The story behind every song on Yola's new album 'Stand For Myself' (2023)

defender-meis a classic sounding album about deeply modern concerns. Its appeal is immediate and direct, but its content is densely covered with musical and philosophical ideas. You can jump into Yola's second album without knowing anything about her backstory and quickly convince yourself that you're listening to one of the best releases of the year - and then you can read her careful analysis of the album's arc and realize it's just as complex. like a thesis or an author film.

Born Yolanda Quartey in Bristol to Barbadian parents, Yola aspired to be a singer from an early age. That dream seemed to be underway in 2008 when she sang for Massive Attack on a tour that included the gigantic Glastonbury Festival in the UK. But within a few years, her life and career hit a dead end as she turned from her twenties to her thirties. Shortly after her band Phantom Limb flopped in 2012, a series of traumatic events — her mother's death in 2013, a house fire in 2014 — launched her on a quest for self-fulfillment that led her to Nashville.

There she became one of the most exciting forces in music city: a singer with a potent, versatile voice and personality to match, bringing a 21st century perspective to a variety of 20th century sounds. The industry took notice. Black Keys' Dan Auerbach signed Yola to his Easy Eye Sound label and produced her 2019 debut albumwalk through fire, which spawned a string of Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist. She is an unofficial member of country supergroup The Highwomen along with Sheryl Crow, and Dolly Parton herself invited her to perform "9 To 5" at the Newport Folk Festival two years ago. She even branched out into Hollywood, with a role as Sister Rosetta Tharpe in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic.

In a way, this all feels like a warm-up for the second LP. Again produced by Auerbach,defender-mebuilds on the country-soul foundation of her debut and ventures into jubilant disco, smooth '90s R&B and an exuberant array of styles. The album has an Adele-like knack for keeping retro sounds decidedly fresh and vital. This is in part because Yola spends these songs developing a narrative that is clearly anchored in the times, a nuanced view of self-determination from the perspective of a black immigrant. And that's partly because Yola's voice is so alive, alternately vulnerable and fiercely commanding, that you can't help but tune in and be present in the moment.

Last month, via Zoom, Yola spoke in depth and enthusiasm about her new music and the experiences that shaped it. Press playdefender-meand read our track-by-track interview below.

1. "Almost Alive"

Why is this the opening song?

YOLA:This song is the opening because it's the only opening because every song has a role to play on this album. It is part of my narrative and many of our narratives. We may have spent some life force in our youth in this self-minimizing state, I suppose, being drained. That's what the song is about. It's about minimizing yourself and what that does to you, how that feels. So it had to be the opening because that's how I started. I started being a token black lady in a very, very white room. But in this scenario, not choosing to take up space, or power, or feel empowered enough. And I'm just desperately trying to fit in, and I think everyone can relate to the fact that I'm desperately trying to fit in. But the sad thing is, it costs my confidence and leadership.

That's more or less where we ended up with the opening part of this song. I always ask a question. I like not just preaching like, “Oh, that's it. It was so." The last line of the song is improvised. And I say: "They didn't take your life, I think that's life." This is a reference to what it's like to be on the street and not just in social situations - or in the classroom or at the university, where you feel like you're in a room where you're a minority. It's like you're walking down the street and someone decides to stop and search you, which is standard practice in the UK. Or they'll stop you if you're in the States or whatever and you somehow survived.

So I clap my hands really slowly, like, "Well done, you survived! That's really impressive. Um, like, now what?" So you bent down like, “Oh, please, thank you, sorry” and all, and they stopped you anyway, even though you're doing all these evasive maneuvers to get to the most innocuous black or brown person to be a person. or whatever. And you're not dead, that's one thing. Now that you've done that, what else can we do other than not get killed? Can we really thrive? That's basically the mood of the opening song, and only with that question could the disc start.

Some album openers blast at high speed and high intensity. It makes it easier to get into the album. That's one of the things I like about the album, it's being patient. There are parts that are upbeat, but part of the classic sound is those slower, more direct ballads. So beyond the themes it establishes, it sets the tone that this is no ordinary 2021 album.

YOLA:no And the lack of urgency is intentional. Because I just arrived and I didn't leave the womb. I had to have some patience. Sometimes when people know exactly how much I've done, they say, "God, you had to be so patient!" And I answer: "Yes." I knew I would do this from the age of four. So my patience was immeasurable. And yeah, I'm not necessarily going to knock you out of the gate. I'll make it easy for you. I feel like the second song gets you up to speed and lets you know that some good things are coming.

2. "Dance in Tears"

YOLA:The first thing that shaped me in that part of my life where I reduce myself to fit in, I try to grow up somehow - you get to a point in your life where you realize you're out of your element. It could be because it doesn't allow you to grow to the level you need, because that growth can be threatening. You might as well start moving into areas where these people can't compete. And having to talk about things that people might not know how to talk about. You may find that you outgrow entire environments, entire social groups, entire scenes just because you need to keep growing. And if there's something we should do throughout life, it's keep growing.

I thought this song is really so fundamentally about boundaries and that it's okay to be in that state, the previous state - that was part of the process - but you've transcended it now. And it can be anything. It can be romantic, sure, but it goes with everything. Perhaps the most important part of changing my life was realizing when I had gotten over something. I need to be in that state of looking for something else.

And so we have the chorus - "Leaving is always hard!" - and then we have this concept: "One step less is all I want with you!" That's what I love about this stage of my life. Not everything has to be negative! That was great. I want to say goodbye - only in a good and healthy way. "Thank you very much. You probably won't see me again. You might, you probably won't, I have a very good way of disappearing when I want to."

(Video) Yola - "Stand For Myself" [Official Music Video]

So that's how we got to this song. It's a very gentle way of pushing boundaries. I guess I've been afraid of pushing boundaries for a long time. Perhaps I started too late in life. The people in my life were horrified and fought at every turn. Gosh, I remember telling someone I wasn't going to literally jump when they asked me to jump or asked how high and they said, 'What? You tend to do that all the time.” It was as if I felt a sense of dread at discovering that I don't always have to obey every command. That's kind of the trend of this song.

The reason it's so disco and upbeat is because that's how I felt when I realized I could actually say no, move, or grow. The energy you feel in this song is possible. And when I deliver it, it's like you sing your voice from your head, it's almost like Japan. Do you know? It's a lot like escaping the top of your head. Technically, that's what you're imagining when you're singing with your head, to keep tension out of your voice. So it felt like this ascending level, this higher level of existence. The performance speaks of this, the choice of production speaks of it, and the lyrics speak of this idea of ​​edifying. Here we come to this phase of history. It's almost like we decided to wrap the whole doormat part of my life — which, admittedly, was probably the first 29-30 years of my life — into one song, and we were like, 'Ugh, but we've spruced it up, you have to not. log in. Let's talk about each permutation of the changing state.” And so the state grows out of shit.

When was this epiphany? Around your 30th birthday?

YOLA:Not exactly birthday. I think when I was in the past incarnation of myself - Doormat Yola, as I like to call her. I think I realized over time that it wasn't sustainable in the back of my mind. I had little plans and little ideas, just digging in when I needed to change everything - what could I do. The fact that it existed was proof that it would eventually happen. Because if you make a plan to escape or you make a plan to change everything you do - like everyone you work with and almost everything in your life - you probably need it.

This is exactly where I arrived for my mother's funeral in October 2013. I watched her casket being carried down the church aisle to be loaded into the hearse which was taken to the cemetery which was just up the road. I had to follow the hearse on a motorcycle because I've never driven a car, I've always been a motorcyclist or cyclist. As I watched it being carried out of the church, it was disappointingly small, almost ridiculously small. It was a moment like an episode inSouth Park.

All this drama happened. My mother was nothing but drama. We didn't have the easiest relationships. She had all the tenets of a clinical psychopath, which made her function very well in society. Because society, weirdly, seems to reward psychopathic traits - from your ability to be fully functional and essentially not overly empathetic, or just being motivated and able to keep going no matter what. Society loves that in a person. But obviously, in the role of a mother, it's not the most welcome quality to have.

I always had to translate emotional concepts for her. Everything for them was very extreme, like, "This person is an enemy, this person is on my hit list, so I'm going to handle a situation that you might handle very differently." you didn't cause him pain, is that how you deal with it can make you feel more or less fulfilled and feel more or less stressed.

However, the drama was huge, her personality was huge. Fast forward to that casket. She was 5 feet 2 inches tall at the time of death, or maybe about 5 feet 2 inches, and that will never show - the energy, the drama, the Cartman-like comedy of her massively inappropriate humor. None of that would be big enough for this box. Enlightenment came when she saw this tiny thing on the floor and thought, "Well, what exactly is so important?" Because after all that, you get this almost duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh style of ending your life - it's like turning your middle finger and saying, "Yeah, none of that really matters. You've figured something out already." about it? That's the trick.” And then it was over.woohoo!

I had an epiphany that I should let go of whatever was holding me back, because this is definitely not a dress rehearsal. I started going through the grieving process. So I process the idea of ​​maybe completely changing my thinking paradigm. And that process was sped up a bit when I had a house fire about a year later. As I burned alive, I thought, "I'm ready. I'd take my own life in an instant." The year I shaped my life the way I chose was glorious. I thought, "This is amazing." In that moment, as it burned, I realized I had made it. I say, "In everything I do, I'm on my path. After all, this is the way. I just need to do this now, step up, it's time.” The revelation was at the funeral, but the trigger point was during the burning of my flesh.

