Only twenty years old, Joy Crookes’s soulful storytelling lyrics and smoky contralto voice demonstrate a depth and maturity beyond her age. An ode to her cultural heritage, “London Mine” provides a nod to the past, a glimpse of the present, and optimistic outlook for the future. Watch here
“London Mine” describes Crookes’s complex relationship with her hometown, addressing the positive and negative aspects of the city’s history, including the recent Windrush Scandal, and the effects of gentrification. “The song celebrates the invisible people and how London belongs to no one but everyone,” Crookes to Vogue UK. “It’s a celebration of immigrants who make up this country.”
Songwriting is a process of self-actualization and discovery for Crookes, who stresses on ensuring her lyrics encompass complete narratives and emotions. The stanza “roaming around in the moment, the streets that are tailored to no one,” portraying either the tale of a young woman’s fixation with city life or a migrant’s despair while trying to find a place to belong.
The daughter of immigrants, Crooke’s music incorporates elements from her Irish and Bangladeshi roots, upbringing in South London’s Elephant and Castle community, and political beliefs. “You’re a product of your environment,” said Crookes, “My dual identity makes me and reflects more about me as an artist.”