Joy Oladokun

“I feel like it’s not an accident I’m a queer black woman writing and making music,” says singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun. The first of her Nigerian-American family to be born in the U.S., Oladokun grew up in Arizona, listening to her father’s wide-ranging music collection. Her life was changed forever when she saw Tracy Chapman on TV serenading Nelson Mandela on his 70th birthday. “Seeing Tracy Chapman up there with a guitar in front of a full stadium was such an empowering moment. I ran into the next room and begged my parents to buy me a guitar for Christmas,” she recalls, and she’s been writing songs ever since. Now based in Los Angeles, she followed her critically acclaimed debut album, 2020’s in defense of my own happiness (the beginnings), with in defense of my own happiness, released in 2021.