Yola demonstrated her soulful chops and superstar wonder during a performance Tuesday night (July 20) on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Joined by musician and show bandleader Jon Batiste, the performance resulted in a choir of well-earned applause and cheers, erupting into a standing ovation, no less.
“The song’s protagonist ‘token’ has been shrinking themselves to fit into the narrative of another’s making, but it becomes clear that shrinking is pointless. This song is about a celebration of being awake from the nightmare supremacist paradigm,” Yola previously shared with The Bluegrass Situation about the song. “Truly alive, awake, and eyes finally wide open and trained on your path to self-actualization. You are thinking freely and working on undoing the mental programming that has made you live in fear. It is about standing for ourselves throughout our lives and real change coming when we challenge our thinking. This is who I’ve always been in music and in life. There was a little hiatus where I got brainwashed out of my own majesty, but a bitch is back.”
“Stand for Myself” anchors Yola’s forthcoming new album, also called Stand for Myself, out Friday (July 30) via Easy Eye Sound. The album is “a collection of stories of allyship, black feminine strength through vulnerability, and loving connection from the sexual to the social. All celebrating a change in thinking and paradigm shift at their core,” she described. “It is an album not blindly positive and it does not simply plead for everyone to come together. It instead explores ways that we need to stand for ourselves throughout our lives, what limits our connection as humans and declares that real change will come when we challenge our thinking and acknowledge our true complexity.”
Yola graces the cover of American Songwriter’s July/August issue. Read the full feature here. Check out Yola’s Off the Record interview with American Songwriter below.