In fact, I can show you: Here's one of the burns from 2014. I took this one while I was fighting the fire because I went back inside and it blacked out. As I was being licked, I thought, 'Stop licking, sunshine! I'm ready for it.” I just kept fighting it. Burning the beat was a real pleasure. I started laughing my ass off. If I hadn't had that moment where I realized I was going to take my own life any day of the week and laughed about it, I would be dead right now, because it was the laugh that shocked me. I was completely overwhelmed by the cortisol, stress, and resulting shock. I snapped out of myself laughing, then stopped immediately, falling and rolling. So it was just this epiphany that saved my life.

So that was the framework for itthe last album.

(Video) Saturday Sessions: Yola performs "Stand for Myself"

YOLA:Yup. Exactly. Exactly. So that's the context of -- it's like a slower version of all the processing that I was doing in the split second that I was still recording. And that's the first record: “So are you on fire? What's on your mind as you burn? This things. Enjoy the next 12 songs.” So that's what I did. I burned, had the reveal somewhat encapsulated in the flashback to the first song. "Dancing Away In Tears", I started the process. They are borders. Lets do this. And after that we got into one of the singles.

3. "Diamond Studded Shoes"

This is the lead single and you can see why. It really hooks you.

YOLA:It's kind of inspired by Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, predecessor of Boris Johnson - which isn't an improvement, FYI. Far from an improvement. But she performs at one of her party conventions in beautiful diamond-studded shoes. The subject of the note reads: "We have no money. I'm sorry. I know you pay me and I wear diamonds all over my body. I literally walk on diamonds. But we still don't have money to feed small children, mothers and nurses. They they call it that. We can't do it for you. So look, don't look at my whole closet. Don't look at my lifestyle. Please don't look at my expenses that I'm claiming. Don't look at any of those things. We all go absolutely nuts about your budget. This is what happens.” And then this whole narrative like, "Oh, no. Oh, we're all in this together." Like... yeah bullshit I call the whole thing bullshit.

I was in my friend Aaron Lee Tasjan's living room. He opined: "Well, you think you're wrong, with these people it's literally like you're pulling your goddamn pounds. We just voted 45.” I'm not even going to say his name. It's like Voldemort. He's not supposed to be named. And then I say, "Buddy, I don't know what's going on. Everything's going crazy. For example, what's all this populism feeling about?" ?”

Needless to say, we're there with a guitar. The idea was to write a song, but we started talking because that's how I write – I talk to people and get to the core of my feelings and then something comes out of it. It starts playing and I'm like, "Yeah, that's something." He was playing a few things at the time, and none of them were right. But that's it. "We know it's not, we know it's not, we know it's not." And then he says, "Oh, that's good." I say: "Keep playing." "It won't end well. We know it won't." And then the first verse just drops down the old psychically insane mental synapse, likeCabo🇧🇷 "Everybody says it's going to be alright" And it's just one of those moments where your hand almost writes nonsense because your hand can't move as fast as your brain. I was like, 'Wow, it feels like back then.' I always felt like I needed another thread, and another thread didn't come that day. I said, "I'm not going to force this, this has fire."

I let it sit for a while, then took it to my band in the UK - what I like to call the ROW band, the 'rest of the world' band. We played until the end. We had a power quartet with me, my friend who played drums at the time, Harry Harding, and Kit Hawes is basically my brother - and also the person who made me a lot less afraid of playing guitar and guided me to myself. - and Nick Movshon on bass. We play the music. I thought, "Let's just play, even without the section that I think is necessary." People went crazy about it. I played the Glasgow ABC which has since burned down. But it was a beautiful venue and everyone loved playing there. Glasgowites really like a protest song. I don't know if you've met many Scots but you're ready to show the man yesterday. This was exactly the right place to play this song. Anyone reading this in Glasgow will think, 'Yes, I remember that'. knock when done."

And at some point in late 2018, the chorus chords appeared. I thought, “This is too easy! How the hell has this not happened before?” Well, you know, it is what it is. It takes longer. So we've already written the first album and I'm like, 'Okay, it shouldn't be on this one.' We already understood the function of the first album and what it should do. I just sit in this thing and I know it's there, and I know there might still be some lyrical tweaks I want to hand her, so she says it all and updates it. So come on, that's how it's born. By the time it's released as a single, and maybe even before I actually tracked it down, I've noticed that it's getting truer by the day. I said, "God, this is literally a point in history and it's truer today than it is now."

That's what moves me about this song. Until we deal with the supremacy paradigm masquerading as the white supremacy paradigm – which is actually the class divide paradigm and the white supremacy paradigm combined to divide all of humanity and then extract wealth from it – until we do that as a concept, as a human being race, and we understand that the term race has been misused not to mean species, but to program within us the concept that we are fundamentally different - until we get over all that, we won't have to be a hope.

