Three Happy People Who Sing Sad Songs, That You Need To Know.
Wrabel, Billy Raffoul and Joy Oladokun
Oh hey there! It’s me, Derek, back again on the digital interface of the electronic thing you’re looking at. This time I want to introduce you to three incredible humans that I recently had the chance to see live at Union Stage in Washington, DC. They just wrapped up their “Happy People Sing Sad Songs Tour” but I wanted to make sure as many people as possible got the chance to know these amazing musicians. So let’s get started, shall we?
Drawing inspiration from the likes of Tracy Chapman, Joy Oladokun is an artist from Arizona now residing in Tennessee who instantly grabbed the attention of the audience. Her voice was one that would take you to a place of pure emotion accompanied only by her guitar. She has found ways to put thoughts and feelings that many of us encounter into beautiful songs, songs that touch on topics such as faith, sexuality, and anxiety, songs like “Sunday”. Through all of these songs though, she herself was a great source of positivity for the room. She would crack jokes, give shoutouts to Mario Kart and even provide us with random fun facts… like the state tie of Arizona, which is the bolo tie by the way. I always love to be surprised by an act that I’m not familiar with, and I can assure you that I will be following along with Joy’s music journey, as should you.
No joke, one of her most hard-hitting songs, in my opinion, has been on repeat since hearing it for the first time. That song is titled “Blink Twice” and let me just say… damn, it’s good.
Have you been looking to be punched in the gut with the feels by way of volumized hair and a raspy male voice? Well, look no further because Billy Raffoul is here to fill that void. This singer-songwriter from Canada has been making way for himself in the world of music over the last few years and is just warming up. Rocking out on the stage by himself and his guitar and drum stomp pad he’s someone I was very excited to see again.
The song that kicked off this whole journey a few years ago was “Driver” but songs like “Dark Four Door” and “Acoustic” keep me coming back for more. This is an artist that has the ability to range from the softer sad tones to the rocking vibes, all the way to the EDM side with collaborations with artists such as Kygo and Avicii.
Go ahead, add him to your playlist and crank up the volume. Be on the lookout for new music and tell him thank you for all of the amazing songs he’s written for other artists as well. Also, next time you’re killing zombies in Playstation’s Days Gone keep an ear out for Billy’s single “Hell or High Water”.
Last but certainly not least is the one and only Wrabel. For years he’s written songs for huge acts such as Kesha, Ben Platt, Marshmello, and even P!nk but he’s kept a lot of songs for himself and it’s worth listening to every single one. I was first introduced to the magic of Wrabel two years ago as he accompanied Andy Grammer and Gavin DeGraw on tour and have been hooked ever since. With songs such as “11 Blocks” and “Ritual,” it’s hard not to want to keep up with his career.
He’s also a person who, like many of us, encounter moments of joy in life but also bouts of depression. He translates a lot of that into songs, mainly the latter of the feelings, but man do they make for some powerful songs.
Speaking of powerful songs, a couple of years ago he introduced one into the world that spread like wildfire and in a beautiful way shined a light on a community that has long been considered taboo. We live in a world that everyone should be able to be who they really are, no matter your sexuality, religion, gender or ethnicity. “The Village” confronts that head-on.
Another song that has remained a personal favorite since it’s release has been “Poetry” a song that was written in Ohio in a burnt orange Suzuki and is just so well done lyrically and vocally. You may have seen him on P!nk’s most recent tour as they sang their song “90 Days” together and who knows where else he could pop up in the future. Check out his latest EP ‘one of those happy people’ and look out for his song with Kesha when her new album drops next year.