I want to be a new-school version of a really old idea,

What Yoli Mayor the artist wants to be is honest. She wants to hole herself up in a dark, dingy corner of the afterlife, let her audience light cigarettes indoors, and use her vocal cords to transport them to a more transparent time, when the voice was the purveyor of vulnerability and the most powerful instrument. 

“I want that smoky-room feel," she says. "I want that cigar-bar environment surrounding me. I want my music to create a sense of clarity and peace.” 

Her laugh is deep-throated and expansive and sounds like a children’s choir. Her attitude is one you'd expect from a dynamic and candid artist.



Twenty-one-year-old Mayor has been called the “Cuban Adele,” but she wants to move away from that association. “It is a huge complement to be compared to her, but I’d love to get away from that comparison,” she says. “I don’t want to be the Cuban version of anyone. I'd just rather be a version of me.” One striking similarity is how both Adele and Mayor have chosen to write songs that reflect on heartbreak. “One thing that has happened to me in the past year is I had my heart broken for the first time.” 

One of the tracks on Mayor's upcoming EP, due out this summer, is “Lay Here.” “The song is about falling out of my first love and the sadness and the things you may not normally express,” Mayor says. On the track, she croons, "I’m just going to lay here until you love me / I’m going to lay here until you are absolutely sure / I’m going to lay here until it is only me / I’m going to lay here until I cannot take no more.

“I am not afraid to talk about the part where you feel like you are going to die,” Mayor explains. “I think that is the part that resonates the most with people. I cry when I sing this song, and so do many of my fans.”