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Yola celebrates Black feminine strength in new music video ‘Stand For Myself







“Yet another musical twist in Yola’s saga. An ebullient mix of hard truths and vintage soul.”

 Rolling Stone

“The music radiates optimism. But Yola’s lyrics are far more skeptical; she’s warning that the rich and privileged still have everything rigged in their favor.” 

The New York Times

Photo Credit: Seth Dunlap

Thursday, May 27 – Today, Yola released the video for the title track of her anthemic new album, Stand For Myself, which will be released via Easy Eye Sound on July 30, 2021. The single debuted today with a powerful new video, directed by Allister Ann. The clip features Yola escaping from a world that has entrapped her, on a vintage motorcycle whilst depicting a nuanced definition of Black female strength and drawing on visual references from the music videos from her childhood. “My school years were during the 90s and 00s, and Missy Elliott’s videos were always aesthetically superior to me.” Yola stated, adding “I feel that the video is set in the antechamber to freedom. The feeling of escaping something truly oppressive and heading towards an unknown with a sense of hope and choice you haven’t felt in a long time. We all have the capacity to go through this process in our own minds, I kinda look like a superhero at times, but I’m not. I’m just a person trying to be free.”

Yola co-wrote the song with Dan Auerbach, Hannah V and Natalie Hemby and it features The McCrary Sisters on background vocals. The track reflects on Yola’s belief in the possibility of paradigm shift beyond the mental programming that creates tokenism and bigotry, which have deeply impacted her personal life and professional career. “The song’s protagonist ‘token,’ has been shrinking themselves to fit into the narrative of another’s making, but it becomes clear that shrinking is pointless.” 

Yola said, adding, This song is about a celebration of being awake from the nightmare supremacist paradigm. Truly alive, awake and eyes finally wide open and trained on your path to self actualisation. You are thinking freely and working on undoing the mental programming that has made you live in fear. It is about standing for ourselves throughout our lives and real change coming when we challenge our thinking. This is who I’ve always been in music and in life. There was a little hiatus where I got brainwashed out of my own majesty, but a bitch is back.”

The album was produced by Dan Auerbach and has already been hailed as a singular sonic shift, with publications including The Guardian who proclaimed Yola as “one of the UK’s most underrated singers” following the release of her recent single, “Diamond Studded Shoes.” The Sunday Times Culture praised “a rollicking, country-soul swipe at inequality and injustice”, Paper Magazine hailed her new sound as “nuanced and endlessly listenable, and Consequence described Yola as creating, “soulful pop songs that mark a distinct pivot.” 

Stand For Myself traces a musical thread to Yola’s most eclectic inspirations. From the classic albums Yola discovered via her Mother’s 70s record collection, to her love of British radio, which featured a fluid mix of 90s neo soul, R&B and britpop—all which soundtracked her childhood and teenage years in Bristol, England. Yola experienced prejudice throughout her childhood and career and navigated these experiences, as well as homelessness in London and stress-induced voice loss to launch her solo career in 2016. She achieved breakout success with her debut album, Walk Through Fire, which landed her four GRAMMY® nominations including Best New Artist, critical acclaim and fans from Elton John to Mavis Staples. 

Yola will be one of few artists to perform at both Newport Folk and Newport Jazz in the same year, when she joins the lineup of both events this summer. She will also be performing dates with Chris Stapleton on his rescheduled tour in 2021 and will headline The Ryman Auditorium in 2022. For more information and tickets please visit:

Photographer Credit: Joseph Ross Smith


1. Barely Alive  

2. Dancing Away In Tears 

3. Diamond Studded Shoes  

4. Be My Friend 

5. Great Divide  

6. Starlight  

7. If I Had To Do It All Again  

8. Now You’re Here  

9. Whatever You Want  

10. Break The Bough  

11. Like A Photograph

12. Stand For Myself 

Last year, the pandemic derailed Yola’s plans to tour stadiums (with Chris Stapleton and The Black Keys) as well as numerous festival plays. In addition, her plans were sidelined to fly to Australia to film a role as Sister Rosetta Tharpe in the new Baz Luhrmann Elvis biopic. Yola used this unexpected gift of time and space to become grounded both physically and mentally, as she began to craft the songs that would eventually become Stand For Myself

Some songs began in the twilight hours of Yola’s pandemic isolation, reflecting on her personal and our collective moments of longing and awakening. Other songs germinated years ago and were inspired by personal moments, including “Break The Bough,” which Yola started to write following her mother’s funeral. Tracks were also co-written with Dan Auerbach, Ruby Amanfu, John Bettis, Pat McLaughlin, Natalie Hemby, Joy Oladokun, Paul Overstreet, Liz Rose, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Hannah V and Bobby Wood. Recorded during the fall of 2020 with a rhythm section that includes bassist Nick Movshon, noted for his work with Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars, alongside drummer and rising solo artist, Aaron Frazer. 

Connect with Yola online:

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Martin Bone - Editor-in-Chief

Martin is a founding member of Patchchord News and is Director & Editor-in-Chief for PCN Magazine / Patchchord News Martin also is a Freelance Photographer and lives in the Scottish Borders Scotland. Martin also specialises in Commercial Photography in Music & Events, Sports and Portrait Photography and Video. Also the Official Photographer for Football Club Maybole Juniors.
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