Born in South London to a Bangladeshi mother and Irish father, Joy Crookes first gained interest in music after attending a jazz and blues workshop. After teaching herself how to play guitar, piano and bass, Crookes began uploading songs to YouTube in her early teens. Things really exploded in 2017 when she performed her track "Mother May I Sleep With Danger" along with her guitar player Charles J Monneraud on the YouTube channel Colors. She released "Anyone But Me," a song about her battles with mental health, on April 10, 2020.
Crookes has suffered from mental health issues since before she was a teenager.
Seven years strong with my therapy
Making mosaics of my memories
Said Crookes to the BBC: "It's something I've battled with for a long time. I remember when I was 12, I rang up the NHS and said, 'I can't get out of bed. I'm not ill, I haven't got a cold, I just can't get out of bed.' And the guy on the other end of the phone said, 'Ah, have you heard of depression?'"
Crookes often feels like there's another person living in her head and finds comfort and release in music and in having conversations with the people around her. "I am still learning how to completely articulate what goes on in my mind," she said. "Being able to have these important conversations has been challenging and I guess that's why I always turned to music."