Vance Joy Opens Up on Being Back Onstage and Busking in Melbourne

Vance Joy Opens Up on Being Back Onstage and Busking in Melbourne

We caught up with the singer ahead of G Music Fest 2021



There always seems to be a semblance of warmth as far as Vance Joy and his work are concerned. Many of his listeners deem his songs a source of comfort. They consider it a safe haven for when life hits them a little too hard. In turn, Vance Joy treasures this connection with his listeners. “I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I write songs and there (are those) who are excited to hear them, you know?” He shares in an exclusive roundtable with the media, “I found that when I am really excited for a song, and I really emotionally connect with it, those are the ones that kind of connect with other people, too. It’s sort of like a confirmation of what I was thinking.” 


And if the 49 million Spotify streams of Missing Piece are any indication, his music continues to reflect what many of us have felt and might still be feeling.


Vance Joy—whose real name is James Keough—was optimistic about some outcomes of the pandemic. Part of this was working on new music, which led to the creation of Missing Piece. James drew inspiration from his long-distance relationship with his girlfriend at the peak of Australia's lockdowns. He remained in Melbourne while she stayed in Spain. While LDR isn’t the easiest of arrangements, Missing Piece’s upbeat tune and optimistic lyrics make the light at the end of the tunnel a lot brighter. Again, Vance Joy served another dose of hope and comfort through his music.



Before his other remote sets for Splendour XR and G Music Fest 2021, James already performed for a handful of live audiences. Back in March, he busked around Melbourne for one night; performing three songs in three different locations. For James, it was a “tiny little taste of playing live. It had all this excitement around because the people in Melbourne haven’t seen any live music in a long time,” he shares. “So I think it was almost over before it began. We finished our last song, and we were like, ‘Oh wow! How good is it to be playing live for people?’ It did make me miss playing live and I think it was also just a great injection of energy, and I think it was totally random and fun. I’ve got a tiny taste of it, and I’m looking forward to doing more.”


Vance Joy’s set at Globe’s G Music Fest 2021 marked his first performance for his Filipino fans. What’s a better way to celebrate a first than with a bang? For this set, he recruited the help of a new band from Spain (because, yes, he and his girlfriend have reunited!). And his new band lent a fresh and jazzy flavor to his beloved hits. 


Admittedly, this was one performance we wish we could have witnessed live. But instead of dwelling on what-could-have-beens, we can fondly look back to Vance Joy having a ton of fun at G Music Fest 2021. May we offer re-watching his Q&A from the UP CLOSE segment?


In the meantime, we’ll be waiting and manifesting for the singer to complete our missing piece (pun intended) and pay a visit to the Philippines soon.



Art Matthew Ian Fetalver


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