Gary Andrews says: “It was a pleasure to illustrate the twelve tracks on this album, listening to the songs, Joanna’s voice and concept for the album made it a delight to draw. As a recently widowed father of 2 young children, the songs had a particular resonance for me and reminded me of of times my wife and I spent with our children and the music we’d listen to. It’s brilliant that the album has the ‘family’ at the heart of it, it will appeal to all ages and bring back many memories for all.”
The album is produced by world renowned orchestrator, conductor and pianist, Robert Emery (Sir Simon Rattle, Russell Watson, Stewart Copeland and Jim Steinman) and was recorded at Angel Road Studios.
Joanna was born in Epping in Essex and vividly remembers watching the pioneer of cross-over Sarah Brightman perform in ‘Song & Dance’ on TV. As soon as she could she trained at the Italia Conti Academy for Theatre Arts. She made her West End debut at 13 years old at The Dominion Theatre and worked non-stop in theatre and musical productions up and down the country until her career, and life, was nearly cut tragically short.
Aged just 21, Joanna was diagnosed with breast cancer, making her one of the youngest ever sufferers of the disease. Surviving so much so young shaped the way she came to see the fragility of life and the sanctity of childhood. These are lessons that she is very happy to talk about as they inspired a lot of her creative work, and she hopes that her experiences and music might help inspire anyone else suffering with their own cancer battle. Away from the stage and studio she has also become an ambassador for CoppaFeel and other important cancer charities. That philanthropic work is every bit as important to her as her work in music.
In 2014, Joanna first burst into the world of classical crossover following a successful West End career in both musical and straight theatre. Her first public performance as a crossover artist was in duet with Britain’s Got Talent megastar, Paul Potts, at The Palace Theatre, London. Since then Joanna has worked with world renowned orchestrator, conductor and pianist Robert Emery. He acted as her arranger and producer with the City of Prague Philharmonic and Arts Symphonic Orchestras and with her on her debut album Stars Are Rising, as well as on two singles; fully orchestrated arrangements of Bowie’s Life on Mars? and Slade’s How Does it Feel?
Joanne shot to fame in 2017 when she became the first independent artist to get straight to Number 1 in the Official Classical Album Charts with a début album. The critically acclaimed record, Stars Are Rising, was made “Album of the Week” in The Sunday Mirror and received exceptional reviews in the music, national and global press. Further number 1’s in the iTunes and Amazon Classical Album Charts followed and she spent that summer performing to thousands of fans as she toured her album and headlined Proms concerts across the country.
She also recorded two high profile recordings that were released in the Autumn and Winter of 2017. The Royal Platinum Love Song, which recorded in duet with Daniel Koek to celebrate 70 years of marriage between The Queen and Prince Philip, went straight to Number 1 in the Classical singles chart and garnered global media coverage and acclaim.
Joanna has also appeared on the Paul McCartney backed “Choirs with Purpose” Stand Together album as one of 10 celebrity singers where, on her track, she led a 600 strong choir. She is also a regular on BBC’s Songs of Praise.