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Vance Joy talks opening for Taylor Swift, recent success

“It’s such a big thing to embark on at the start of the year.”

Vance Joy’s spent a good portion of his year in a spotlight unlike any other on the planet — he’s been opening for Taylor Swift on the massive “1989” World Tour. He’s taken the stage as Swift’s main support over 50 times this year, with more dates in America and Australia to come — including the Oct. 8 stop in Des Moines.

He said his time on the tour’s been “amazing.”

“Her crowds are full of joy; they’re excited; they’re very enthusiastic,” Joy, the Australian native, said. “It’s a pleasure to play to these crowds. I really feel like we’re getting better and better every show.”

Joy’s not simply a token opening act on one of the biggest tours of the year. His music’s both dynamic and melodic — mixing elements of a singer-songwriter fashion with alternative pop grace. His single “Riptide” has been streamed over 270 million times on Spotify alone.

When told this, Joy paused.

“Wow...I wasn’t quite aware of it,” he said, regarding the play total. “I had no idea my songs would spread this far.”

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The song, which has snowballed from a ukulele-driven indie pop single to one of the year’s biggest alternative hits, first started manifesting when Joy began writing it in 2008. Now, years later, it’s taken a life of its own.

He said his biggest goal, with writing any song, was to write something he’s proud of. It appears that goal’s translated into international success. On top of racking up online streams, the song’s sold over a million copies worldwide and gone platinum 4 times in Australia.

Joy said he didn’t exactly think his latest record, “Dream Your Life Away,” would take him the places it has, like opening for Swift, since it dropped over a year ago. Joy said he’s been able to play for over 1 million people live this year due to the opportunity.

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“I think I’ve had a really great run,” Joy said. “I knew that I’d be touring it in some way but I didn’t know that I’d get such an amazing opportunity to be supporting Taylor Swift. I didn’t see that coming. It’s been an amazing kick start to my career.”

“I was definitely lucky to meet the right people,” he added.

As for life after the “1989” World Tour, Joy’s heading back to America early next year for his headlining “The Fire and The Flood”  tour, which has no date announced in Des Moines, before beginning work on new music.

Catch Vance Joy with Taylor Swift at Wells Fargo Arena on Oct. 8.