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Naija Soul Sistahs (part 4)

Saturday, 20 March 2010


Ayọ (born Joy Olasunmibo Ogunmakin on 14 September 1980) in Frechen near Cologne, Germany is an Afro German singer-songwriter. She uses the Yoruba translation Ayọ or Ayo. of her first name Joy
Her debut album 'Joyful', which was first released in 2006, reached double platinum status in France, Platinum in Germany and Poland, Gold status in Switz, Italy and Greece. The album was released in the United States on 20 November 2007 by Interscope Records.

The president of UNICEF France, Jacques Hintzy, announced on 4 February 2009 that the singer was named patron of UNICEF to promote the right to education for all children in the world. 

Ayọ was born as the fourth child of a Nigerian father and Romani mother from Romania in Frechen, German 

but as a baby lived for a short time in Nigeria. 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 with her father again.

Her musical taste was influenced by her father's large selection of albums which included Pink Floyd, Fela Kuti, Donny Hathaway, Jimmy Cliff, and Bob Marley. Her father, who worked part-time as a DJ while studying engineering in Germany, discovered her singing talent and he recorded a first demo tape with her in a studio and allowed her to drop out of school at the age of eighteen.

To know more about Ayo and her music, visit her website

Listen to Ayo's music here: Change

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