The romantic visual is directed by Ford Fairchild. Set against a beautiful late night neon cityscape, we watch and wait until we witness Yola’s moment of connection. Discussing the video, Yola stated, “I wanted to put something into the world that showed people what my dating life is like now. I’m currently single, yes, but I’m not neglected or some soulless sex robot. The volume of media dedicated to showing dark skinned Black women having a nice normal time in romantic situations, be it true love or just dating, is still lacking in my opinion.”
Yola states, “Starlight” is a song about looking for positive physical, sexual and human connections at every level of your journey towards love.”
She also adds: “The world seems to attach a negative trope of cold heartlessness to the concept of any sexual connection that isn’t marriage, this song looks through a lens of warmth specifically when it comes to sex positivity. Understanding the necessity of every stage of connection and that it is possible for every stage of your journey in love, sex and connection to be nurturing. Temporary or transitory doesn’t have to be meaningless or miserable. In the right situations every connection can teach us something valuable about who we are, what we want and what is healthy.”
It has also been hailed as a singular sonic shift, with publications including Billboard who included “Diamond Studded Shoes” in the best songs of 2021 so far, and proclaimed her a “powerhouse vocalist.” The Guardian described “Yola’s powerhouse vocals will pin you against the wall and make you rethink everything you thought you knew about the modern diva” and The Sunday Times Culture praised “a rollicking, country-soul swipe at inequality and injustice”. Diamond Studded Shoes also peaked at number 1 on the Americana radio chart, and has A-List rotation from BBC Radio 2, and 6 Music support.
From the seminal albums Yola discovered via her Mother’s 70s record collection, to her love of eclectic British radio, which featured a fluid mix of rock, 90s neo soul, R&B and britpop—all which soundtracked her childhood and teenage years in Bristol, England. Yola experienced prejudice throughout her childhood and career and navigated these experiences, as well as homelessness in London and stress-induced voice loss to launch her solo career in 2016. She achieved breakout success with her debut album, Walk Through Fire, which landed her four GRAMMY® nominations including Best New Artist, critical acclaim and fans from Elton John to Mavis Staples.