Cinematic, genuine, and bold – Afrosoul singer-songwriter Ayola effortlessly blends his Nigerian roots with a Western pop sensibility, traversing genres to create powerful and immaculately-produced recordings. From folk, to R&B, to string-laden ballads and soul, Ayola's catalogue of singles is small but mighty, with a deep emotional wisdom in his lyrical storytelling and frank approach to modern relationships.
Born in Osun State and raised in Kwara State, Ayola grew up singing at home, competing with his mother over who had the better voice, and listening to the nostalgic Afro-juju songs of King Sunny Ade on road trips with his father. “I think that kinda taught me what good music sounded like,” reflects Ayola.
One of ten children in his family, his education was his primary focus in his young adult years, eventually leading him to London, UK for his first masters degree at UCL. It was there that his long-held love for music finally bubbled to the surface - singing with his bassist flatmate and being around music created a deeper need to write his own songs and discover what makes a good song, spending hours deconstructing hits from Coldplay, Passenger, and Fun!. The encouragement of local musicians led to his first record deal, which he turned down in order to focus on his studies. “I was always scared of not meeting the standards I'd set for myself in my head.”
Ayola moved to Windsor in 2016 for his second masters degree at the University of Windsor. Relaxing the pace of his non-stop education, Ayola finally had time to explore his love for music again, taking the plunge and recording his first three singles – the deeply sensual R&B jam "Akoto", the uptempo Afropop song "Bola", and the cinematic folk soul ballad "1974" – experimenting with new creative territory in English and Yoruba. Ayola continues to explore the intersection of beloved genres in his authentic Naija voice and effortlessly melodic style, with a new five-song EP entitled “Scum” to be released on October 23, 2020.