The Joy’s latest offering, ‘Hammarsdale’ tells stories from home

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Today, South African quintet The Joy release brand new EP Hammarsdale on Transgressive Records. With their roots in traditional Zulu music and modern acapella, their latest offering tells stories from home.

The group explain, “The songs are pictures of our lives and daily experiences in the township of Hammarsdale in Kwazulu Natal where we grew up, met and live in. The songs speak about love and hate, separation and unification, jealousy and trust, regret, hope and forgiveness.”

Hailing from a small town just outside of Durban in South Africa, The Joy’s members met at high school after entering a singing competition together. Their music quickly spread internationally through their Instagram and TikTok accounts and, before long, they were working with producer Two Inch Punch (Kali Uchis, Jessie Ware, Years & Years). Through his label imprint, the quintet released their debut single “Isencane Lengane” in May 2021, with EP Amabutho following in September of that year; then 2022 saw the group sign with Transgressive and release “Egoli” – collectively helping set the group on course to become a global phenomenon.

They have caught the attention of Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Sam Smith and at the end of 2022 appeared on the iconic UK music show Later…with Jools Holland for a one-off live recorded special for Jools’ 30th Birthday Bash filmed at London’s Eventim Apollo where they performed their debut single “Isencane Lengane”.

They also teamed up with DJ-producer The Blessed Madonna, appearing on the hit “Shades of Love”, which was christened as both a Hottest Record on BBC Radio 1 as well as a playlist single, and played at Brighton’s The Great Escape Festival for their inaugural UK performances, including an opening slot for label-mate Arlo Parks at a sold out Brighton Dome.

The EP opener “Mountain” shows off The Joy’s signature harmonies and lyrically searches for hope. The group explains, “‘Mountain’ is about losing the one person that you truly love but hold the hope that maybe one day they’ll realise that they made a mistake and come back. The truth is you’ll never be the same person and neither will they.”

Watch “Mountain” below.