Vance Joy is keen on playing the long game

Vance Joy.jpg


It took just one song to make Vance Joy a household name.

The Melbourne artist now tours the world regularly and has notched up nearly one billion Spotify streams, largely thanks to his 2013 hit Riptide.

But everything that's come since Vance Joy, real name James Keogh, released that song has proven he's not a one-hit wonder.

His debut album Dream Your Life Away became a number one record and he was chosen by Taylor Swift to support her on the US, UK and Australian dates of her 1989 tour in 2014.

As he prepares to release his second album, Nation of Two, he reveals that he's intent on playing the long game.

"I noticed that if I looked at artists I really admire, they have a bunch of albums and their albums are quality. I guess that was always in my mind," Keogh told AAP.

But it's hard to get to that second album when the first one has taken over your life so much.

Keogh had to get used to writing songs on the road while on tour by recording snippets on his phone or "collecting ideas" as he describes it.

"Some of them ended up as songs, a lot of them maybe get mashed into other songs, it was a lot of attempts and a lot of songs that didn't quite work out," he said.

Keogh invited a few collaborators to write with him for the first time, working with songwriters Dan Wilson (Adele, Taylor Swift) and Dave Bassett (Rachel Platten) on some of the album's tracks.

"I did feel a bit apprehensive about co-writing," Keogh said.

"It was because I'd written songs on my own, and it's such a rewarding thing to write songs on your own. I feel like my most rewarding experiences have been when I feel like I've cracked a code myself."

But with the added pressure that comes with creating a second album, Keogh felt encouraged through his collaborations.

"You still don't know when you might have a good idea. Sometimes you need reassurance or a positive word, or someone to notice something special that you're doing, and you think 'OK maybe that is a good idea and it's worth pursuing'," he said.

After the album's release, Keogh will be back on the road, hitting Europe, the US and back home to tour Australia in September with 13 new songs he hopes will stand the test of time.

"You do want to write songs that you want to play over and over again, and if they're made well they can stand up for a long time of playing, and playing, and playing."

* Nation of Two is out on Friday.

* Vance Joy will perform at Sydney City Limits on Saturday and will return for a national tour on September 14.

© AAP 2018

Image Credit:  (AAP Image/Justin Bettman)

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