Yola and The Viking
YOLA ON HER JOURNEY FROM HOMELESSNESS AND POVERTY TO WRITING AN ALBUM WITH DAN AUERBACH
The singer-songwriter on privilege, toxic band environments and why picking up a guitar helped her finally get the songs out of her head.
“Birth! The birth canal motivated me to start singing!” Yola – aka Yolanda Quartey – is a one-off, as her answer to the question ‘What first inspired you to make music?’ evidences. It’s accompanied by a booming, staccato laugh that will frequently pepper our hour-long chat in her rehearsal space in a quiet cul-de-sac just north of Bristol.
The laugh is a constant, even when the 35-year-old is getting into some of the dark places in which she’s found herself. But it never feels forced – she comes across as someone who laughs now because she’s genuinely grateful and delighted to be out of the other side. And not just out of it, but thriving – creatively fulfilled for the first time ever, having just made her debut album with Dan Auerbach. But anyway, back to the birth canal…
“I came into the planet and the second I could form any coherence of sound, singing seemed as obvious as talking,” Yola elaborates. “It’s like asking, how long have you been eating? How long have you been breathing?”
Read the full article on guitar.com
All photos by Eleanor Jane.
July 11, 2019