When it comes to 2019 breakthrough artists, Joy Crookes is leading the pack. She’s been making her way around the London scene for the last few years, but this year has seen an explosion of long-deserved recognition. Witty, wry, and raspy — she has a presence and a talent far beyond her years. Her new EP, Reminiscence, is finally getting the attention that her talent has been beckoning for. Though she has a strong series of songs in her repertoire, Since I Left You is a perfect introduction to the mature, powerful, but still playful sound that Crookes offers. Understated musical accompaniment lets the controlled nuance of her voice really tell a story — and the video is simple, charismatic, and hugely effective.

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Joy Crookes pulls from English and Bangladeshi heritages for a totally unique vision and outlook. She speaks to today’s audience while still drawing from the past and her music is grounded in female strength. “I came back a different person,” she said of a visit to Bangladesh. “Everything made sense, it made me understand my mum’s beauty… not the way she looks but the way she carries herself, why my grandma is the way she is, why my own mannerisms are the way they are. I grew up in a Bengali household, it’s part of who I am and it’s us three, we’re the women in the family, me my mum and my grandma, my family are run on women”. And she’s exactly the strong female voice we’re looking for in 2019.