Yoli Mayor has big dreams — and talent.
The singer-songwriter, born and raised in Miami, is often called “the Cuban Adele.”
Mayor, who’s been singing since the age of 2, studied at the Academy of Arts and Minds in Coconut Grove, where she wrote and directed her first play at 16.
“I was born to do art in all shapes, forms and sizes. I make clothes, I make jewelry — I could never stop creating, basically. It’s almost involuntary,” she said.
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Inspired by such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Amy Winehouse, Mayor hopes to one day work with Adele, despite their similarities.
First earning her stripes singing at The Cabaret South Beach, the 20-year-old is the in-house talent at Brickell restaurant El Tucán.
On Sunday, Mayor took the stage at the Arts + Entertainment District’s monthly market, Miami Flea, doing covers and original tracks like Men Will Be Men, a song about equality in a relationship.
“I was raised in a Cuban household where I was told that the woman needed to cook and clean and have everything ready for when the man came home. I want women to be independent, and I want people to stop teaching their little girls that they’re princesses that need to be maintained.”
Mayor’s straight-up attitude makes her a force to be reckoned with, but to her, being honest with herself and her listeners is important.
“What you see is what you get; I am what I am. I don’t wear too much makeup when I’m doing my personal performances; I don’t wear waist cinchers. Whatever I put out there is what I’m feeling. I don’t write about things that I haven’t experienced. Giving yourself is important, and I think the truth is the most powerful weapon in the world.”
Her ultimate desire is to stir emotions and impact people with her art.
“I want my music to touch an 80-year-old the same way it touches a 20-year-old. I want my music to make people feel what music has made me feel. I found hope, I found confidence, I found a reason to keep creating. Something inside of you moves when you hear it. I want to be that music.”
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