Joanna Marie is a singer and songwriter from Dublin, Ireland. As the naturally timid fourth-of-eleven siblings, she grew up doing more listening than talking. What most people didn’t see was the performer living inside of the small, reserved middle child. On the rare occasion that she had a room to herself, all it took was a mirror and a hairbrush to bring out her inner stage presence. She never considered sharing her talent and certainly didn’t think she would ever perform for an audience—she simply loved to sing.
Joanna describes her family as “music appreciators.” They sang for fun but didn’t play any instruments until, when she was twelve, Joanna was given a keyboard for Christmas. Motivated by the gift, she taught herself to read music. Her teenage years were full of musical revelation—her older brothers had a strong influence on her listening taste, which included Ryan Adams, Jimmy Eat World, Idlewild, and Josh Ritter, but her real catalyst into songwriting was Joni Mitchell’s album Blue. The simple elegance and honesty of the recording resonated with her, so when her oldest brother brought home a guitar one day, she was inspired to try her own hand at composition. Over time, friends encouraged her to play in public and she began to collaborate, but the longing to perform her own original music had taken root.
In her mid-twenties, Joanna took a risk by stepping out of her career as an occupational therapist to spend a year studying songwriting in the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Dublin. While in school, she met Swedish producer Ola Ersfjord who prompted her to make her mark as a solo artist. One successful crowdfunding campaign and a week of recording in Temple Lane Studios enabled Joanna to release her debut EP Cold on the Coast in July, 2014. Since then, she has also released the single Finding our Feet.
Joanna is compelled by stories, by the beauty of the natural world, and by her own everyday experiences. Music was a way for a quiet child to connect with her own voice, learning to articulate her true self. Deeply impacted by the artistic expression of others, she continues to write, hoping to be part of a meaningful encounter in someone else’s life, eager for her own authenticity to touch those who are listening.
Who does Joanna listen to?
She’s inspired by songwriters like Laura Marling, Patty Griffin, James Taylor, Carole King, Lori McKenna, Josh Ritter, Tallest Man on Earth, and Courtney Marie Andrews. A few of her favorite bands include Lord Huron, the Bahamas, First Aid Kit, and Noah and the Whale. Composer Ludovico Einaudi is a current instrumental favourite.