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A yọ (born as Joy Olasunmibo Ogunmakin on 14 September 1980 near Cologne, Germany) is an Afro-German singer-songwriter. She uses the Yoruba translation Ayọ or Ayo. of her first name Joy. The name has to be written with a dot below or behind the o – without it, it would mean "onion" in Yoruba language and/or refer to a pitted board game[1] popular among the Yorubas.

Her debut album Joyful, which was first released in 2006, reached Double-Platinum status in France, Platinum in Germany and Poland, Gold status in Switzerland and Italy. The album was released in the United States on 20 November 2007 by Interscope Records.

She has a son Nile, who was born in late 2005 with her boyfriend the Afro-German reggae singer Patrice. End of 2007 she moved with her family to the West Village, Manhattan, New York City.

Early years

Ayọ was born as fourth child to her Nigerian father and Romani mother from Romania in Germany but lived as a baby for a short time in Nigeria. She has one sister and two brothers. When she was about six years old her mother became addicted to heroin and spent some time in jail. After her parents divorced she and two of her siblings spent periods of time in care and with foster families. When she was fourteen she was considered old enough by the authorities to live again with her father.

Musical Career

At the age of six Ayọ played for a short time the violin, then turned to the piano and later taught herself to play the guitar. When she was about 15, she wrote her first song, which was about her mother, and helped her to cope with her traumatic childhood. Her musical taste was influenced by her fathers large selection of vinyl albums which included Pink Floyd, Fela Kuti, Donny Hathaway, Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley. When her father, who worked part-time as DJ while studying engineering in Germany, discovered her singing talent he recorded with her a first demo tape in a studio and allowed her to drop school at the age of eighteen.

At twentyone Ayọ moved to London and later lived in Paris and New York. During her time in Paris her musical talent was noticed by a broader audience, she gave her first solo concerts, opened 2002 for soul singers Omar and Cody Chesnutt and signed a contract with Polydor Records.

Shortly after she gave birth to her son Nile she recorded in January 2006 her first album Joyful in the New York Sony studio in just five days under live conditions together with a group of musicians organized by her producer Jay Newland. The album was released in June 2006 in Europe and Korea and in November 2007 in the United States and Japan.

End of 2007 Ayọ started a concert tour through Germany and the United States. On her American tour she performed with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. On January 10, 2008 she appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, and on January 26, 2008 the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, performing her song Down on My Knees.

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Quelle: lastfm


blues, female vocalists, jazz, reggae, soul


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