Vance Joy

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Vance Joy
Joy at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas, in 2015
Background information
Birth nameJames Gabriel Keogh
Born (1987-12-01) 1 December 1987 (age 32)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Singer &
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • ukulele
  • guitar
  • piano
Years active2013–present

James Gabriel Keogh (born 1 December 1987),[2][3] better known by his stage name Vance Joy, is an Australian singer and songwriter. He signed a five-album deal with Atlantic Records in 2013.[4] He released his debut EP God Loves You When You're Dancing in March 2013. His song "Riptide" was voted number 1 on the 2013 Triple J Hottest 100. Joy released his debut studio album Dream Your Life Away on 5 September 2014 in Australia and on 9 September 2014 elsewhere.[5][6] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2015 he won Best Male Artist.

Early life[edit]

Joy attended St. Patricks Primary School, Murrumbeena in Melbourne. He was school captain, and graduated from St Kevin's College, Toorak in 2005. Joy later graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws.[when?][7]

Prior to his music career, Joy was a promising Australian rules football player. In 2008 and 2009, he played for the Coburg Football Club, then called the Coburg Tigers, as key defender in the Victorian Football League (VFL),[8] winning best first year player award in 2008.[9][7]

Joy explains his choice for a music career over a football one by saying that he "[...] wasn't ever really in the mix (for the AFL)", being "good enough to go from local footy to the VFL. Out of three seasons, I had a handful of games. You always think you can do better, but I think I reached my potential as a football player."[10] In another interview, he stated "for a period of time I was super focused on footy, I played a step below professional level. I had opportunities to play for a couple of teams but my heart wasn't completely in it. I guess I was just doing something in the meantime before writing my first songs." [11]

Music career[edit]

Vance Joy on the TV show Sommarkrysset at Gröna Lund, Stockholm in 2014

2013: God Loves You When You're Dancing[edit]

On 21 January 2013, Joy released his debut single "From Afar". On 22 March 2013, he released his debut EP God Loves You When You're Dancing.[12] The single "Riptide" became a success on Australian commercial radio,[13] peaking at number 6 on the ARIA Singles Chart and being certified Nine times platinum by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA).[14] The song featured in a GoPro TV advertising campaign in the USA.[15]

"Riptide" was inspired by a motel Joy visited as a kid. "As a child, I used to go on family holidays down the coast of Australia", Joy told the Brand Alley blog. "While we were there, we would stay at this motel called Riptide. So that's where that part of the idea came from."[16]

Speaking in an interview with Soundcheck in January 2014, Joy talked about how he thinks the album will sound, saying "I think there’s always a bit of variety with my songwriting, so probably the EP is a good reflection of what the rest of the album will be like. It’s all different songs, I guess, but all tied together in a way."[17] Joy said in an interview with Triple J about his stage name, "I was going through a Peter Carey phase and reading a lot of his books. There's a book called Bliss. The main character's name is Harry Joy and his grandfather is Vance Joy. He's the storyteller and a crazy old man. Plus, I thought it was a cool name."[18]

2014–2016: Dream Your Life Away[edit]

On 15 July 2014, Joy announced the title of his debut album, Dream Your Life Away, which was released on 5 September 2014 in Australia, 9 September 2014 in the United States, and 15 September 2014 elsewhere.[19] In July 2014, he released "Mess Is Mine" as the third overall single from the album, and the song peaked at number 37 in Australia. He performed his debut album live from 5 September 2014 onward, starting in Melbourne and then worldwide.[20] On 7 September 2014, Joy released "First Time" as the fourth single from the album in the United Kingdom.[21] A deluxe edition was released on September 4, 2015, which consisted of two new tracks and five live songs. "Fire and the Flood" and "Straight into Your Arms" were also released as singles.

He announced a major US tour that occurred during October and November, and was called the "Dream Your Life Away Tour"—the tour started on 17 October 2013 in Dallas, Texas.[22]

Joy was announced as the support act for Taylor Swift's The 1989 World Tour on 3 November 2014. Joy appeared on all the tour dates in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.[23] Swift performed a rendition of "Riptide" on 9 October 2014 for the BBC's 'Live Lounge' segment.[24]

At Swift's Seattle show on 8 August 2015, Joy disclosed that he had done a lot of writing and all of the recording for his "Dream Your Life Away" at Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, Washington in 2012. In November 2015, he was picked as Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month and was featured on the American television network NBC's Today show hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb and broadcast nationally across the United States where he performed his single "Riptide" live.

"Riptide" has turned out to be the song which has launched Joy's career worldwide. Not only was the song a hit in Australia, but it's become a hit in the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Israel, Poland, and Slovakia. In the US, "Riptide" has reached number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the Alternative and Rock Airplay charts. The song is now certified 5 x Platinum in the USA.[25]

On 13 May 2015, he performed "Riptide" in a duet featuring Quentin Alexander live to a standing ovation at the Dolby Theater during the season 14 finale of American Idol. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Joy revealed that he began writing "Georgia" in 2006, then sat on it until he figured out the words and melody.[26] On 16 June 2015, Joy released "Great Summer", a single from the soundtrack for Paper Towns.[27][28] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2015 he won the Best Male Artist category for Dream Your Life Away, with six further nominations.[29]

2017–present: Nation of Two & Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre[edit]

Joy released his second studio album Nation of Two on 23 February 2018. The album debuted at number 1 in Australia, was certified gold and won an ARIA Award at the ARIA Music Awards of 2018. In November 2018, Vance released a live album titled Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Joy was the opening act for Pink on her Beautiful Trauma World Tour in 2019.


Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2017 Nominee - Best Independent Release Vance Joy Lay It On Me
  • 2017 Nominee - Best Male Artist Vance Joy Lay It On Me
  • 2018 Nominee - Best Male Artist Vance Joy Nation Of Two
  • 2018 Winner - Best Adult Contemporary Album Vance Joy Nation Of Two
  • 2018 Nominee - Single Of The Year Song Of The Year Vance Joy Lay It On Me
  • 2013 Nominee - Vance Joy Riptide
  • 2013 Nominee - Best Video Dimitri Basil Riptide - Vance Joy
  • 2013 Nominee - Best Pop Release Vance Joy God Loves You When You're Dancing
  • 2013 Nominee - Breakthrough Artist - Release Vance Joy God Loves You When You're Dancing
  • 2014 Nominee - Best Independent Release Vance Joy Mess Is Mine
  • 2014 Nominee - Best Male Artist Vance Joy Mess Is Mine
  • 2015 Nominee - Best Pop Release Vance Joy Dream Your Life Away
  • 2015 Nominee - Vance Joy Georgia
  • 2015 Nominee - Vance Joy Dream Your Life Away
  • 2015 Nominee - Best Australian Live Act Vance Joy Dream Your Life Away Tour
  • 2015 Nominee - Best Independent Release Vance Joy Dream Your Life Away
  • 2015 Winner - Best Male Artist Vance Joy Dream Your Life Away
  • 2015 Nominee - Best Video Vance Joy Georgia - Luci Schroder



  • Dream Your Life Away Tour (2013–2014)
  • The Fire and the Flood Tour (2016)
  • Nation of Two World Tour (2018)

Opening act


  1. ^ Monger, Timothy. "Vance Joy - Biography". Billboard. Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group. Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Interview with Vance Joy at ACL Festival: His Next Album, Skate Crew, and Savage Garden". Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  3. ^ "James Gabriel Keogh – Search". Warner/Chappell Music.
  4. ^ Adams, Cameron (1 May 2013). "Singer-songwriter Vance Joy signs breakthrough US album deal with Atlantic Records". Retrieved 19 August 2013.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "iTunes – Music – Dream Your Life Away by Vance Joy". iTunes. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  6. ^ "iTunes – Music – Dream Your Life Away by Vance Joy". iTunes. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  7. ^ a b Jenkins, Melissa; Ma, Roger (28 January 2014). "Top 10 things to know about Hottest 100 winner Vance Joy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Former Coburg player claims Hottest 100 - VFL". Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  9. ^ "2008 Coburg Football Club Best Fairest Results - Coburg". Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Joy moves from footy to musical goals". The West Australian. 19 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Vance Joy interview: 'Riptide' singer talks football, Brandon Flowers". The Independent. 15 September 2014.
  12. ^ "iTunes – Music – God Loves You When You're Dancing – EP by Vance Joy". iTunes.
  13. ^ Kuch, Jesse (1 August 2013). "Thanks to Riptide, Vance Joy is on his way to being Australia's next big musical superstar". Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  14. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Singles". ARIA Charts. ARIA. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  15. ^ Fitzsimons, Scott (19 July 2013). "Vance Joy Features In US GoPro TV Ad". Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  16. ^ Heggs, Melanie. "Vance Joy: 5 Things You Didn't Know About The 'Riptide' Singer". Archived from the original on 12 March 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  17. ^ Law, Adrienne. "INTERVIEW: Vance Joy". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Vance Joy profile". Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  19. ^ Dream Your Life Away Archived 18 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 17 July 2014.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "iTunes Store". Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  22. ^ Vance Joy's Debut Album 'DREAM YOUR LIFE AWAY' to Be Released 9/9BWWMusicWorld (published 15 July 2014)
  23. ^ "Taylor Swift Reveals Massive 1989 World Tour". Rolling Stone.
  24. ^ "Taylor Swift covers Vance Joy's Riptide in the Live Lounge" (Video upload). YouTube. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  25. ^ Kawashima, Dale. "Vance Joy Breaks Through With Hit "Riptide" and Debut Album; Will Open For Taylor Swift's Tour". Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  26. ^ Spanos, Brittany. "Watch Vance Joy's War-Themed 'Georgia' Video With a Surprising Twist". Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  27. ^ "Music From The Motion Picture Paper Towns". Genius. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  28. ^ Frere, Jackie (24 June 2015). "'Paper Towns' Author John Green: Film Soundtrack is the Perfect 'Summer Album". Billboard. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  29. ^ ARIA Music Awards for Vance Joy:

External links[edit]