Joy Oladokun, Bre Kennedy
Friday May 13, 2022 08:30 PM EDT
CL Critic Hal Horowitz Recommends: It has been too long since an African American queer woman captured the attention of the Americana charts. Singer/songwriter Oladokun released one of 2021’s most stunning and highly praised releases, In Defense of My Own Happiness, filled with intensely introspective songs that benefitted from a larger production budget. But it’s her compelling voice that brings those tracks to life. — HH
From the venue:With her major label debut album, in defense of my own happiness, Joy Oladokun is forging her own path, sharing the unique perspective she's gained from living in today's world as a black, queer woman and first-generation child of Nigerian immigrants. Born in Arizona and now living in Nashville, her musical exploration began at age ten when she was inspired to learn guitar after seeing a video of Tracy Chapman — the first time she'd ever seen a black woman play the instrument. The new record, which features collaborations with Maren Morris, Jensen McRae and Penny & Sparrow, has been named one of the "Best Albums of 2021 So Far" by Variety and Rolling Stone, who proclaims, "a serious talent with a kind of low-key, casual ease...she's always seeking out the light to point the way, making for one of the year's most uplifting listens." Additionally, NPR Music declares, "She has a remarkable ability to distill how forces at work in the world...she can make even social and political protest feel like an intimate, warmly human act." Oladokun also released a special deluxe album this summer, in defense of my own happiness (complete), which features all 14 tracks from in defense of my own happiness, ten songs from her self-released 2020 record, in defense of my own happiness (the beginnings), and new track "judas." Most recently, Oladokun has collaborated with Brandi Carlile and Lucie Silvas on new song "We Don't Know We're Living" as well as with Noah Kahan on his track, "Someone Like You."