LA artist, Joni Payne got sick and nurtured herself back to health with the music in her head - a delicate melody and comforting words she later constructed into her new single 'Hold Ya,' delivered in anticipation for the release of Payne's debut project.

"I wrote this song a week or 2 ago with Mike Derenzo," Joni states. "I was sick for a little bit over the holidays and listening to a lot of Warren G and Nate Dogg to make me feel better. So I took those vibes with me into the studio the first day I was feeling well enough to record, and we spent the afternoon making this song. Mike and I loved the vibes of this song and decided to put it out as a single in time for Valentines Day."

First off, do you want to tell me about the new single and what it represents for you?

I was sick a few weeks ago and when I got better, I went over to [my producer] Mike's to just make a random song and he's like, 'What do you want to write about?' and I was like, 'I'm going to write something that I would want someone to say to me while I was sick. This is what would make me feel better.' We just wrote that song and it's relevant so we just decided to put it out as a single with the other stuff coming in the next few months.

So the single is in anticipation for your forthcoming release. What can you tell me about the project?

It's more of a spontaneous release. The stuff that's coming up is a completely different project but it's cool. We've been working for a couple months now developing these videos and it's kind of exciting. It's kind of my first visual presence or introduction. It's a five-song EP but it's the first time that I'll release a body of work instead of just singles so it will be fun.

What are your thoughts there? Do you have any expectations or pressures?

I'm just so excited. The whole project is produced by Duncan Dickerson and the way that we work, it's actually pretty different. All the songs, he usually makes the beats and I usually write to his beats, but they always call for these melodies. We have a weird kind of connection in that way. Instead of building them up together, both of us give each other half of it and fill in the other side. I love this body of work and to combine it with these really talented guys who are making the videos, it's cool. I'm not nervous but it's like watching your kid go to school on the first day and you're just super excited and you don't want him to fail but he's awesome so he'll live the way he wants to.

Your background is rooted in graphic arts and modeling, how do you feel like you best combine these mediums to create the art that you want distributed?

I think of it all as one way to express myself. They all feel like a fluid thing. To be able to design the visual expression that I'm trying to convey in my music. It's just like filling in the picture. It's the same with modeling. It's almost like a culture, using design and music and fashion and pictures, they're all different ways of communicating the expression. I come from a graphic design background but when I'm writing music, it's almost visual. They play off of each other.

How do your current obsessions (sonic, style, culture) influence the music you're making at the moment?

I didn't listen to a variety of music when i was younger. Just in the past 10 years, I started to really dive into the past. I'm discovering Billie Holiday and I listen to really old stuff. Right now, I'm on this DJ Quik, Warren G kind of LA vibe. West Coast rap. I feel like the things that I'm listening to most of the time are pretty old so the way that they influence me is, I think of how I can interpret those things and respond to them form my perspective in today's world. How can I say the things that I want to say with the feelings that I get from some of the old stuff that I've been listening to? I think my music tends to blend this old feel and new feel and that's kind of why.

What are you attempting to leave on this year sonically?

I think I'm merging a lot more with this duality of old meets new so dealing with analog beats and writing new conversational melodies that kind of fit in with new age R&B but the production is more 90s hip-hop or I'm even doing some Billie Holiday type melodies to more modern production. There's just different ways of blending those things.

I also read that you have a clothing line in the works. What can you tell me about that?

It's exciting and it's called Poor Young Lovers. Me and a friend, we came up with it because we had this night where we had this beautiful adventure and at the end of the night, we were at this random club just hanging out and talking about all the things that we wanted to do with our lives and how excited we were to to be living and to create. We were hanging out and someone walks by and I think in Spanish, he said "poor young lovers," because we were so in love with what we were talking about and this beauty in life that we looked innocent. You know that feeling when you see young lovers and you're like, "Oh, you're so naive to how beautiful your moment is and how it's going to be ruined when the real world kicks in." Our idea was, lets create a culture around being in love with each other and life and the things we love and let other people call us "young lovers" forever. Never let go of that. So the clothing is kind of, just like the design and the music, it's another element to completing that whole vibe.