Vanessa Joy has loved music all of her life and now gets to live her dreams by singing all around the world. Learn more about her story in the following interview.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I now live in Arizona, but I’ve lived all over the country and I’ve loved it. I’ve always tried to bloom where I’ve been planted.
How did you get started singing?
I started playing the violin when I was 4 and starred in my first Operetta when I was 13. I began taking formal voice lessons where I studied classical voice technique and signed up for a lot of voice competitions so I could be critiqued. I was awarded a music scholarship and graduated with a degree in Music from BYU. About five years ago, I met world-renowned pianist Marvin Goldstein at a seminar about the music business. I was intrigued about this topic because I had been singing and performing most of my life for community events and wanted to go further with music. Marvin heard me sing and approached me afterwards about making a CD. We created my solo album, “Sweet By and By,” shortly after and we continued to perform together all over the world.
Do you have any other albums?
I have three solo projects with a fourth CD due to be released this August.
Where was your first international concert?
I sang for the US Ambassador in Cairo, Egypt. I loved being in Egypt. It was so different from being in America and I enjoyed meeting the people there. It was invigorating to experience a new culture, as well as new scenery. Despite the vast difference in languages, customs, and traditions, I was able to communicate clearly through music and it immediately created new friendships. Music helps to remove any barriers that might be present otherwise; it was a great experience to witness. I’ve been hooked ever since on the idea that music spreads peace and can heal us all if we let it.
Tell us about singing in Israel.
I was able to perform a concert right on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. People from Germany and Canada also attended the concert, which made it even more diverse. The best part of singing in Israel was being able to work with Muslim and Jewish musicians during the concert. Thank goodness they spoke English so we could communicate! It’s wonderful to have friends all over the world. It was amazing to participate in a concert promoting peace through music.
What has been your favorite performance?
I don’t really have a favorite. I like living in the moment, so wherever I am singing at the time is my favorite. I recently returned from a singing tour in Chile. I felt right at home with both the choir and orchestra members that I worked with while I was there. Music opens doors. I don’t speak much Spanish, but there was a special spirit that was communicated through the music we performed. Sharing music together touched our hearts in a way that words alone are unable to express. I’d love to have the opportunity to go back again someday.
What other places have you performed?
I’ve performed in some pretty fun places. I enjoyed performing for the USO at the Wounded Warrior Center in Germany. I soloed with the Catholic Cathedral of St. Andrea Orchestra in Nesselwang, Germany. I sang the National Anthem several times for the Utah Jazz and I did a concert in the Tabernacle with Grammy Award winner Billy Dean.
Why do you like to sing?
My favorite part about singing is being able to reach people in a way that spoken words are unable to do. If I could sing all day to everyone I spoke to, I would communicate more effectively. I’d love to live my life as though I was performing in a musical all day. I enjoy being an instrument in spreading good news to people through music.
What are your goals for the future?
I really enjoy mentoring and helping youth realize their potential. I believe no matter how small we are, we can all make a big difference in the lives of other people just by doing simple things. A smile is simple, and a powerful thing. Smiling can brighten up anyone’s day, including my very own. I think too many of us forget that we are here on this earth for just a short time. I think a lot of people don’t realize what that means. To me, it means I don’t have any time to waste. I need to be the best ME I CAN BE at all times!
Vanessa will be speaking at Time to Blossom Young Women’s Conference this summer.