The Jubilant Pop & Pride of Joy Oladokun

Simply her name, Joy, tells you everything you need to know about the emotions she will elicit from you. This singer-songwriter is an artist that puts her entire heart and soul into her work, which makes it all so raw, real, and all the more amazing. There’s no gimmicks, fillers, or distractions; she’s simply her in all her honest glory, and it’s a beautiful reminder that’s more than enough.

In honor of 2021 pride month, Oladokun released her third studio album, In Defense of My Own Happiness, a follow-up to the first volume she released the year prior. Growing up in the Southwest United States and primarily influenced by country and folk, her sound is relaxed yet confident, and an ultra-smooth blend of genres surpassing just pop. Her emotional, thought-provoking words are enough to make any ears prick up and want to press repeat, with notable lyrical gems including “if you’ll poison the apple, why plant the tree”, and “bury me under the weight of who you need me to be”, just to name a few. (You may have even heard her moving track, ‘Breathe Again’ on NBC’s shows This is Us and America’s Got Talent.)

Don’t let her peaceful tone fool you though; she has a lot to say and is so proud of who she is that it inevitably spills into her songs, no doubt with the joint mission of uplifting others who may be able to relate.

Her singles ‘Who Do I Turn To’, ‘Mercy’, and ‘I See America’ were written in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement and depict the hardships she and others still sadly face in their own country. One of her earlier singles, ‘Sunday’, is a nod to Sunday church services and the need for LBGTQ+ acceptance within that community, something that she has personally struggled with as a queer religious woman. She makes the hardest topics to talk about feel easier to digest, with hope for a brighter future seem plausible.

Whether it’s standing up for causes most dear to her, or simply playing love songs, she’s always standing out in the best way possible. It’s certainly a joy for us to have an artist like her out there, making peace in the world with gorgeous music and a classic talent that will never feel stale.

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