Samara Joy is back with another taste of her forthcoming Verve Records debut Linger Awhile, out September 16, this time reimagining Ronnell Bright’s 1960 tune “Sweet Pumpkin.” She joins a long line of musicians who have tackled the classic track including Bill Henderson, Freda Payne, Gail Wynters, Irene Reid, and more.
“All the songs that I chose for my first album were standards that I’d learned in the previous couple of years when I was in school just gathering material,” Joy told What’s Up Newp in a recent interview. “Now I’m experimenting with some new material, it falls under the same vein of standards, just different ones that maybe people haven’t heard of.”
Across the 10 songs featured on Linger Awhile, Joy puts a modern twist on the past with classic soul. The 22-year-old singer implements original lyrics across famous instrumentals using a style of music often referred to as vocalese.
Joy recorded Linger Awhile with producer Matt Pierson at New York’s Sear Sound, not all too far from her old stomping grounds in the Bronx, where she grew up. The singer joined the jazz band at the Fordham High School for the Arts and later on enrolled in SUNY Purchase’s jazz studies program.
Since taking home the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition prize while in school before graduating as the Ella Fitzgerald Scholar in 2021, Joy has reached new heights in her career, including winning over the likes of Regina King and LaKeith Stanfield as fans.
Next up, she’ll be hitting the road for an extensive tour that begins on August 26 in Atlanta, Georgia. Joy will make stops in Cincinnati, Albany, Boston, Berkeley, Albuquerque, Lisbon, Barcelona, Paris, Chicago, and more on the tour spanning through December 23. Tickets are available through the official Samara Joy website.