That's the function of this song, that's the message of the song. Not everything will work alone. We must fight at every moment to advance the justice agenda. We must overcome the programming within us. We have to work a lot. That's it. Any song that says, "It's gonna be alright" is just an opium. And it's a lie. Is not. You know it's not, I know it's not. Bitches are dead, we all know it is. That's what happens. It is not surprising that the pandemic does not go away on its own. Nothing that is boring is done alone, that is the theme of this song.

But of course, literally, if I'm going to give you a difficult message, I fully agree with the Mary Poppins theorem: "A spoonful of sugar kills medicine." That's where I get into that part of my life where I realize it's not just me and the things I have to limit in my social life, that the big build is programming us, not the best of us and who do we are and what we want. All these things play with the staff. And so it fits into the next song.

4. "Be my friend"

YOLA:This whole song is heavily about allies. We got to this idea of ​​boundaries, this idea of ​​the big building trying to divide us. Logically, I want to make connections. And I have, and I'll let you know what it's like when you make those connections. The pre-choruses all say, "I hope somebody remembers, somebody knows your name." The idea that you're just waiting for someone to realize that you need an ally right now because you have the "dot dot dot" token is in this room. Society made you feel that way and created the narrative for you to be that way. So you need people to try and make an effort and see what created the great construction and try to dismantle it through connection.

This is a theme that runs through Great Divide, but in a different way because I'm talking romantically. There's a theme that runs through "Great Divide" and "Starlight" and maybe even "Now You're Here" that speaks to that point of sentimentality. "Great Divide" is very doo-wop-y and very sentimental in its approach. The function of it is that reaching out and that moment of realizing that you've found an ally in Be My Friend is the catalyst for that softening of yourself. You don't have to be in that trope of strong black women anymore. You don't have to say, "Oh, I'm going to be one-dimensional." You don't have to follow the media saying this is how it should be.

They have backing vocals by Brandi Carlile on "Be My Friend". Did you choose to have her around because you see her as an ally, as you say, or because she's queer and identifies as different?

(Video) Yola - Stand for Myself ALBUM REVIEW

YOLA:Both. Done. Exactly both. She's been an ally, she's an ally, she's doing everything to make sure I'm seen and heard in spaces I'm not already in. And she cares about my human well-being as well as my professional experience. And she's queer, and as a result of being queer, she's been the iconic gay person on set. And so I thought, from an ethnic minority and a sexual orientation minority, to speak to everyone and say, "Be our ally!" it really is what it is. Her voice is a little bouncy, so it's almost an Everly Brothers-style duet, more than necessarily intentional backing vocals. So that we can talk to you. United if you will.

5. "Great Rift"

YOLA:Then you get into “Great Divide” and I'm totally at my softest and it's all very fluid and melodic. It's very soft on your feelings. I think there's a huge rebellious nature to not being the trope when all society has for you - in the media, in every representation of yourself - is the trope. That's how "Be My Friend" works on the album and how it connects to this moment, this opening. It's when it happens or will happen in your life when you decide to embark on this journey of self-realization in a more nuanced and spirit-oriented way. We get into this whole "I want to connect" thing - like we can't because of situations or because I haven't figured out how yet but I want it to happen.

6. "Starlight"

YOLA:Then we get to "Starlight", and it finally does it. And it doesn't really matter, really, it's not as contextual with the idea of ​​Finally. Rather, it doesn't matter what that connection feels like — it doesn't matter if it's forever or just for a minute. That doesn't mean it can't be stimulating. I think one of the things we tell ourselves in the media we consume, in everything we post on social media, is that this fairy tale story of everything I lived through until marriage or something like that, was absolute misery. That all my problems were solved. “I have never had a positive sexual experience outside of marriage in my entire life.” And we all know that we're not all virgins. We all know this is a lie. We had many experiences that were absolutely positive and they weren't marriage either. This notion of everything from connections that didn't happen or didn't exist or were negative and plague your life into eternity, there's a big gulf between those existences.

"Starlight" tells the story we all live and don't talk about, namely our positive connections outside of marriage, our positive sexual connections outside of marriage, and not being an overly sexualized Black Lady trope. that you legally belong to someone, because that's problematic when that's the only situation where you can feel joy. That seems too patriarchal for my comfort. In the narrative, it is the idea that I can be a sexualized black woman and not an overly sexualized black woman. And that's okay. Claiming that narrative is massive rebellion because in some places you don't see it enough.

In the chorus you sing, "Don't let me be misunderstood." Is that a reference to Nina Simone?

YOLA:Yup. Exactly. And countless other soul and rock songs that quoted exactly that line. Yup. But in this case, of course, as I said, again to my imagination. I have some very dirty thoughts, but I say, "Don't let me be misunderstood." I'm not high. I don't trip over balls here. This is just me wondering what will happen to my sexual self. That's it.

