JOY OLADOKUN – ” In Defense Of My Own Happiness “

Posted: October 21, 2021 in MUSIC
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Another artist in the midst of a breakthrough 2021, Arizona-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Joy Oladokun will share the famed Ryman Auditorium stage with Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit the night before her Sunday afternoon Shaky Knees set, with her first-ever headlining tour to follow in the spring. Inspired to pick up a guitar at age 10 after seeing a Black woman (the great Tracy Chapman) play for the first time, Oladokun made her major-label debut over the summer with “In Defense Of My Own Happiness”, a sweeping, yet intimate collection of soulful folk-pop songs that features collaborations with Maren Morris (“Bigger Man”), Jensen McRae (“wish you the best”), and Penny & Sparrow (“heaven from here”). Oladokun—aka “the trap Tracy Chapman,” as her Twitter bio reads—makes powerfully emotional music, but is quickly becoming known for her funny and engaging stage presence.

Joy Oladokun has released her inaugural Spotify Singles recordings, including a re-work of her original song “Sunday” as well as a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s classic “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” featuring the inimitable Jason Isbell.

Oladokun also recently released a special deluxe edition, “in defense of my own happiness (complete)“, which includes all 14 tracks from her major label debut, and ten additional songs from her self-released 2020 record, “in defense of my own happiness (the beginnings)”.

Joy’s new rendition of “Sunday” is a soulful and raw rendition of the emotional original, a deeply personal meditation on religion, sexuality, and acceptance. Her cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” moves at a lilting pace before Isbell (Joy’s tourmate for a run of shows last month) comes through with an Earth-shaking guitar solo.

Says Joy: “I’ve been a rabid consumer of Spotify Singles since their inception. Being asked to do one was a dream come true and I wanted to bring in the best crew. I asked Jason Isbell to play guitar on the Bonnie Raitt cover and he absolutely smashed the energy and emotion of what I was trying to do. So excited to have these out in the world.”

Joy Oladokun (born 1992 ) is an American singer-songwriter. Oladokun’s music spans the genres of folk, R&B, rock, and pop and is influenced by her identity as a queer woman of colour. She has released three studio albums; Carry (2016), In Defense of My Own Happiness (The Beginnings) (2020), and In Defense of My Own Happiness (2021).

With a guitar in hand, baseball cap over her eyes, and hooded sweatshirt loose, a woman sings with all of the poetry, pain, passion, and power her soul can muster. she is a new kind of american troubadour. she is Joy Oladokun. the Delaware-born, Arizona-raised, and Nashville-based Nigerian-American singer, songwriter, and producer projects unfiltered spirit over stark piano and delicate guitar. after attracting acclaim from vogue, npr, and american songwriter, her words arrive at a time right when we need them the most.

“Words are such a powerful tool,” she states. “I remember all of the best and worst things anyone has ever said to me. I love and respect the ability of words to touch on the physical realm. I’m very intentional with my words. I’m grateful and try to be as encouraging as I can, because I’ve been in situations where that has not been the case and it’s hurt me or others. people are traumatized by words or uplifted and encouraged to change their lives and careers by them.”

Her dad’s record collection included hundreds of titles, and he introduced Joy to everyone from Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, and King Sunny Adé to Conway Twitty and Johnny Cash. as mom and dad stressed academics, she wasn’t allowed to watch tv on weekdays. But on saturday, they would “either rent a movie from blockbuster or watch the thousands of hours of concert and music video footage dad had recorded since coming to the states.” one afternoon, she witnessed Tracy Chapman pay homage to Nelson Mandela during his 70th birthday tribute at Wembley arena.

“When you listen to me, I want you to feel like you’ve taken an emotional shower,” she leaves off. “that’s what I’m trying to accomplish for myself. To me, music is a vehicle of catharsis. I write a lot of sad songs, but I always push for a sliver of a silver lining or glimmer of hope it could be better. that’s why I’m writing in the first place. I want you to be changed when you hear me, and not because I’m special, but because I make music with the intention to change myself.”

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