Photos via Jozzy on IG / Peru Williams
“Do you believe in fate?”, Jozzy asked excitedly, as if the Memphis-bred newcomer had already let destiny decide that for her. Just days after being introduced at the Billboard Music Awards as Diddy’s inaugural signee to LOVE Records, his blossoming R&B-focused imprint embodies Jozzy in every way — staying “nostalgic, authentic and exceptional.”
However, fate isn’t the only factor for the rising star’s latest chapter, but possesses a potency and determination to become the best she can possibly be. Championing the classic vibe of late ‘90s to early 2000’s R&B, she’s not only bringing back the sound that’s desperately missing from the game, but is enticing new fans to keep her music on “Replay.”
“I wrote ‘Replay’ on May 14 of 2021, and performed it for the first time on May 15 of this year,” she said of her forthcoming single with LOVE. “It’s crazy to think about — life is really like a movie sometimes.”
Amid her full circle moment, “Replay” is just a taste of what’s to come from the acclaimed songwriter-turned-singer. While Jozzy is proving to be a true enigmatic force to be reckoned with, her ability to instantly capture your attention with an unabashed charisma and swooning vocals is prevalent on previous tracks in “Not Enough” and “Funny Friends” off her 2020 EP Soul Therapy. Ultimately, it seems to be the Dawn of a new era for both Jozzy and R&B as a whole.
“It was scary because now that the world sees me, everybody is going to have an opinion — which is great. I welcome that. I’m seeing a lot of other ‘studs’ being like ‘open the door for us’ to me and it’s beautiful seeing that. But that moment was just like unadulterated — that’s how we want our music to feel, whatever it is, you just feel it. We just put R&B on the stage at the Billboard Music Awards… and if you don’t know who I am, you know now. I’m here.”Jozzy on being introduced at the BBMAs
Touting songwriting credits for Lil Nas X, Don Toliver, 21 Savage, Summer Walker, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell Williams and many more, her transition from being the pen behind some of the industry’s recent hits to a full-blown artist has been a journey years in the making. Her BBMA performance was just the first step of many, as Jozzy explained that Diddy saw something in her that he hasn’t seen since The Notorious B.I.G. — saying that “she gives me Biggie vibes, she’s the R&B Biggie.”
“I feel like I’ve been ahead of my time. I’ve always been pushing a certain sound,” Jozzy said. “I’m not going to change who I am, and that’s why I f—k with Puff because he let Biggie be Biggie. He didn’t put him on a diet and said ‘yo, you gotta shed 30 pounds,’ like no. He let him be him. And he lets me be me to the fullest. He’s an innovator. He just gets it and he sees everything before everyone else.”
Still soaking in her time in the spotlight, Jozzy’s down-to-earth, deep-rooted nature is what separates her from any other artist in the industry. On the surface, she’s artistic to her core and as forward-thinking as ever — wholeheartedly wearing her confidence as a self-proclaimed “stud” on her sleeve. On a mission to not only make timeless R&B music, she’s here to give women the songs they long for. “I’ve always been a lover,” she revealed — cultivating a “bop” that’s specific to Jozzy’s presence and charming aura.
“What I have to give is missing in the industry. Even women singing to women is missing… I make songs for the ladies. Tupac said it best, ‘make songs for the women and the men will follow.’ To me, there’s a void missing in the game and I’m going to be the one to fill it. I just feel like with R&B, we have to protect and enjoy and understand that it’s back. There’s different types of R&B though, but what R&B are they playing in the club? It’s a certain type of bop… Everything doesn’t need to be slow and heartbreaking. You want [people] to feel good about the music they’re listening to.”Jozzy on her sound
Inspired by the likes of Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Three-Six Mafia, PARTYNEXTDOOR and others, she initially felt “jaded” to become an artist, wanting to stick to songwriting and “be cool with it.” However, her drive to evolve as an all-encompassing creative turned out to be calling from a higher power — finding a way to intertwine her paths as both a writer and artist.
“Being able to adapt is [the most important thing],” she said. “I feel like as writers we have to be the ones to adapt because we want the artist to feel comfortable with us. We have to be able to move from a rapper to a pop star like that. As an artist, I’m still in that mode of figuring it out. But, I’m blessed, I’m secure in who I am and I’m just being authentic to myself and being the truest to what I feel like people want to hear.”
“When I get in my artist bag, I dedicate [all of my energy] to it — I don’t write for anyone else.” she continued. “I’ve gotten so second nature at [writing], and I feel like God is just so good and he just talks through me sometimes… I finally feel like I found my sound, found my lane and just know where I can go and what I can do.”
Despite all that she’s accomplished, Jozzy is hungrier than ever to disrupt the status quo of the game. On the fast track to greater heights — and with Diddy and company by her side — it’s evident that Jozzy is not only breaking barriers as a woman, but is turning the pages of change in her career. All she has to do now is do what she does best: Write the rest of her story.
“I want to change the frequency of music — I’m going to change it,” she said. “We’re bringing back R&B to the fullest. We need more variation in the game… and it’s my time to show that. I’m here.”
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“My brother was a part of the Memphis sound. he was linked up with Project Pat and was shouted out by him on his ‘Mista Don’t Play ‘ album. But, it just got taken away, and he wasn’t able to flourish like he was supposed to. I saw him get locked up when I was four or five. I’m doing it for my brother, he’s out now and he watches everything I do. He wants to see paperwork, wants to know all the logistics of everything — he’s not fazed by any of this shi-t.”Her brother’s influence on her path to pursue music
“They’re trying to make it seem like our generation is the dumbest generation, when actually we’re the smartest. We are the new wave of leaders — the leaders of what’s happening now and what’s happening next. We can truly handle anything that comes our way. We have everything on the tips of our fingers, we can accomplish anything we desire. So do what you want to do so we can be as great as we’re meant to be.”Jozzy’s message for Our Generation