Yoli Tamu

Welcome to the Official Music Site for Yoli Tamu

A funny thing happens when you stop thinking about yourself and start helping others. As they say, do good to others and good will be done to you. Such is the case with adult contemporary pop/soul artist Yoli Tamu, who after a long break from her true love – music – found a way back to her true self in an unlikely way, paving the way for her long-awaited debut album, “Back To Me.”

Though raised on music with a mom who is an accomplished pianist and gospel director and with a professional head start at age 14 when she led the church choir, Yoli’s life took a sharp left turn when a troubled first record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 2001 left her debut album, “Breathing Under Water,” unreleased and a soon-to-follow chaotic marriage left her without a song in her heart. With a defeated musical soul, she turned to teaching and through that selfless work formed a nonprofit organization to inspire and empower students called the Unity Theatre Foundation. It was through booking a guest speaker for that foundation that her life turned around again.

“I was so pissed off after my record deal blew up and I lost interest in the business,” explains Yoli, who was born in Altadena, California, attended LACHSA, a performing arts high school in Los Angeles, and received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Howard University in Washington, D.C. after performing in Hong Kong, China as a co-lead in the college touring musical, “Dreamgirls.”

She continues, “After it all fell apart, I was more excited about being a new wife and trying to find my own family rather than a career. Then when the marriage ended, I was just devastated. There was just no song in my heart at the time. I remember just being on the floor for three days and then something, a spirit, just rose up inside of me and said, “This is not you. This happened to you, but this is not you.’ And I began to feel strong again. It inspired me to write, so I started writing poetry to get things off my chest.”

Prior to this, things had been moving fast in Yoli’s early career. She worked with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds right out of college before heading for a 6-month Top 40 piano bar gig in Kobe, Japan. While in Japan, she met Frankie Beverly and Maze and was later asked to be his opening act for a show in Los Angeles. Soon she was signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2001 and working with Grammy-award winning producers and songwriters, such as Narada Michael Walden, David Kershenbaum, and Siedah Garrett. In 2003, her song “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Sunshine” was chosen as the theme song for the romantic comedy “Deliver Us From Eva” starring LL Cool J and Gabrielle Union. “I was so happy and thought maybe this could lead to a new label opportunity,” she said of the time.  Continue Reading…

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