7. "If I had it to do over again"

YOLA:That brings us to "If I had it to do it all over again" and this idea that you've found people who let you do it all over again. You sought out your allies and wanted to make the connections. You don't know exactly how, but you will. You make some initial connections, these aren't lasting connections, but they nurture you and help you discover yourself. You never want to marry anyone... Well, you know some people marry people they've never had sex with before, but I wouldn't! That's all I'm saying. Likewise, you can try all your connections to find the people who are the best match for you, both sexually and socially. So I found people like that in this music and I'm so grateful that they're in my life, be it socially, professionally, in general. I made these connections that really only allow me to grow and I'm grateful for that.

The arrangement here is really interesting - the open space in it, the sounds that break through it. How much of that was planned at the time of writing and how much happened in the studio?

YOLA:I think when writing the process it was quite sparse. There would always be room in it. But I think the song was influenced by the Aaliyah, Mary J era of music, and maybe to some extent, a little bit earlier, the Annie Lennoxes may have had a small influence on that. Natalie Hemby co-wrote this song and she really seeded this song. We were talking about that era of music and her exploring that within herself, when we created this song she was already focused on that and the production was all a work of Dan's imagination and understanding of that space and time. When we put that together, he had a very clear idea of ​​what it needed to be and that really brought it all together. I don't think he would have seen it as accurately as the work, as the stillness definitely required Dan's vision, although we drew on that in writing.

I think that while it seems like a very simple concept for a song, there's a reason it reminds me of a little '90s energy in the production style and feel, and certainly in my performance. That was the time when I grew the most musically. I knew from the age of four that I wanted to be a singer-songwriter. I really felt like the '90s helped shape me, so it's very fitting that this song has that aesthetic and is about the environment that allows me to grow. It's about my social and professional environment. It leads very clearly to "Now You're Here".

8. "Now You're Here"

YOLA:And this is romantic sentimentality in the eternal sense. It's very similar to thisin the end🇧🇷 OK, I've made all those connections, figured out what I need to do, and finally, you're here. Thanks for showing up. It was a guy, where the hell were you?

I wanted to write something with that kind of sentimentality because there are so many different permutations of how sentimental I am. I think it's a very common feature to talk about. And I recently talked about how you can be 50% hacking and 50% being a whole, soulful person looking for that eternal connection. They need not be mutually exclusive or overlapping. They often inhabit the same space. There are many friends I've talked to who are talking about this exact state of mind. It's the most common state of mind I've talked to other women about—it's 50%: “You know what, my libido is really high. What time is it?" And 50%, "I'm really sentimental and I just want to find this person to be with." Both exist, and that's okay.

It was a real moment of relief. And I think I wanted to talk about that moment because the black woman deserves tenderness. And part of the trope, the reason why I disrespected this strong black woman trope so much is because the result of that is carelessness, and the result of that is one where you assume someone is heartless because of that strength or callousness or they will survive forever . You throw them in a pit full of alligators or whatever, the idea is that you'll survive and thrive and get everyone out of the nightmare at the same time and no one will have you. no one, you are alone no one cares about you. When you die, everyone will think about what they won't get from you anymore. And this constant sense of service destroys this sense of hope in a person. That's probably one of the fundamental reasons why I didn't want to lead, because I didn't want someone riding me all the way to the goddamn bench. People don't know how to take care of a black woman because they don't, not that they don't know. They just don't.

(Video) Yola - "Starlight" [Official Music Video]

So this song is mellow. It's being well groomed, because we deserve it, just like everyone else. But there is a central element of neglect in the Dark Lady narrative. It's too much to bear. That's why this song is so important on the record. Without it, you can't get to those moments of self-realization when you're at the end of the record and you feel grounded and settled. You can't get there if nobody has you. You cannot do this alone. So if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't do it without you. You wouldn't want to do it without me, that reciprocal connection, that affection, that "thanks for seeing me" that was asked for and "be my friend" and it got here. In the social sense, in the work sense, in the romantic sense, in every sense it is essential.

9. "Whatever You Want"

YOLA:By the time we get to "Whatever You Want" we start saying a real "OK, that's a fucking no for you and a fucking no, I've got everything I need!" So you want to get into a patriarchal build, good luck with that! You are too late for this! I'm a different bitch." It was like that for me when people said, "Hey, cool. That's how it is.” And I say, "Your days are numbered, sunshine."

That's it. That's why it comes to this part of the story. That was very much my professional life. But unlike before, I think I asked less and less, but once I had that base of support, it gave me the confidence to say no in situations, not only to realize that I've grown out of things, but also to take offers and throw them away with great speed when they are wrong. We got there and the brothers left and I said, 'No man, not this time, sorry. I will not live in your brother world.” Opportunities can be given to you that seem incredible to someone other than me.

