Joy Oladokun has had a break out start to 2021. The Nashville artist, originally from rural Arizona, is gearing up to release her third full-length album, in defense of my own happiness (vol. 2) this summer after the roaring success of last year’s volume one. Her music has been featured in a variety of popular television shows, including Grey’s Anatomy and the L Word, and tonight she will make her late-night television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “Look Up,” one of many singles released during the artist’s prolific 2020, is Dan’s DJ Pick of the Week.
Oladokun artfully blends folk and pop on “Look Up.” She’s been compared to the likes of Adele, Stevie Nicks, and Tracy Chapman— who first inspired her to pick up a guitar— and it’s clear why. Her voice is subtle, captivating, and at the forefront of the track. The lyrics are a defiantly optimistic resolve to hold your head high and keep on keeping on.
Mondays aren’t always bright
Some days, you lose the fight
But life can be beautiful if you let it be
Tomorrow keeps taunting you
With all kinds of mystery
It’s a blank page for your poetry
So let it be
Oladokun uses her music to process. As a black queer person and a first generation child of Nigerian immigrants, her writing eloquently tackles her identity and experience of the world. Both quarantine and the protests against racial injustice of this past summer appear in her songs, and she isn’t one to shy away from politics. “in defense of my own happiness takes on such a different meaning when you’re saying it as a Black queer woman in America, in 2020. So, volume two is just leaning more into those political nuances,” she told Atwood Magazine.
Be sure to tune into 100.1 FM or lightning100.com to hear “Look Up” by Joy Oladokun featured as Dan’s DJ Pick of the Week. Be sure to let us know your thoughts! Tweet at us with #L100DJPick and share your take on the track.