Yola, born Yolanda Quartey, is a 36 year old Bristol, UK native. She has worked in the music business since the early 2000s backing for artists such as Massive Attack, The Chemical Brothers, and Iggy Azalea. In 2010, she joined Bristol band, Phantom Limb, as lead vocalist. She left the band when her artistic work began being put down by the rest of the band. To pair with her vocals, Yola began learning guitar and writing her own songs. In 2016, she released her first EP, Orphan Offering, but it did not reach audiences enough to make much of a name for herself outside of the Bristol scene.
After Orphan Offering, Yola continued to develop her sound. She teamed up with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and began crafting her debut album, Walk Through Fire. Named after a real-life experience of setting her kitchen on fire, Walk Through Fire serves as a metaphor for the artist leaving her old life behind and emerging as a transformed musician in the industry. The album is full of stories of heartbreak and turning the page on past relationships. Her style is colorful, integrating genres from singer-songer/American, to r&b, to pop, to the sounds of Muscle Shoals. The album is both heartwarmingly nostalgic and refreshingly modern. Through Walk Through Fire, Yola has made a name for herself in the music industry and left audiences excited for what she has to come.
– dj lizzo