10. "Break the branch"

YOLA:This is where we reaffirm why these boundaries are important. We come to "Break The Bough," the 2013 song from my mother's funeral, and it's a farewell to that period in my life when neglect took center stage because my mother didn't know how to do it. My family left me on the streets to die. The idea of ​​saying “I need this” and people saying “Sorry, no, you're going to be fine.” I could have died again. The countless ways I could have died. But at least I would have died in the fire at that point, that would have been earlier in my life. But I shouldn't have almost died in so many different ways. This is not normal. This is not acceptable. And so I bid farewell to a rocky relationship with as much love as I can muster and a little broadcast. This is me identifying one of the fundamentals — outside of the great white supremacist construct — that programmed me to think I would endure anything but being nurtured. And then I deal with the big picture of the macro and here I am with the microcosm.

She was born in Barbados. So there are many references to mangoes and sugar cane harvesting. She played cricket, so she squashed mangoes - scrumping is the British verb for stealing apples, but I don't know if there's another word for squashing mangoes, so I used the verb scrumping. But she always went and went crazy with the sleeves. It was a borderline obsession of hers, her favorite food being mangoes. She used to play cricket barefoot or walk home. She had a pet pig named Nelly that she brought home from school.

There are all these pictures that I draw that were the imaginary ideal of Barbados before the British did the bait and switch of Barbados.Windrush-Generation, where they lure you out of paradise into a certain hellish hipster housing development and then talk their memaw out of beachfront real estate and build a bunch of hotels and make tons of it. This is essentially short for the Windrush generation. And later, once they have your Memaw's land, they deport you back to land that is no longer your Memaw's. All fast happy shipping is what it is. It's like saying goodbye to all the drama. I'm trying to switch to another track.

11. "Like a photograph"

YOLA:Then we come to Like A Photograph. Speaking of that other plane, that idea of ​​"when are you going to do this?" Whoever said, "Life is like a river that flows forever", must have gone crazy. And keeps going. It's a nod to the story I was talking about about seeing my mother's coffin hit the ground - it's not forever. If I miss another minute or refuse to be there, show me back come rain or shine. What if I just lose it? I won't be perfect. So please be an ally in the real sense and don't just say, "I'm with you." But just say, "Hey, we're planning this." I'll do it for you too. So we get the idea that after making these changes it won't be easy. You're going to need people to say, "Oh, isn't that what you wanted?" Like: "Yes, I wanted to." Or: "No, I actually changed my mind, honestly, let me explain how", but to keep you in the loop.

They want to do this before it's too late. So, in a way, you can imagine that this song is about talking to someone on their deathbed, as well as talking to someone going through a huge paradigm shift in their life. And when you finally reach that breakthrough point and it starts to work for you, then we come to Stand For Myself.

12. "Me defender"

YOLA:So you're thinking, "I'm really starting to take advantage of this." It's like you're feeling drained. You say, "I'm here. It happened. Like, it's great. Why didn't I do this sooner!" You have friends that haven't done that yet, you're like, "Man, I don't know what you're doing! Just go through that process, build around you a team of people who really care if you live or die, build a social situation around you with people who care if you live or die, say no to everything that doesn't serve you. Trust me, it's great.” I look back at my past self, I look at friends I say, “Come on buddy!” and exclaim: I'm in this moment of absolute freedom. Getting there and feeling creatively free is how I felt on this album. The moment I sing the song that kept me up at night, I realize I had to ask my friends to help me get out of your head in 2018.

That's his job, so to speak. The entire text guides you through each phase that I went through so that I understand why you close your eyes and what your deaf ear is. You don't want to feel anything, you don't want to have to do the work, I get it. But now I'm alive. It's kind of hard to explain that I had to do all these things. I had to go through all of that. It's not that it's not part of the process - it is - but it's also about time the process ended. Not only do you have to learn from mistakes and pain, but you can transcend that and start to realize yourself and start living and start feeling and start loving more deeply and forgiving yourself more. And all this is where the album ends. Empowerment is a real core concept. I didn't really want to because I think this is the kind of storytelling that can be co-opted. I think it's much more about when you're able to be more within yourself, you'll be more able to be loving and understanding and empathetic to other people. I think a lot of the things we suffer from in society are crises of empathy.

defender-meis now available on Easy Eye Sound.


Who produced Yola? ›

Dan Auerbach

What is Yola's most famous song? ›

Yola is dubbed by many as the 'Queen of Country Soul,' and there is a good reason for that. Her debut album Walk Through Fire is a collection of great country songs that is quite new to the industry.

Is Yola a country singer? ›

Yola is a British singer who is praised right now for her different take on country music. In fact, she is dubbed by some major organizations as “The Queen of Country Soul.” Yola can play the guitar and has an amazing voice, perfect for country and soul.

