Monday Mover #9: Joy Crookes – 19th Floor

Words: Gery Hristova

Welcome to LDN’s Monday Movers! Each week we’ll post a track to get the pulse rate up a little. Enjoy!

Who are we talking about this week?

In case you’ve missed her, Joy Crookes is a British singer-songwriter from South London, with Irish-Bangladesh origin. While a teenager, Crookes taught herself how to play guitar, piano and bass, before writing her own music. She started has been releasing covers of songs on YouTube when she was 13, until she was discovered by her current manager.

Her debut studio album, ‘Skin’ was released in October 2021 via Insanity Records and immediately landed at Number 5 in the UK Official Charts, cementing her place as one of the most exciting breakthrough talents the UK has to offer.

Why do we like it?

The video for her new single ‘19th Floor’ was inspired by Crookes’ grandmother who lives on the 19th floor of a tower block in Stockwell, and whose voice is also featured on the track.

Speaking about the video, Crookes says: “We wanted to create visuals that were reflective of the complexity and beauty of community, especially the immigrant community within London.” she also adds, “The song is a recognition of all the obstacles immigrants have to overcome to build a life in somewhere like the UK.

A beautiful dancing angel with white wings and a man who ends up falling out of a window in the block is just a small part of the disturbing video, which was directed by Ebeneza Blanche (Jae5 & Skepta, Little Simz) and combines opposing themes – life and death, or religion and suicide.

Black and white, darkness and light, and the constant repetition of the words ‘Heads back to where I started’ work in perfect synchronicity creating a thought-provoking concept of the fragility of one’s life and how important is for us to remember our past to never lose oneself.

From the broken walls of the building – which represent the poverty and hardship that immigrants often have to face – to the Irish dancers dressed in traditional clothing, everything reminds us that no matter where we go what we carry in our hearts is what makes us wealthy not physical possessions. We should celebrate our uniqueness everywhere, be it close or far from the place that we used to call our home.

The use of the violin in combination with the smooth low voice of Crookes is highly reminiscent of Amy Winehouse’s soulful, jazzy style and ‘19th Floor’ is further proof that Crookes completely deserves her continuing success.

Listen here:

Where do I find out more?

For more information check out her Instagram, Facebook of Twitter.