Interview: Joanne

Adelaide’s Feast Festival has returned in full force as it celebrates 21 years of supporting the LGBTIQ community and celebrating pride and diversity. Joining in on last weekend’s massive opening festivities was Joanne, a seasoned homegrown singer and ARIA award winner who you will probably remember best for her 1998 banger, ‘Jackie’. We sit down with the woman behind the music herself to chat about how it feels to be back in Adelaide, what she loves and loathes about the 90s as well as her stance on Australia’s current climate and debate about marriage equality.

Hey Joanne, how does it feel to be back in Adelaide? When was the last time you were here?

It has been exactly 1 year since I was last here (touring with Vengaboys). So happy that I get to share my old skool tunes with the fans at Feast and give a little more to Adelaide this time around!!

You’ve had an incredible career – ARIA wins, performing alongside amazing artists – we know it’s like picking a favourite child but is there a highlight that you’ll always remember?

It seems obvious, but the Aria win in 1999 was definitely a moment that played out in slow motion. I was genuinely excited to be nominated and to perform that year. I did not expect the win. It was so humbling and such an honour to be placed in the same category as other fantastic Australian artists. Unforgettable!

You first came to fame in the 90s and now we’re having a bit of a 90s resurgence in fashion, is there something you loved and loathed from then that has now made its way back?

I loved street gear in the 90s, and am so glad that some brands are still creating amazing high top sneakers, varsity jackets and bombers. (Eg. Adidas and Stussy).

I loathed the 90s pencil thin eyebrow – I am still waiting for mine to grow back!!!

You obviously have a great relationship with Feast Festival, how does it feel to be apart of it for their 21st birthday?

I am truly honoured to be part of the event and have met so many amazing people as a result of my affiliation with Feast.

We’re going through a strange time in Australia with the marriage quality vote, and you have a really strong relationship with the LGBTQI community, how important is it to you that we get that message out there that everyone deserves to love?

Life is short and we are all blessed. Everyone does deserve to be loved and to have a chance to commit, build a future and feel fulfilled. I think that happiness and equality is always worth fighting for.

What’s next for you after your Feast appearance? We hear that you’re making new music – what can we expect from the record?

My new music will still have that ‘Joanne’ flava and will always be positive, uplifting and of course, get people moving on the dancefloor! But, now that I am older, I have a lot more to say and am also far more comfortable saying how I truly feel – that will be a ‘plus’ this time around.

The Feast Festival runs until Sunday 26 November. See the full lineup here.