Nashville singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun made her late-night television debut on Tuesday with a sparse, haunting version of her piano-driven pop ballad “Breathe Again.”
“Follow me down where the water runs deep,” Oladokun sings, switching from full-throated pop belting to a folky whisper from one line to the next. “I’ll let you drown in the worst of me.”
In an interview last year, Oladokun explained the origins of the song. “It’s about letting go of perfectionism and embracing the warm flickering thing between light and dark that is our humanity,” she told American Songwriter. “I can get so bogged down by my anxiety about my past mistakes or, what I might get wrong that I truly sometimes forget to breathe.”
Oladokun, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants who grew up in a Christian community in rural Arizona, released her debut album, In Defense of My Own Happines (Vol. 1), last summer. Earlier this month, Oladokun released “Wish You the Best,” which features 23 year-old singer-songwriter Jensen McRae. Oladokun described the song as, in part, being about her “complicated relationship with [her] exes and America.”
Next week, Oladokun will appear on Hulu’s Your Attention Please: The Concert, a livestreamed show also featuring Lil Yachty, Swae Lee and 24kGoldn.