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AYO is a German born artist, the offspring of a Nigerian father who had come to Germany to study in the 1970s, and sometimes worked as a DJ, and a mother who is a gypsy.


AYOs rather unusual name means joy in Yoruba. Her rich cultural background is also reflected in her musical influences. She grew up amidst Pink Floyd and Fela Kuti, the Soul Children and Bob Marley, and many others.


AYOs nomadic lifestyle brought her to live between Paris and New York, two capitals that accurately sum up her musical identity. In Paris, word got around fast, and she held initial solo concerts with her guitar, opened for Omar, the British soul brother and jammed alongside Cody Chesnutt.


AYOs entire album, Joyful, was recorded in New York under live conditions. She cries, laughs and moves us with her simplicity. To accompany her, producer Jay Newland put together a group of open-minded musicians that, with a note on a B3 organ or with a stroke of slide guitar melodiously enter this unusual world, which is studded with a few words in Pidgin, the street language of Lagos, and unveils recollections of gypsy life. In addition to her parents, two other influences helped her set the tone of this album, which very well could have been recorded some 35 years ago. Firstly, theres mentor Donny Hathaway. Her other reference is Jimmy Cliff. Like her predecessors, she strives to naturally and sincerely share her stories and touch others, boosted solely by her life experience and her dreams.

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07 Sep 2007
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