Interview #47: Joy Ike

I'm pretty sure Joy Ike is the reason we just had a 50 degree sping-like day in January. She is vibrant... vibrant like the sun.

I happened upon Joy's music on WYEP and she has always been a friendly face on Twitter. (Go follow Joy right now! She's always tweeting the most positive and delightful tid-bits guaranteed to make you smile.)

Luckily, when I was visiting Lancaster, PA a few weeks ago for a family get-together, my husband and I stumbled upon one of Joy's concerts at one of my favorite stores, Tellus360. Imagine a beautiful, dimly lit space with a table full of yummy food, delicious wine, friendly faces and little girls twirling and dancing to live music. It was the most charming evening!

Of course, I was blown away by Joy's performance and knew I had to meet her. Just listen:

Joy's music warms my soul and cuts straight to my heart—just like pancakes and maple syrup. [And there are few things I love as much as pancakes!]

It was great to catch up with Joy this week and get to know more about her. She's very grounded and present... two qualities I find extremely admirable.

Enjoy Joy's Q&A!


Name: Joy Ike

Job title:  Singer/Songwriter, Professional Encourager, Introverted Extrovert

Twitter: @joyike

Blog:  and

Neighborhood you live in: Squirrel Hill

Coffee Shop Drink of Choice:  Mocha Latte

Current Shampoo Preference: the one from the hotel

Why do you choose Pittsburgh as your home?
I grew up in Pittsburgh and I don’t think I will live here indefinitely but currently it’s a perfect-sized city. Not too big, not too small.

Who do you spend your time with?
Friends mostly. Friends from church and friends who I’ve met at shows who have now become friends and not fans. And young people! I love college students and kids.

What are your favorite aspects of your job?
The fact that I meet new people on an almost daily basis. It reminds me how big the world is and how small it can get when you just open your mouth and strike up a conversation with a stranger.

Do you have a soul food?
I dunno yet. I want it to be brownies but I’m a terrible baker so my last few attempts have produced less than desirable results. But in the winter, I LOVE  to make Shepherd's Pie and various soups.

What are some of your recent personal goals? 
This year my goals have been pretty simple. In the past few years I’ve had a tendency to be extremely goal oriented…to a detriment. So my more recent goals have been to learn how to trust in God instead of becoming full of myself and thinking I can do it all. So I’m making fewer lists and working on existing in fewer controlled environments. Hehe. I also have a goal to not release any music that I am not 100% happy with. Anyone who’s been in the studio knows this is a challenge because there are an infinite number of ways you can change, edit, and ’fix” a song…and by the time it’s all said and done, you don’t even really know what sounds good anymore.

What are your favorite Pittsburgh restaurants?
Lulu’s Noodles on Craig Street in Oakland is by far my favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh. I love that place and probably go there with a friend every 4-6 weeks. I also highly dig Chipotle. Maaan do I LOVE Chipotle.

Describe your ideal day. 
My ideal day, at least in Pittsburgh, is in the summer.  It involves a visit to the Strip District (favorite place in Pittsburgh), spending a few hours outdoors at an Art & Music festival, then ending the evening with dinner and a movie in the park (Flagstaff Hill). If I didn’t limit myself to Pittsburgh, my ideal day would involve living in a different country and living simpler.

My average day often looks like this:
I usually wake up sometime around 10 or 11 am, have a quiet time (do some devotionals), then jump online. I spend an average of 5 hours online responding to emails, booking, organizing show details for upcoming shows or tours, promote shows via my various social networks, create artwork for events, look into new venues and new avenues to promote my music and update my website(s). I also spend a portion of the time, blogging on my music marketing site, Grassrootsy, and responding to reader comments and questions. I usually call it quits around 4 or 5pm, cook dinner and go to my show, help out at my church’s middle school program or hang out with friends depending on the evening. Usually around 10 or 11pm-ish I hop back online for a bit to keep track of new traffic on my social media sites, respond to new emails and do things that I couldn’t get to earlier in the day.  I’m normally up till 2 or 3am watching a movie, reading a book, or doing something else. I love the nighttime because the rest of the world is asleep.

What is the most memorable live show you have seen in Pittsburgh? 
Hmmm…Its hard to say. It was probably several years back when John Mayer was at the IC Light Amphitheater. I just remember that being an incredible experience.

What do you think Pittsburgh will be like in ten years? What do you love most about the city? 
My assumption is that it will be more like a Seattle, Washington or Portland, Oregon. Honestly I’ve never been to the Northwest, but I get the feeling that we have a lot in common with those cities. What do I love most about Pittsburgh? The summers :)


Faye's picture

I like Ike & she likes me too!

I met Joy at a concert last year & had to meet her. She is inspiring, kind & keeps it real!!

This was a great read!!

Joshua Sanders's picture

One thing that comes through in this is that she is a very sweet and pleasant individual, and having met Joy I can attest that this is true!!!

Scott's picture

Love Joy Ike! Always has something upbeat or thought-provoking to say. I love soul-filled music, so I love joy ike!

Liz's picture

Joy has always been a favorite Showcase at Friday Nite Improvs. One of the performers we expect to be able to say "I knew her when..."

Shirley's picture

Love this interview. And I've been waiting all this time for someone to say they use the shampoo from the hotel room. Me too, Joy!