BUFFALO, NY - Venzella Joy Williams, better known as 'Joy the Drummer' is a Western New York native and proud of it! She's definitely making a mark in the music industry as the female drummer for music superstar Beyonce.
"I said One day I'm going to play for Beyonce and I don't know when it will happen, I don't know how, I just know someday that it actually will," said Venzella Joy.
The Western New York native first performed with Beyonce at the White House for First Lady Michelle Obama's 50th birthday party. "I was so super excited," said Joy. After the performance Beyonce told her she did a great job. It wasn't long before she was on the road performing with Queen Bey for the On The Run and The Mrs. Carter show world tour.
Working with Beyonce is not just a dream, but a learning experience, "to see the queen's vision come to life with not only the music, but with the lighting, and the staging and content, it inspires me to know that what I see creatively in my mind,can actually come to pass," said Joy. "The work ethic in that camp is extraordinary, during our rehearsal we're very productive we have fun, because we're passionate about what we're doing."
Venzella Joy was born in Lockport and raised in Buffalo where she attended Nardin Academy and Canisius College. Her musicianship started early while attending Prince of Peace Church in Buffalo. In an interview with Channel 2's Claudine Ewing, she recalled how her late mother sent a note to the organist about Joy's love of music. It wasn't long before she became the head church drummer.
Adversities and challenges didn't stop Joy from achieving her dreams. "My mom was definitely my best friend, she just encouraged me and inspired me to do a lot. She knew that my dream was to pursue music, but she also encouraged me to get an education as well. My mother passed in 2009, which was my junior year at Canisius, which was a super challenge, but just knowing the emphasis she put on education and success, that was also something that kind of encouraged me to graduate that following year in 2010."
A long journey from Christmas 1998 when Joy, just 10-years old received a shiny red drum set. A holiday gift she will never forget.
When asked about drummers she admires she mentioned "Buddy Rich, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl and Sheila E."
Her advice to young artists "envision it, work at it and it will come true. The formula to me would be strong faith and hard work."
The love of drums is something Venzella Joy shares in drum clinics across the country.
Venzella Joy currently lives in Los Angeles. She is also a songwriter and singer. When she isn't working with Beyonce she works with other artists.
Before the end of the year she hopes to return to Buffalo and perform. "I would definitely like to be involved in the music and arts in Buffalo, I think it's important. I'm passionate about it, what better place to be involved than in my hometown."
Venzella Joy has released new music where she is singing and playing the drums. The single is called "Live" on Orange Moon:The Unwritten Phase. It's available on iTunes and all other digital music stores.