Yola brings a touch of soul to Americana, filling the genre with a voice as ebullient as it is moving.
The singer gained her start as a feature vocalist for UK-based trip-hop and electronica artists, but later paused singing when her mother passed away in 2013.
That hiatus gave her time to hone her craft. Yola began playing guitar and writing her own music, which focused on the isolation she felt as a black woman artist in the U.K.
From that songwriting, she released her debut EP Orphan Offering in 2016. Yola spent the next three years building up momentum, which culminated in her debut studio album Walk Through Fire, produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.
It went on to become a critical darling, garnering rave reviews from prestige outlets and three Grammy nominations — for Best Americana Album, Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance (for “Faraway Look”). Yola herself was nominated for Best New Artist.
After her first appearance at the 2019 Newport Folk Festival and a subsequent feature on supergroup the Highwomen’s title track, she further solidified her place in Americana.
In 2021, Yola released her sophomore album Stand for Myself, which she called “a paradigm shift.”
The video's aesthetic was inspired, in part, by Missy Elliott's music videos.