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Yola Carter is a rising country-soul singer / songwriter from Bristol. Heavily influenced from an early age by Sixties country, Stax-era soul and gospel ranging from The Staple Singers to Otis Redding, Yola was raised in a small seaside town in the South West of the England and “always wanted to be a country music artist”. Unafraid to address difficult issues in her lyrics, Yola’s real-life story – both heartbreaking and inspirational – naturally finds its way into her songs. Coming from a poor, broken home and a parent suffering from mental illness who ‘banned’ her from making any music, Yola’s experience of growing up was one of truly living below the breadline. In a working class community in denial of its status where discrimination and even violence fuelled by racism were not unusual, writing music quickly became an outlet and a means of expression, and touring a means of escape.
She began her journey into Americana music performing with her band Phantom Limb, based in her hometown of Bristol. The band self-released the eponymous debut album and the later more country-leaning effort of The Pines produced by Marc Ford of The Black Crowes, taking to the road with acts such as Dr John, Solomon Burke and Candi Staton. Despite this success, Phantom Limb eventually disbanded, leaving Yola to focus on her own projects.