We’re almost done with the year and rising British musician flowerovlove is going out on a high. The 18-year-old singer, born Joyce Cisse, who debuted onto the scene in the summer of 2020, is already two EPs deep into her career but has spent the past 12 months in what some might consider her “singles era,” releasing the optimistic, cute, indie-pop tunes “Love You,” “Next Best Exit,” and “Coffee Shop” — all of which have added another layer to the wide-ranging “flowerovlove universe” that fans have been immersed in.
Her most recent offering, the euphoric and hopeful “a girl like me,” released last month, has proved to be one of her most successful, becoming her biggest debut to date. Reflecting on the writing process, Joyce knew there was something special about the track, and luckily for her, she didn’t have to wait too long to put it out. “Very, very fortunately, it was one that I wrote like a month before it came out, which made it really fresh,” she tells EUPHORIA. “I had a crush on a boy and I was just like, ‘I’m just gonna write a song.’ The title came to me first. It was the first time I wrote a song writing the title first and then I just let the story unfold. It came together really quickly. It was a really fun writing process, which is why I love it.”
As she prepares for what should be her breakthrough year, let’s go back to how things got started. Joyce entered the scene as a 15-year-old school student, releasing her first song, “Kiss & Chase,” in July 2020. Admittedly, the attempt to carve out a career while still in education wasn’t the easiest challenge. “I’d say it was quite stressful, but I think people at school were really excited and tried to be friends with me and stuff,” Joyce recalls. “What I didn’t like was that teachers would treat me differently from other students when they found out, which is why I didn’t wanna be there anymore. It just felt totally fake. It was hard to make friends because you didn’t know who actually wanted to be your friend or just wanted to be associated with you.”
Last year, Joyce dropped out of school so she could solely focus on her career and give it all the attention it deserves. However, it’s bittersweet, as she admits she has FOMO from time to time. “If I didn’t drop out, I would’ve still been in school now. I would’ve been going to uni. I miss sitting at the lunch table with my friends. I miss seeing my friends every day. That’s the main thing,” Joyce says. “I don’t miss not being able to wear what I want to wear or having to wake up at 7 am. I don’t miss being obligated to do things, you know? I wanna do things by choice.”
Joyce knew she wanted to sing professionally from the age of six, but didn’t think it was a possible dream to achieve. That’s why she had her heart set on being a model if the music thing didn’t work out. Luckily for her, Joyce made both happen. She’s already modeled for Gucci and walked in XULY.Bët’s show during Paris Fashion Week. Even by simply scrolling through her Instagram feed, it’s clear that Joyce embraces individuality and has a unique flair that is unmatched. “I just wanna be a fashion icon. That’s the dream,” she states. “I just wanna make people cry with my fashion, you know what I mean? I wanna make myself cry. If my outfit doesn’t get complimented in public, I’m like, ‘Does this fit really eat though?’ [laughs].”
Joyce insists that being welcomed into the world of fashion was no coincidence. “I started manifesting,” she reveals. “I felt really big into manifestation. And I wrote down in my journal, ‘I will do a Gucci campaign by this month, blah, blah, blah.’ And then I got an email from this casting director, she saw me on Instagram, and she was like, ‘Oh, we’re doing this Gucci campaign, and we think you’d be perfect for it. Let me know your height and measurements.’ I don’t think it was like a by-chance thing or a luck thing. I think it was more me literally manifesting it and claiming it. I was like, ‘This is mine and I want it, so it’s gonna happen.’”
Even though she’s big on setting herself monumental goals, Joyce is a firm believer that all the manifesting should be done privately to avoid a curse. “I don’t tell anyone until it’s happened because that could jinx it,” she says. “I don’t tell anyone anything. Like even my close friends, I won’t tell them, ‘Oh, I’m working on this right now.’ I have to wait until I’ve shot it. I have to wait until it’s edited. I have to wait till I get the final photos. I have to wait till I get the confirmation date and I won’t even tell them until it’s out.”
With school officially out of the picture, and now over three years deep into her music career, the London-born songstress is ready to show what she is capable of in the form of an album. Following her two 2021 EP releases, Think Flower and A Mosh Pit In The Clouds, Joyce’s next goal is to put out an LP. She makes it clear that when that time comes, she’s not going to be settling for anything less than what she deserves. “I don’t see the point in making an album if it doesn’t go to number one. It just feels like a waste of time. That’s a big statement to say what I just said, but I do back that 100 percent. An album is so expensive to make. I don’t think anyone or the fans know how much time and effort it takes, it sucks so much out of you to make an album. It’s like your first baby. Why shouldn’t it go number one?” Joyce says.
That yet-to-be-released album is still a work in progress. However, she insists listeners aren’t going to be waiting too long for it to arrive. “There’s no strict deadline, but it’s definitely gonna be ready very soon. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna release it very soon though. I just need to be ready,” Joyce states. “It’s not something I’m giving my entire life to and I don’t wanna dwell on the first album. I just wanna do it and make sure it’s perfect, but not spend two years on it.” She teases that she has several working titles for the album, but the one that currently stands consists of one word and a number. “I guess when all the songs have come I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, this is the name,’” she says.
Agreeing that “a girl like me” showcases a poppier side to her artistry, Joyce reveals more of what can be expected on the album. “I love pop music, that’s the thing. On my Spotify Wrapped, pop was my most listened-to genre,” she says. “I definitely think it’ll be shifting a lot more into pop, but there’ll always be that little sprinkle of indie in it or a little sprinkle of alternative.”
As she privately manifests big things for 2024, Joyce reveals some of the things she’s hoping the forthcoming year will bring. “I actually did a headline tour early last year, but it was really small. I guess I’m always hoping for something bigger, but that’s in everything. I’m hoping to bring in more people, get a bigger audience, have more people love the music, have more people discover me, everything,” she says. With temperatures dropping rapidly in the UK, she is also wanting there to be snow. Somehow, we can picture all of the above happening.