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Joy Oladokun Finds Her Spotlight

Joy Oladokun, performing on June 20, 2021 in Nashville.
Jason Kempin
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Joy Oladokun, performing on June 20, 2021 in Nashville.

It's been remarkable to watch singer-songwriter Joy Oladukun's professional success, despite the pandemic: Her music keeps showing up on popular scripted shows like Grey's Anatomy and This Is Us, leading to live performances on late night shows with Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert — all without really leaving her base of Nashville, Tenn.

On June 4, she released her third studio album, in defense of my own happiness, where she sings affectingly about her relationship with her father, identity as a queer Black woman and the process of grappling with religious trauma. It took her some time.

"I think if I had written about my experiences too close to them, I would have said things that I regret," she says, in an interview with All Things Considered's Ari Shapiro, "and I think that the distance helped that."

For the full interview, listen in the audio player above, and stream Joy Oladukun's latest album below.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
Justine Kenin
Justine Kenin is an editor on All Things Considered. She joined NPR in 1999 as an intern. Nothing makes her happier than getting a book in the right reader's hands – most especially her own.