When she is not performing live on stage at different venues, Joy Black is collaborating with artists in the studio by strumming her violin to add her flavor to songs or working on a myriad of covers featured on her Instagram and her YouTube channel.

But this young violinists dreams are still manifesting as we speak and she has overcome a lot in her personal life to get to this point in her musical career. She managed to gain the attention of a music producer recently who made the beat for Ludacris’ “Move B****” (Get Out The Way)” from a simple IG post. And continues to cover other popular songs from all genres including hip hop and pop.

Joy Black meets Usain Bolt at a private event.

She is still growing as a rising and respected violinist nationwide, performing at private events for major brands like Gatorade’s Super Bowl 54 media party where she was able to meet track legend Usain Bolt.

“Gatorade reached out to me and I got to play for the Patriots for a private dinner,” she says. “I got to meet Usain Bolt and other Super Bowl champions. They could have gotten any violinist and they chose me.”

Unexpectedly, she ran into two iconic R&B singers backstage and one gave her inspirational words that confirmed she was on the right path by using her gift.

“MC Lyte was there and Monica Brown was there,” Black says while reminiscing about her Essence and Ford event. “Backstage I was getting ready to perform, and I wasn’t paying any attention to what was going on around me.  And then I hear somebody walking up recording me and I look up and it’s MC Lyte recording me on her IG live and she said ‘this is only the beginning’ and then we took a picture.”

Black has even serenaded a large crowd at Essence and Ford Motor’s “My City 4 Ways” tour, at which she humbly shared her credentials.

An instrument that changed her life

Let’s back up to her upbringing in Atlanta where she struggled with bullying that led to her feeling not so confident about herself. The violinist was made fun of at school for her uniqueness and natural hair but was able to use her gift of music as an outlet to deal with her pain. In a world where kids have committed suicide and contemplated harming themselves, she is passionate about helping to uplift victims of bullying in schools by sharing her experience and acting as a mentor. She acknowledges that prevention may not be possible but finding a healthy tool to express oneself is key to healing.

A teacher in high school introduced her to the instrument that she didn’t know would change her life. After attending multiple schools throughout the Atlanta area, she found herself struggling to fit in with the crowd and being picked on about her weight. Many would say she was too skinny and she needed to eat more during a time when thick women received more positive attention.

The violin fights back

In a phone conversation with her, she went on to explain how the violin served as her weapon against bullying. She would play the instrument just about everyday after school, learning different classical ballads and excelled very quickly as a musician at an early age.

“I was trained on classical music,” Black explains when asked about her beginnings in playing the violin. “That’s like a big influence on my music, if you listen to the music I’ve ever played, it sounds like classical music if you take the beat off.”

It took some time after graduating high school when she became comfortable enough to put herself out there with her music. Networking was tough for her at first because she thought people would think she was weird or not good enough. But she eventually was able to put her past behind her to blossom into an accomplished violinist.

Advocacy efforts

Nowadays, Joy is on her grind as a full-time musician traveling the nation to perform solo gigs. But she is eager to perform with talented artists on stage and admires the “Mad Violinist” who is a renowned violinist from Tallahassee, FL known for his hip hop covers and collaborating with many superstars in the music industry.

It’s more than just becoming a successful musician for the 22-year-old. Black has become an advocate for anti-bullying, speaking at different events that bring awareness of bullying and supporting organizations that aim for prevention. Sky’s the limit for this young star who continues to add more to her resume.

There’s no telling where you’ll see her playing next but her fans are kept up-to-date about her many whereabouts through her social media. One thing is for sure — her violin has been a source of empowerment and strength, not just for herself but for many who have battled with any type of insecurity or suffered from bullying.