Walking on stage with a quiet confidence, you would never guess that Joy Oladokun has one of the best laughs you’ve ever heard. A goofy, full hearted belly laugh that fills an entire room. That entire room was filled with people on Friday night at Ardmore Music Hall, who were excited and eager to hear songs from the Nashville singer-songwriter.
“I’m gonna talk about some shit about my life,” as she sang right into “If You Got A Problem.” The musician paused to address the audience and genuinely thank them for coming out, and showing her appreciation for their attention. Not alluding away from the fact that she was super high and loves the ganja, she even mentioned how she had run out, and then suddenly a crowd member reached out to her with a bag of goodies.
Oladokun’s songs are made up of a pure, authentic rawness that she coo’s and caws. Her 2021 release, In Defense of My Own Happiness, presents thoughtful, heartbreakingly real songs about her life, her religious upbringing addressed in “Sunday,” as well as her feelings about the state of the world. Heard in “I See America,” Joy talked about being a daughter of Nigerian immigrants, and that song then shifted into a mash-up with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as the crowd chimed in and sang along, unsure whether to scream or to cry.
In the middle of the show, the band walked off the stage, and Joy sang a couple of new songs acoustically. She made it a point to share her story about coming out of the closet, saying, “it was the scariest thing to say out loud. And now it’s a joke I make quite often.” This show was totally a therapy session for many of the attendees as Joy shared her wisdom and positive spirits with the crowd, mixed in with some incredibly awesome music.