Premiere: Toronto’s JOYIA Releases Soulful ‘Baptism’ EP

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Toronto R&B singer, songwriter, DJ, and producer JOYIA is back with a new EP, Baptism, which dives into her upbringing in a sentimental and earnest collection of tracks.

From “Home,” a ballad that pays tribute to her family with a music video comprised of snippets of tender family moments, to “Water,” a sleek and cathartic musing about heartbreak that puts her dreamy vocals on full display, the EP shines with honesty.

Baptism represents every aspect of my life: my upbringing, my trials and tribulations, my successes; they’ve all formed the person I am today. This EP is so much more of a raw, acoustic sound than anything I’ve been making, but it speaks to exactly where I am in my life right now,” she tells Complex. “I’m stripping away all of the noise, finding who I truly am, accepting it, and celebrating it.”

Joyia looking into a mirror
Image via Kishan Mistry

“I put my heart and soul into this project. It’s the farthest I’ve pushed myself creatively—both visually and sonically,” she adds. “This is probably the most vulnerable I’ve ever been. It was scary to put all of my feelings on a page but I also feel like it removed an obstacle I had been running into for some time. The songs finally started to flow onto paper. Writing this EP was almost a spiritual experience for me. Baptism was the first name that came into my head, and it just felt like it pulled everything together.”

Clocking in at five tracks, the jazz-tinged songs slow things down to invite listeners into JOYIA’s headspace as she ponders wanting someone for a night and the fragility of trust over saxophone solos and lush harmonies.

“I hope people listen to this EP and tap into the emotions that they’re normally too scared to confront. But I hope they find comfort in it too—we all go through these things,” she says. “We all break, and we rebuild. We find ourselves only to be lost again. We all experience the highs and lows of life, and there’s not one person on this earth who hasn’t. I think that’s beautiful, and that’s what makes us human.”

Check out Baptism below:


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