Yola at ACL Fest: Our interview after the singer's incendiary performance
Yola's 45-minute set in the Tito's tent on the final day of this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival felt like the full-scale arrival of a major talent. Backed by a four-piece band, the British soul singer served up song after song from her 2019 solo debut album "Walk Through Fire," delighting some audience members who knew what to expect and amazing others who didn't. By the end of it, the crowd at the small venue had swelled well outside the cover of the tent, and rapturous applause followed every number she played.
But this isn't an overnight success story, even if this year has been by far the biggest breakout of her career. Yola worked for years as a songwriter with other bands and also as a sort of singer for hire, as well as recording two albums with the group Phantom Limb around a decade ago. It wasn't until Black Keys leader Dan Auerbach brought her on board his renowned Easy Eye Sound label for "Walk Through Fire" that all of the pieces finally locked into place for her solo career to take off. Now that it has, there's no stopping her.
After her performance, Yola (full name: Yolanda Quartey) stopped by our Austin360/American-Statesman tent in the media lounge to talk more on Austin360 Radio about her performance, the no-boundaries perspective she applies to her music, the steps she took along the way, and more. Check out the full interview here: