Yola at Philadelphia Folk Festival 2019 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Yola teams up with The Highwomen, Jason Isbell and Sheryl Crow for benefit single “Hold On”
Country soul singer-songwriter Yola released “Hold On”, a benefit single featuring a handful of artists on its roster. The Grammy-nominated artist was joined by the backing vocals of Brandi Carlile and Natalie Hembi, members of The Highwomen. The song was produced by David Cobb and also features Sheryl Crow playing piano and Jason Isbell on guitar.
“Hold On” has a powerful message within its lyrics, as Yola explained it to have been inspired by conversations with her mother about sticking to her passions and the difficulties that she may encounter as a Black woman. “Baby hold on to the things you love / Show me who it is you are / Never let that feeling go / Let it show.” Yola’s standalone soulful voice is only amplified by the backing vocals of Carlile and Hembi, further pushing the sentiments within the track’s message.
Yola told Pitchfork:
“’Hold On’ is a conversation between me and the next generation of young Black girls. My mother’s advice would always stress caution, that all that glitters isn’t gold, and that my Black female role models on TV are probably having a hard time. She warned me that I should rethink my calling to be a writer and a singer… but to me that was all the more reason I should take up this space. ‘Hold On’ is asking the next gen to take up space, to be visible and to show what it looks to be young, gifted and Black.”
Proceeds from the track as well as its merchandise will benefit MusiCares, a nonprofit that provides services and resources for musicians in need of financial, medical, or other personal assistance, and National Bail Out Collective, a nonprofit that works with groups across the country to support ongoing bail reform efforts and create resources for organizers and advocates interested in reuniting families and ending money bail and pretrial detention.