• Produced by Jay Newland
  • Ayọ: Vocals, Accustic Guitar, and Piano
  • Larry Campbell: Guitar, Steel Guitar, Mandolin etc.
  • Brian Mitchell: Hammond B-3, Accordion, Harmonica, Bass Harmonica, Piano
  • Keith Christopher: Bass great feel
  • James Wormworth: Drums
  • Danny Sadownick: Percussion
  • Kyle Gordon: Backing vocals
  • Recorded January 2006 Sony music studios NYC
  • Mixed February 2006 Rivermusic Norwalk Ct
  • Engineered by Jay Newland and Andy Manganello
Country Status Charts
Finland finishcharts
France Double-Platin lescharts
Germany Platin
Greece Gold
Italy Gold
Poland Double-Platin
Switzerland Gold swisscharts
USA Billboard

iTunes Top 10 Dance Albums Chart: France: #7, Belgium #9, Switzerland #9, Luxembourg #4 (@ 19.12.2007)

Watch video and listen to song samples on



The album was recorded within just five days under live conditions. "We'd been talking about this album for a long time and in the end we recorded it really quickly. When I was pregnant, I learned to be patient. Now I know I'm ready". "I need to feel the musicians to really thrive… I feel at my best when I m performing live. Whether you're solo or accompanied by a group, you can't lie".
Joyful is a tribute to her father as her reference and her mother as her muse but is also influenced by her mentor Donny Hathaway ("… a singer who goes beyond words to really make you understand what he's singing. …") and by Jimmy Cliff from whom she learned the art of story-telling ("Whenever I hear 'The Harder They Come', I think about him and his life").

Joyful was sold in over 40 countries (450,000 copies in France alone and 300,000 outside). The album was certified double platinum in Poland and France, Gold in Italy, Switzerland and Greece and has won two appointments to its author at the Victoires de la Musique in 2007.

Special Thanks
First and most of all, I wanna thank God for showing me the right way at the right time, and for all the many blessings I have received.

Dad, I dedicate this album to you, I love you. Without you there would be no me and I wanna thank you for everything you have done. You are and will always be my hero and my only idol. I will help you fulfill your dreams just the way you helped me fulfill mine. God knows you'll go back to where your heart is; Nigeria isn't far.
To the Ogunmakin family: Thanks for your strength and hope. I look forward to a reunion in Nigeria!

Mum, I love you. You are my muse for real° I've never met a woman as strong as you. Everything in life happens for a reason. I know you really tried. You are everything but the average mother. Still, I love you just the way you are. Our life was never boring, and even though there was a lots of tears, nowadays we've got so much to laugh about.

Nile Nesta abiola, my son, through you I've changed so much, I'm finally a woman. It is you who taught me forgiveness and patience. I thank God, for giving me you. You're the most precious thing in my life. I love you so much!

To my baby's father and love of my life, Baba-Tunde: you've been nice this week! Thank you for your unconditional support, inspiration and for our son. I'm happy to share this with you. "Hear the sound of my money machines!"

To my siblings, Sascha, Yinka and Dennis. I love you.
Monika Ogunmakin: thanks for believing in me! I love you.

And to my extended family: Bisrat (a. k. a. Mulu), you are the reason why I am in Paris! You are my sister, my friend, my guide.

Fatou, we've been through a lot of sh** together. You are not only my manager, you really became a close friend. Now it's our time to get down and dirty.

George, you are my soulmate and my brother, let's write some more.

Mon frere Badie, thank you for everything. I guess I'll always stay your spoiled brat.

My love goes to Brigitte, Mallence, Bjoern and Dirk L., Ricky, Robert, Stefan, Amy and Emma, Samantha and Genie, Naghmey, Pauline, Andy (Clam), my girls Filliz and Eda, Dirk B., Daniel (Diddi), my girl Italee, Abbey Lincoln: it is such a great pleasure singing your song and a great honor sharing it with the world again, Cris Prolific, Chima, Mangi, and Heidi Vogel.

Special thanks to Jean-Philippe Allard - you gave me guidance and freedom - and to the Polydor France staff: Chiquito (hombre!), Baby Steeve, Aurelie, Anne-Sophie, Virginie, Nitsan, Lionel, Damien and Charlotte.

Jay Newland, it was great working with you. You've got good sense. Big-up to Andy and Goeff and the band, as well as Joe D'Ambrosio, Dave Smith, Jim Flynn at Jim Flynn Rentals, Brian McKenna, Mark Wilder and the Sony Studio staff.

I am forever grateful for the early support from: Emanuel (u know who you are), Aline, Ylan, Xuly-Bet and staff, Iguane Studio, Eric Damain, Jill Newman, Vivien Lewit, Wasis Diop, Noemi Pallard, Dieudonne, Hughes Lawson, Titoff, the Tryptique staff, and Antoine, Michael, Oussama, Stephane, Yohan, Stuart Matthewman, Clay and Michelle Matthewman, Russell Elevàdoi, Itaal Shur, John and Lillian Lissauer, Leanne, and Tracii McGregor, Eclectic breaks, Mrs & Mr Schulze, Christophe and Carryl Symes-Prat and last but not least, to all music lovers.


Professional reviews

Le songbook de l'album 'Joyful' ici arrangé pour Piano, Voix et Guitare (Tablature et Boîtes d'Accords).

  • Piano, Voix, Guitare (Tablatures), 93 pages, ID Music 2007 (English)
  • And It'S Supposed To Be Love
  • Down On My Knees
  • Help Is Coming
  • How Many Times ?
  • Letter By Letter
  • Life Is Real
  • Neva Been
  • Only You
  • These Days
  • Watching You
  • What Is Love ?
  • Without You
partitur1.jpg partitur2.jpg


JOYFUL 31.10.2006 Testpressing: DVD
: Standard 12 track version
Contains CD with 12 tracks
[Limited Edition]
Contains CD with 12 tracks and DVD with Down on My Knees video plus video interview
[Bonus] version
Contains CD with a 13th track labeled either 13. [CD-ROM Track] or 13. [CD-ROM Track] - Carl Ayotte
[Ltd. Pur Edt.]
Contains CD with 12 tracks, released 2007
Contains CD with 12/13 (?) tracks, UK version (?)
2007 UK release has different cover:
2007 US release has different cover: