Armand Joubert (also known as AJ) is a South African rising singer-songwriter and performing artist who is climbing to the top quicker than a ray of light. He came onto the music scene with a big bang on The Voice Season 2 and has been winning over listeners’ hearts ever since.
The Muse Culture had the pleasure of holding an exclusive interview with Armand Joubert and speaking about his latest release (a cover of pop icon Madonna‘s ‘Ray of Light’), his journey as an artist so far, and his ambitions for his music career.
Let’s get into it!
For our readers who are meeting you for the first time… Who is Armand Joubert? If you had a biography, what would the title and first sentence be?
Armand Joubert is a pop artist with music that can impact a whole new generation with those vocals, storytelling in songwriting, and as a performer of note! If I had a biography it would be titled: I’ve Paid My Dues and it would be about my journey to success. They say it takes 10 years to become an overnight success. Well… I’ve paid my dues, my time is now.
You just released a cover of iconic pop diva Madonna’s song ‘Ray of Light’ and mentioned that the song choice was inspired by the comfort it gave you during a shift on your 26th birthday after overcoming many hardships in life. Can you tell us what inspired the shift? How do you think the song has inspired change for you as a person and as an artist?
‘Ray of Light’ has allowed me to walk in my freedom, knowing that I am strong and on the right path. Not even the mistakes that I’ve made can take away what’s coming my way and what’s meant for me. I’m guided by the divine light of the universe. This song has changed my life.
As the song lyrics state, you are rising to the top quicker than a ray of light. Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years?
Selling out stadiums and arenas all across the globe and selling millions of records.
Besides Madonna, do you have any artists that you look up to musically? If so, do you have plans to release more covers of their songs in the future?
I have so many incredible artists who I have looked up to over the years. But the person whose music has inspired me the most and has had such an immense influence on my music, is Mariah Carey. I would love to cover my own rendition of ‘My All’.
And more locally, are there any South African artists that you would like to collaborate with?
Oh yes! Dope Saint Jude, Lee Cole, Janie Bay, Moonchild.
Many of your fans got to know you from your time on The Voice Season 2. How would you say you have grown musically from then until now?
Wow. I feel like a totally different person since then. I’ve come so much into my own and, that alone, I think is the biggest growth and people can hear it in my music.
As an artist who is part of the LGBTQI+ community, what role do you think you play in the music industry?
Impact is the most important thing to me as an artist and I really hope that i can be that for the community because I’m proud to have a space in this industry as a fully queer artist. I want to create more spaces for the next generation coming after me. And a safe one!
You’ve tried a number of concepts and styling throughout your career so far. Are there any concepts you’d still like to try?
Oh absolutely! I would love to do a jazz record one day.
Which concept or musical style do you think suits you best?
Definitely pop music and R&B.
Can you give us a look at some of your music plans for 2022? What can fans look forward to seeing from you this year?
What my fans can expect from me this year is a side to me that I haven’t shared yet. A vulnerable and very raw side expressed through my music. I want to tell my story of what happened to me as a child.
You sing in English for the majority of the time. Some fans might be curious about how you chose to create music in English considering your name in a South African context. Can you please tell us how you made that decision? Do you have any future plans to release Afrikaans music?
My name is actually French but I was raised in an Afrikaans house. I don’t believe in stereotypes and that you have to change yourself to fit in. I love my name and I love the kind of music that I make. People will resonate with me because of my voice and the way I make them feel through my music, not because of what kind of name I have.
Your albums have interesting titles such as “Flamboyant” and “You’re Too Theatrical”, etc. How do come up with your album names? Are there any interesting stories behind them?
I named both of my albums through trauma slurs people use to call me in this industry. The industry told me i will never make it because I’m Too Theatrical or Flamboyant. But then one day i realised. Yes I am both of those things and I’m going to take back my power and name my albums that.
We love to see everything that Armand stands for and are looking forward to seeing the greatness that Armand will achieve in the future!
You can also look forward to his new single dropping on April 22 called ‘I GOT YOU’!