Yola at WFUV (photo by Alex Brennan)
London, Tennessee? Memphis, England? If such a place existed, Yola would call it home — a place where country and soul music are such close neighbors, you can't find the fences. With a voice that can belt, swoon, and sing the blues, she quickly makes it clear that you're in rare company.
Yola Quartey's songs are the kind that can only come from a remarkable life. Her youth took her from living homeless in London to joining Massive Attack to opening for James Brown. She not only grew up in poverty, but was also banned from making music as a kid, and overcame experiences ranging from stress-induced voice loss to her home burning down.
In our session, I'll talk with Yola about songwriting, the making of the album, and the fire that changed her life. She also plays a special stripped-down acoustic performance.
[recorded: 2/7/19; Engineer: Madison Pinto; Producer: Alisa Ali ]