• Andy Shearer

Day 445 - Helicopter Girl: Angel City

Helicopter Girl aka Jackie Joyce grew up in Perth and has established herself as a hugely distinctive and enigmatic artist. After spells with Mouth Music and Ambisonic, her debut solo album How To Steal The World earned a Mercury Prize nomination in 2000. Angel City was a massive radio hit from her 2005 album Voodoo Chic and its stylish video richly deserves another look and listen.

Mercury Prize nominated Scots/Ghanaian singer Jackie Joyce aka Helicopter Girl grew upin Perth, Scotland and stood out from the crowd for more reasons than the colour of her skin and distinctive looks. Her rich, cracked, bluesy singing voice attracted comparisons to classic artists such as Eartha Kitt and Billie Holiday yet her inspiration came from surreal and fantastical subjects which would in turn lead her to embrace the freedom of expression within electronic music. Joyce formed a band called Ambisonic who popped out a few dancefloor delights in the late nineties, their biggest track Helicopter Kinda Girl gave birth to Joyce’s alter ego of Helicopter Girl. Like her mysterious persona, Joyce remains something of a gorgeous enigma, a cosmopolitan, ethereal figure with her roots firmly planted in Scotland; her lyrics deliberately full of subtle ambiguities, her music like an audio-mist through the ears of the listener.

Helicopter Girl’s solo debut album How To Steal The World was Mercury Prize nominated in 2000 and Jackie’s talent was applauded by the press with critical acclaim from Q Magazine to Touch Magazine, with a large feature in The Guardian praising her imagination and originality within pop music and her achievement as an outsider. Her second album Voodoo Chic featured a huge airplay hit Angel City and Helicopter Girl continued to produce a wealth of music including the song Don’t Come Around Here No More, a co-write and duet with fellow Scottish popster Rod Stewart!

She then took herself on a musical and personal voyage back to find her family origins in Ghana where Jackie met her father for the first time and she returned with even more passion and inspiration for her 2008 album, Metropolitan. Her most recent recording, Wanda Meant was released in 2015.

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