What does Yola mean? ›

Noun. yola (uncountable) (US, slang, California, MLE) cocaine quotations ▼

Where did Yola come from? ›

What is the number 1 hardest song to sing? ›


But let's face it, Bohemian Rhapsody is just impossible to sing by yourself because of those multiple voices that are essential to the song.

What is the number 1 most played song of all time? ›

It was never a hit single and got almost no play on Top 40 radio. There's even a dispute over the exact title. Yet “It's a Small World,” also known as “It's a Small, Small World” and “It's a Small World (After All),” is very likely the most played song in music history — nearly 50 million times.

What is the most recognizable song ever? ›

The most recognizable songs of all-time
  • Michael Jackson – Billie Jean: 2.97 seconds.
  • Culture Club – Karma Chameleon: 2.99 seconds.
  • Britney Spears – Baby One More Time: 2.99 seconds.
  • Elvis Presley – Devil in Disguise: 3.01 seconds.
  • Boney M – Rivers of Babylon: 3.03 seconds.
  • Elton John – Candle in the Wind: 3.04 seconds.
2 Sept 2022

Who is the best singer of Dubai? ›

  • BALQEES AHMED FATHI. Starting our list of bands and singers in the UAE is Balqees Ahmed Fathi (aka Balqees Fathi), one of the most popular Emirati singers around. ...
  • ABDULLAH BILKHAIR. bilkhair. ...
  • AS PER CASPER. ...
  • JAYE & FOE. ...
  • NOON.

What female country singer has ties to NASA? ›

Mindy McCready
Years active1995–2013
7 more rows

Who is the famous singer in Bhutan? ›

Jigme Drukpa is a Bhutanese musician and singer of traditional folk songs.

What does mainy mean? ›

to do a lap of the town's main street, a South Australian rural regionalism: Let's chuck a mainy.

What does LLMK mean in texting? ›

Lmk is an abbreviation for let me know. People have been using it for more than a decade. By now it's a staple of electronic communication.

What does Wwy mean in texting? ›

"Where Were You?" is the most common definition for WWY on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. WWY. Definition: Where Were You?

What age is Yola? ›

What guitar does Yola? ›

Fender PM-1 Limited Adirondack Dreadnought, Rosewood

In this performance, Yola is seen using the Fender PM-1 guitar.

What is Yola LA Phil? ›

YOLA⁠—the LA Phil's music education program⁠—currently serves close to 1,700 young musicians across five sites, providing them with free instruments, intensive music instruction (up to 18 hours per week), academic support, and leadership training.

What is the shortest #1 song? ›

The Shortest Hot 100 Hits

While it just misses the second list above, Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs' “Stay” is the shortest No. 1: just 1:38 in length. The classic led the Nov. 21, 1960, Hot 100.

What is the rarest voice type? ›

A countertenor is a male singer who can sing as high as a soprano or mezzo-soprano. The countertenor is the rarest of all voice types.

Who is the best singer in the world? ›

The greatest singing voices of all time
  • 1 of 31. Barbra Streisand. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for BSB. ...
  • 2 of 31. Etta James. Charles Paul Harris/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. ...
  • 3 of 31. Aretha Franklin. ...
  • 4 of 31. Whitney Houston. ...
  • 5 of 31. Mariah Carey. ...
  • 6 of 31. Elton John. ...
  • 7 of 31. Freddie Mercury. ...
  • 8 of 31. Adele.
3 days ago

Who is the No 1 song in world? ›

Blinding Lights by Canadian pop star The Weeknd has become the number one song of all time on Billboard's music charts. According to Billboard, Blinding Lights has now spent 90 weeks in the top 100 chart. The song ousted Chubby Checker's 1960s hit The Twist to clinch the top spot.

What is the most popular song in the world right now 2022? ›

Taylor Swift, “Anti-Hero

What is the 1 song of all time? ›

Top 10 songs of all time (1958–2021)
RankSingleYear(s) released
1."Blinding Lights"2019
2."The Twist"1960, 1961 ( re )
4."Mack the Knife"1959
6 more rows

What is considered the best song ever written? ›

Aretha Franklin's 'Respect' named Greatest Song of All Time by Rolling Stone.

Who is number one Arab singer? ›

Amr Diab

Who is the king of singer? ›

The 2019 MTV Hustle fame Rapper and singer King, also known as King Rocco, and aka Badnaam Raja, is well-known in India. King's real name is Arpan Kumar Chandel.

Who is the most famous girl astronaut? ›

Spacefarers with completed spaceflights
#Name Birth dateCountry
1Valentina Tereshkova Mar. 6, 1937Soviet Union
2Svetlana Savitskaya Aug. 8, 1948Soviet Union
3Sally Ride May 26, 1951 died Jul. 23, 2012United States
4Judith Resnik Apr. 5, 1949 died Jan. 28, 1986United States
33 more rows

Who was the female astronaut that wore a diaper? ›

The film is loosely inspired by the life of NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, who was widely reported to have worn a diaper on a 14-hour cross country drive to confront the new flame of her former lover, becoming the first astronaut ever to be arrested.

Who is the most charted female musician of all time? ›

Madonna is believed to have sold the most records among any female music artists in history, with 335 million records sold worldwide, recognized by the Guinness World Records and other major media outlets while the best-selling Latin artist of all time is Shakira with more than 80 million records sold.

Who is the 3 best singer in the world? ›

Top 10 Best Singers of All Time
1Michael JacksonPop, Soul, Funk, R&B, Rock, Disco, & Dance
2Stevie WonderSoul, Pop, R&B, Funk, & Jazz
3Marvin GayeSoul, R&B, Funk, Pop, & Jazz
4Freddie MercuryHard Rock, Music Hall, Glitter, & Prog Rock
6 more rows
31 May 2022

Who is the most famous voice singer? ›

Former Hey Monday singer and season three champ Cassadee Pope, who won in December 2012, is still the most successful winner of "The Voice."

Who produced RZA? ›

Song management company Hipgnosis Songs has announced that it has acquired 50% of the copyright interest and writers share in the song catalogue of Wu-Tang Clan's RZA. He's produced nearly all of Wu-Tang Clan's albums, as well as many solo albums that have been released by the group's members.

Who produced Davido songs? ›

Davido won Best African Act at the 2017 MOBO Awards. He released "If" on February 17, 2017. It was produced by Tekno, who ghost-wrote the track for Davido.

Who produced for fetty WAP? ›

Frank Robinson

Who produced hookah? ›

London on da Track

What song did RZA produce for Kanye? ›

Kanye West produced much of his full-length collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne, by himself – but he reached out to old-school vets such as Q-Tip and RZA for a few key assists. “I'm really honored to be a part of the project,” RZA, who produced the grimy “New Day,” tells Rolling Stone.

Who is shotgun in Wu-Tang? ›

Dave East plays the role of Shotgun in Wu-Tang: An American Saga. New York rapper Dave East has established himself as one of the formidable new talents from the East Coast.

How much does it cost to feature a song on Davido? ›

Davido Says He Charges American Artistes $70,000 For Collaborations.

Who is the number 1 music artist in Nigeria? ›

Wizkid tops the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria in 2021 with a total of 65 awards. Wizkid has recorded four studio albums with one EP: Superstar.

How much did Davido make in a day? ›

Nigerian singer David Adeleke (a.k,a Davido) has raised more than N151. 4 million after he shared his account details on his social media platforms on Wednesday.

What does 1738 mean? ›

According to Urban Dictionary, 1738 is “A term used by rapper Fetty Wap in his song 'Trap Queen' to represent his squad in New Jersey: the Remy Boyz 1738. The Remy Boyz named themselves after a cognac liquor which they claim to be the finest: the Rémy Martin 1738.”

Why did Fetty Wap stop singing? ›

Fetty acknowledged he had hit a significant slump since breaking into the mainstream with his 2014 single "Trap Queen," which was followed by a handful hits like "679" and "My Way." The rapper explained his lost momentum, not on his lack of skills, but rather bad management.

Who is Fetty Wap's daughter? ›

Fetty Wap

Is shisha worse than smoking? ›

Because of the way a hookah is used, people who smoke hookah may absorb more of the toxic substances also found in cigarette smoke than people who smoke cigarettes do. In a typical 1-hour hookah smoking session, users may inhale 100–200 times the amount of smoke they would inhale from a single cigarette.

Which country smokes the most shisha? ›

All counts of shisha origins point to Turkey, and as such all shisha pilgrimages lead there too. Shisha cafes are central to everyday life in Turkey, so you'll be sure to find the venue that suits you without much trouble.

What shisha means? ›

/ˈʃiː.ʃə/ [ C ] plural shisha. the Arabic name for a type of pipe for burning tobacco, in which smoke passes through a container of water before it is breathed in: The terrace is one of the most pleasant places in the city to smoke a shisha, or waterpipe. Synonym.


1. Yola - "Dancing Away In Tears" [Official Audio]
(Easy Eye Sound)
2. Yola plays songs from Stand For Myself (live performance for The Current)
(The Current)
3. Yola - Stand For Myself (live performance for The Current)
(The Current)
4. Yola + Anne Litt - Interview - The Story Behind "Diamond Studded Shoes"
(Easy Eye Sound)
5. Yola - "If I Had To Do It All Again" [Official Audio]
(Easy Eye Sound)
6. Yola - "Barely Alive" [Official Audio]
(Easy Eye Sound)


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