As a trailblazer, the genre-morphing singer, songwriter and producer, JOI, has always been ahead of the mainstream cultural and artistic landscape. Debuting with the 1994 critically acclaimed The Pendulum Vibe (Limp/EMI), JOI and producer Dallas Austin created a sharp, kaleidoscopic set of unclassifiable jams (soon-after dubbed ‘Neo-Soul’) powered by lead single “Sunshine & the Rain”. The protest-fueled song was critically acclaimed and remains a staple at her live experiences to this day. An all-black, all-woman version of the album cut “Freedom” was issued for Mario Van Peebles’ film, “Panther”. Mary J Blige, En Vogue, TLC, and a teenage Aaliyah were among the 60+ featured vocalists.
Within just a few short years, JOI became one of the first black models in a major Calvin Klein ad campaign (CK One), married then-husband Big Gipp of Goodie Mob, and birthed daughter Keypsiia Blue Daydreamer. She independently released the adventurous Rock/Funk skewing sophomore album Amoeba Cleansing Syndrome in 1997. Backed by indie rock collective Fishbone & produced by Dallas Austin, the album was an instant classic amongst those blessed with copies of the once-bootlegged project. Gilliam worked on projects for the likes of Goodie Mob, Outkast, Curtis Mayfield George Clinton and others after the album’s tour cycle ended.
During the 2000’s, JOI was signed to the Universal label that produced the funky effort Star Kitty’s Revenge, her most commercially viable album to date. Star Kitty featured signature tunes “Lick,” “Techno Pimp,” and “Jefferson St. Joe”, an ode to her father Joe Gilliam, the NFL’s first black starting quarterback. Soon, JOI was asked to join R&B super-group Lucy Pearl alongside Raphael Saadiq and Ali Muhammad. The trio would perform on Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno & release two singles (“Without You” & “You”) before disbanding indefinitely. In 2006, she independently released the emotional tour-de-force Tennessee Slim Is The Bomb under her own Joilicious Records imprint. She subsequently promoted the album with an extensive US tour.
The last decade has found JOI free of the fledgling label system and fully immersed in Artisan Polishing, her performance mastery and vocal personalization classes where she educates established and developing talents.. Additionally, DJ’ing and vocal work on productions by Max Martin (Ariana Grande, Tori Kelly), Polow Da Don (Monica, Chris Brown) and others. A 20th Anniversary world tour with Outkast preceded her own #20YearsOfJOI show, celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Pendulum Vibe. Joi documented the show for a soon to-be-released feature. A 2015 European tour with D’Angelo And The Vanguard kept Joi (Vanguard vocalist) performing internationally much of the year while continuing on her #20YearsOfJoiAndCounting tour throughout the states.
In March 2016, Joi was featured in “The Art of Organized Noize” documentary chronicling the origins and legacy of the Dungeon Family’s sound and how the Atlanta-based collective changed music forever. Between solo tour dates, she plans to complete recording her highly anticipated fifth solo effort, S.I.R. Rebekkah HolyLove, for Sept. 2017 release. Joi’s music continues to influence culture and soundtrack our lives with placements on film and television including Lifetime’s With This Ring (“I Love You Forever, Right Now” & “I’m So Famous”) and Love By The 10th Date (“I’m So Famous”), as well as Netflix’s Dear White People (“Freedom” – Ep. 4).