As a Playlist Specialist at Control Play, one of the great things I get to do on a daily basis is spending time listening to new music and determining what songs might be great soundtracks for the bars and restaurants that use our service. Often that means listening to the latest release from a chart topping artist, or a song that’s starting to crack the charts after blowing up on some social media platform. But sometimes you have the good fortune of finding one of the next greats… and that was the case with Joy Crookes
Joy Crookes is a 23 year old native of London, England, with an Irish-Bangladeshi background that informs a lot of her music. Belying her twenty-three years, Joy Crookes is what one might call an old soul. At age 13 she was attending blues and jazz workshops and uploading Ray Charles covers to YouTube
But her musical influences extend far beyond just old blues standards. Describing herself as a big fan of punk and post-punk, she once surprised an unsuspecting hero of hers, Mick Jones of the Clash, in a chance encounter in the streets of London.
But how does all this translate into the perfect playlist for bars, restaurants, and entertainment centers? It’s that very versatility that keeps her sound from being limited to one audience demographic. Although she’s often compared to Amy Winehouse, and rightly so, her biggest single to date found its home near the top of the dance charts:
When your guests hear a Joy Crooke song playing, they may not immediately recognize the identity of the singer. But what they will recognize, depending on that guest’s frame of reference, is the classic soul influences, the punk attitude, the Amy Winehouse vocal stylings, and even nods to modern hip-hop and alternative R&B:
(Oh yeah, and she plays her own instruments.)
So when’s the perfect time to play Joy Crookes in your restaurant? Thanks to her versatility, a song like When You Were Mine might be a perfect selection for your weekend brunch playlist.
Something a bit more upbeat and dance-y like Feet Don’t Fail Me Now would be a great addition to a hip happy hour playlist. Or a song such as Trouble, midtempo and soulful, would be great for a more upscale but still fun dinner vibe.