Joëtta Zoetelief is an Amsterdam-based singer and songwriter who loves to serenade friends on boats in the city's canals.
While she's always loved playing music, it wasn’t until later that she started to go for music as a path. She studied psychology (BSc) and International Development Studies (MSc) at the University of Amsterdam. When she was in Bolivia for her master’s thesis, her local supervisor María Luisa took her to a music festival in La Paz. She still remembers seeing a local band play on stage and feeling that that was what she wanted to do.
When she graduated, she felt like she always pretended to be somebody else just to please people, and she felt like she had lost herself. She decided to move to Málaga, Spain, to give herself a break from a one-sided focus on studies and career. She made the decision to turn her back on an academic career for a somewhat uncertain future in an uncertain industry. She was 23, not knowing what to expect, having little money and connections there but a very strong feeling that it was something that would be good for her.
She used this time in Malaga to find herself and she also studied music. She was lucky enough to meet an incredible community of musicians and creatives, who supported and inspired her, for which she feels very fortunate.
In the beginning, she felt insecure about not being a trained musician, but slowly she started to trust her own voice. It is so important to give yourself room to change and evolve. It is very important to tell everyone that they can do anything, so that we don’t figure out later that we could have been doing something that we really loved, but we always thought that we couldn't do it.
Having returned to Amsterdam in the autumn of 2016, she continued to pursue her music. In March 2017, she joined fellow singer-songwriters Tiana and Fanni in the dark folk band: Wiens Lief. The trio released a single titled ‘Better than me’ in July of the same year. Two more songs will be released this 2020.
Joëtta took up guitar in 2017 and started to write and perform music in Amsterdam. She spent the summer of 2018 playing music on the streets of Malaga with a friend. It was a beautiful experience - there’s something really nice about playing to absolutely everyone and connecting with the audience.
Joëtta loves playing indie folk music with dreamy melodies and delicate acoustic guitar that will put your mind at ease. She's currently recording her first EP, to be released in 2020. The songs on the new EP draw inspiration from her own experiences and will be about freedom, being in the moment and feeling your feelings. Her main influences are Alice Phoebe Lou, Lucy Rose and Lisa Hannigan.
In August 2019, Joëtta completed a yin yoga teacher training at De Nieuwe Yogaschool (RYT 200), Amsterdam. She had started practising yoga some years before to deal with anxiety. Practising yoga helps her connect to her feelings, heart and body and surrender to whatever it is that reveals itself. Joëtta believes in the healing and transformative power of both yoga and music and loves guiding yin yoga & meditation and adding live music to her classes.
Besides music and yoga, Joëtta teaches Dutch to refugees & expats in Amsterdam. She loves connecting with her students and supporting them on their journey.
Joëtta’s dream is to keep on creating and sharing music. She hopes her music can offer comfort to people who are going through something. Maybe it can help people just stop what they’re doing for a moment, sit down and find stillness. She would love to contribute to projects that help create a more just and sustainable world.