Joy Oladokun, a singer-songwriter based in Nashville, has had a long journey to get to where she is now. The daughter of Nigerian immigrants and the first of her family to be born in the US, Oladokun is fresh off the release of In Defense of My Own Happiness (Complete). The collection features 14 songs, as well as guest appearances by Maren Morris and Penny and Sparrow. The singer’s artistry comes from an incredibly unique experience of growing up as a young woman of color in rural Arizona and fostering her musicianship in the church before leaving the church and coming out of the closet. (Read the BGS interview.)
From Arizona to L.A. then across country to Nashville with a new outlook and perspective, Oladokun’s music stands on a plane with a unique vantage point. Her words are precise and delicate, mirroring her humble yet evocative instrumental style. Oladokun’s music has touched many ears and hearts, evidenced by the reward bestowed upon her by YouTube in 2021 when she received a grant from the #YouTubeBlackVoices fund. In this video release, Joy sings “Judas” off her latest album in the confined familiarity of a porch. She is able to do more with just an acoustic guitar and her voice than many artists can in an entire discography of work. Watch “Judas” performed live by Joy Oladokun below.
Photo credit: Nolan Knight