In 2017, I was sat in the media tent at Boardmasters Festival in Newquay just minding my own business when a lovely lady approached me and asked if I wanted to have a chat with her. We exchanged cards and she introduced herself as Joanna Cooke. We had a great chat, talking about influences and how she got into music and from that day on, I’ve always made the effort to catch her playing live wherever it may be. Her voice is incredible and coupled with her skilled piano playing, she really is becoming a tour de force!
We heard that she was performing at Boardmasters again in 2019 so thought it would be a great chance to meet up and have a chat about what the festival means to her, find out which of the other talented acts she’s looking forward to seeing and whether she does the clotted cream BEFORE the jam or vice versa, here’s how we got on….
Hey Joanna, great to see you again, how did you feel when you heard that you were going to be playing at Boardmasters Festival this year?
Ah it was really really cool, there is something about seeing your name on the poster that fuels that fire inside of me. I’m so grateful to have made the bill this year! To have the opportunity to share my music to fresh and also returning ears is a sweet feeling indeed.
Please take this opportunity to sell yourself and convince people WHY they need to make sure they’re in the Net Loft when you’re performing….
My music is modern and soulful which has been shaped by gritty blues, gospel & jazz Influences and I also love the pulse of dance music! So there are influences of all those & people say it’s music to chill to as well which I love to hear. I’ve been compared to a few like Lianne La Havas ,Amy WineHouse, Jess Glynne Adele & even Becky Hill
I can’t wait to share my own sound / style & songs at this years festival. My up and coming release is a track from my third EP called ‘Some Say’ which is a great summer tune with a message close to my heart! ‘Some will say this, some will say that but in the end ..it’s your life to live’. I’ll be playing some brand new tunes plus songs from all three of my records.
The Net Loft is a lovely intimate stage, you can come and chill with a drink and some food if you wanted to escape from the fast pace of the main site which is a lovely contrast. With a few steps through the canvas doors you sample amazing artists on the up, it’s awesome to think who has played on that stage over the years – I can’t wait to return!!
Have you played there or attended the festival as a punter before?
I played 2 years ago on the same stage during the daytime and loved every second of it, the crowd were warm and loud and I sold loads of my EP’s.
I also got the chance to hang out with Andy C later on and watch his show from backstage in the main arena. The place was full to bursting. We had a collaboration coming out at the time he played live that night, it was a truly magical moment to see so many bodies enjoying our track!
You’re performing on the Net Loft stage alongside some incredible bands and artists, which others are you keen to check out whilst you’re there?
I’m hoping to be able to see all of the acts on the same night as me as I’m on late on the (Wednesday) so I’m looking forward to getting there early and hearing the likes of Joe Hurworth and the lovely Lucy Anna again! I’ve never heard Mog Jones live or Jeanie Naylor so I’m especially excited to hear them too. So much talent on this stage. I’m hoping to catch Sadie Horler, Jamie Yost, The Trees & Shakin Jake Landers to name a few! The incredible Haunt The Woods & Milo Gore are also playing later on during the festival; Make sure you pop along to see these guys if you can.
The festival attracts over 50,000 people every year, what do you think it is that keeps people coming back time and time again?
It’s a huge site of rolling fields with a wonderful seascape as its backdrop. Securing big acts as well as giving up and coming artist like me a stage is a great asset to Cornwall & the Boardmasters team. A great place for younger audiences experience the festival atmosphere with friends after months of study and hard work too. So much to see & do for all ages, all within a safe and clean environment.
There are some pretty incredible acts performing this year, tell me some of the bigger names that you’re keen to check out….
Florence & The Machine is a big one for me. Plan B I saw at Glastonbury years ago so he would be amazing to see again. Dermot Kennedy, Sam Fender, a Dj set from Rudimental would be ace & not forgetting the amazingly talented Ferris & Sylvester. I supported them last year in St Agnes ,they were incredible.
A lot of the performers on the Net Loft stage this year are from Devon and Cornwall, how would you describe the music scene where you come from?
There are so many wonderfully varied acts coming out of the south west at the moment, it’s full of talent across loads of genres from Folk to Rock, Jazz to Soul, Electronic too & Blues being a big anchor in the scene down here. It seems everyone can sample a slice with acts like Wildwood Kin leading the way and playing some amazing shows on bigger stages. It’s really cooking down here.
Whilst in Cornwall, I hope you’ll be partaking in a cream tea, a walk on the beach and maybe a surfing lesson?
Surfing would be amazing If I could refrain from taking 3 hours to get in the sea. Walking is something I enjoy immensely being from Lyme Regis originally, so with such beautiful views I'll be sure to indulge myself followed by a cream tea of course! (Cream first I’m afraid) - That’s our girl (editor)
Lastly, please tell us where people can keep up to date with you on social media….
Keep up to date with my whereabouts at the following sites;
We’d like to thank Joanna for sparing her time to chat to us, we love watching her perform live and seeing her at Boardmasters a couple of years ago just proved to me that there IS real talent in the west country and she is very much leading the charge.
Catch her live in the Net Loft from 11pm on Wednesday 7th August, you can thank me later!
Interview by Steve Muscutt