In a world afraid to express emotion, music is an art form from which the soul cannot hide. Through her songs, Milan Joan bares her soul for the world’s enjoyment, having found the courage to do so through her passion for this art. Though she readily admits that she’d love to one day win a Grammy, Joan is quoted to say, “My passion for music is rooted in my hope to inspire others to follow their dreams in the same way my mom inspired me.”

Though she had been playing with lyrics from a very young age, Joan only became actively interested in song writing when she began taking guitar lessons at 13. Now, however, Joan draws inspiration from almost everything. She uses music as a means of expression and can often be seen jotting down a spark of inspiration on anything that happens to be at hand, with the intention of working on it later.

When asked, Joan could not give an accurate estimation of how many songs she is currently composing, explaining that she had countless which were only half completed, and more still that she could no longer find. Joan will be the first to admit that she struggles to keep track of all her ideas and should to start carrying a notebook with her, instead of writing her inspiration on random near-by napkins.

Joan’s passion for music was inspired and encouraged by her late mother, who passed away from cancer in 2014. Having been taught to read music before she could properly read the written word, Joan now uses her gift to honor her mother’s memory. Joan’s love for music was further inspired by her grandfather, who unfortunately passed away before he was able to witness her perform in public. Indeed, he passed away before he was able to hear her sing at all, for Joan was too shy to sing in front of anyone until she was 16.

To Joan music is everything and can be found everywhere if only one were to stop and listen. “It breaks the boundaries of speech,” she explained over a steaming cup of green tea, “You don’t have to understand the lyrics or the language to understand what the music’s saying. It’s a feeling. An international language that everybody loves.”

In an effort to reach as many people as possible, on both a local and international platform, Joan decided to focus more on English music for the time being, but has by no means turned her back on Afrikaans. This decision is supported by Zandkloof Independent Records, a record label whose songs are already available internationally on both iTunes and Spotify, and with whom Joan was signed in June of this year (2016).

Under this label, Joan has recently finished writing and recording a collaboration single called Drunk Smiles with music producer Archie Marais, and is currently working on a single of her own.

By Taylor Storm