In The Bustle Booth With Vance Joy

Ashley Batz/Bustle
Share

When celebrities hang out with Bustle editors, we want to give them the chance to leave their mark. Literally. So we hand them a pen, a piece of paper, a few questions, and ask them to get creative. The rest is up to them. This time singer Vance Joy is leaving his mark in the Bustle Booth.

Australian-born Vance Joy (real name James Keogh) wants people to remember him as being kind, and that's definitely the impression he leaves while at the Bustle office. Even in his Bustle Booth image, his arms are outstretched, inviting you in for a hug and a chance to get to know him better. That opportunity to get to know him is what the Bustle Booth is for: Learning about one's fears, coffee order, favorite emoji — you know, all the most important things.

Keogh isn't exactly a man of few words, but of thoughtful ones. He doesn't rush to say anything and thinks about what leaves his mouth before he says it. It's why his songs (like smash hit "Riptide" and new single "Lay It On Me") have such an intimacy to them — you can tell he really poured his heart and soul into each of the lyrics. So, it makes sense that one of Keogh's idols is a writer, specifically Kurt Vonnegut.

"He's the man," Keogh says of the author. "He has a very awesome take on the world, great sense of humor — he's not a high-and-mighty guy." One could really say the same of Keogh, who, despite being a mega star on the rise, is friendly and down to Earth. That same unassuming nature is highlighted in the rest of Keogh's Bustle Booth.

In it, he explains that he has "mild Frisbee powers," meaning he can bounce a Frisbee off the ground, likes espresso, and is scared of pet cemeteries — which, aren't we all?

Austin Courrege/Bustle

Keogh also elaborates on why he drew a stick figure on a skateboard, noting that it's a reference to his own time spent learning how to ride one when he had downtime while working on his songs. "I did a bit of practice. I'm not very good, but I did try to learn a few tricks," he says. "I kind of got obsessed with it a bit ... it's such a good feeling if you land a trick." Though he notes that learning things like kick flips doesn't come without some terrifying moments. "I'm still a scaredy-cat," he admits. "[Skateboarding is] kind of scary, but it's awesome."

The thrills that come with skateboarding would fit well thematically with Keogh's favorite movie quote, which is from The Shawshank Redemption: "Get busy living, or get busy dying." There's no denying that Keogh has certainly been busy living — he's a celebrated musical artist with huge hits under his belt and he even got to open for Taylor Swift on her 1989 tour. He speaks highly of Swift, calling her "totally chill ... friendly and funny." He adds, "She was very friendly, and she made time [for me] and was always very generous to me and gave me great shout outs. In Melbourne she did a big shout out for me, because it's my hometown, and she met my parents after the show."

With that kind of an experience kicking off Keogh's rapidly rising career, things are certainly looking up. He's got a new single out and an album on the way, which he promises is almost done and should be out early in 2018. All in all, it's a good time to be a Vance Joy fan, and an even better time to be Vance Joy.