Joy Valencia Announced as's Artist of the Month for September, 2010

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James Brown may have said it’s a man’s world but singer/songwriter/producer Joy Valencia is beating the boys at their own game.

The Chicago-born songstress broke all kinds of rules in her pursuit to establish her musical identity. While attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Valencia made a bold decision to change her major from Songwriting to Music Production and Engineering, where she was one of just a handful of girls in the program.

“It is a boy’s game,” Valencia said of the area of study, “but Berklee was 80% guys to begin with so I got used to it.”

According to Valencia, while she has always loved singing, she was even more intrigued by what happened behind the glass in a recording studio.

“As a kid, I used to splice together parts of different songs and make my own mixes,” Valencia said. “I also used to record myself from tape to tape, over and over again so it would sound like I had five voices.”

That desire to dig deeper into the production side of making music has helped Valencia carve out a uniquely clever sound that is all her own, one that has earned her the title of’s Artist of the Month for September 2010.

“People tend to see me as a singer/songwriter but they don’t typically see me as a producer; they don’t realize how much I do in the studio…” she said.

An avowed student of late 60’s pop and lover of all styles of music, the now L.A.-based Valencia spent the early part of her musical career as an R&B artist. But it wasn’t until recently, she said, that she found her voice as an artist.

“It’s always hard when you’re first starting out as an artist to find your own sound,” she said, “especially if you’re a fan of so many styles of music.”

That careful attention to the works of so many artists before her has helped Valencia, along with her husband and co-producer, to cultivate a fearless brand of songwriting that has her fingerprints as a producer all over it.

On “Don’t Wake the Lion,” a hypnotic tribal drum beat set behind a sparse organ drone showcases Valencia’s adept ear for crafting unexpected melodic hooks and clever lyrics, calling to mind the best of artists like Fiona Apple and Tori Amos.

Elsewhere, on tracks such as “Wallet,” Valencia shows a more playful side with a McCartney-esque ode to being broke complete with a boozy, saloon-style piano hook and delicious harmonies.

“My songs are taken from life only exaggerated,” Valencia said. “I don’t care how out there the idea is, I’ll go there.”

Valencia, however, proves that she’s just as comfortable singing tender ballads as she is about lions in her bed. “If You Love Me,” displays Valencia’s more introspective side with haunting piano lines and hushed, almost whispered vocals that feel like pillow talk.

No matter the style, Valencia is proving that her studies have paid off and the community at is hoping she keeps the tunes coming. To find out more and hear her music, check out

As Stereofame’s September 2010 Artist of the Month, Valencia will get valuable exposure to an international audience in addition to a $1,000 prize. Stereofame is a one-of-a-kind community where artists are judged objectively by the listening audience. Artists gather more points as they rise in rank and refer their fans from other sites. Plus, artists can sell their music here, too, so they’re getting serious points while making money, something iTunes doesn’t offer.

Listeners are also rewarded for their input, as they can earn points for listening to a song and giving it a “thumbs up or down,” and writing thoughtful reviews. They can help talented artists get the attention they deserve by signing artists to their virtual record label and then promoting their signed artists to their friends. Of course, fans get tons of points for buying music and bringing people to the site, too.

All these points can be cashed in for various prizes such as iPods, musical equipment, gift cards and more.

Think you’ve got what it takes to be Stereofame’s next Artist of the Month? Then go to and upload three songs to And if you’re a fan, log on to today to help some of tomorrow’s biggest and brightest stars get heard and earn some sweet prizes at the same time.


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Davis Johnson
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