books.google.com
  35. ^ Published by Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (2000, January 15). Reviews & Previews. Billboard, Volume 112: No. 3, Page 22. Retrieved from http://books.google.com
  36. ^ Published by Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1994, February 5). Dance Music Confab Passes in a Twirl of Activity. Billboard, Volume 106: No. 6, Page 11. Retrieved from http://books.google.com
  37. ^ Lil' Louis & The World - From the Mind of Lil Louis. Discogs. Retrieved on February 11, 2017
  38. ^ a b The Art of Joi Cardwell: EXCLUSIVE Q&A. Dj Buddy Beaverhausen. Retrieved on February 11, 2017
  39. ^ Published by Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1995, June 17). Single Reviews. Billboard, Volume 107: No. 24, Page 57. Retrieved from http://books.google.com

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