In an industry that advocates monotony, Goapele, perhaps because of her cultural heritage, is a non-conformist. Her exiled South African political activist father met her New York-born Jewish mother and married while in Nairobi, Kenya.
For a woman whose name means ‘to go forward’ in Setswana, the South African language of her grandmother, Goapele lives her name. The Bay Area native’s debut effort, Even Closer was a 14-track masterpiece that she co-wrote and co-produced independently which went on to sell an unprecedented 150,000 units. Now Goapele is back on the musical scene with her highly anticipated sophomore effort, Change it All on Skyblaze/Columbia Records.
The dread-headed beauty was influenced equally by music from Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Nina Simone, Billy Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Prince and Portishead as she was by Miriam Makeba, Zulu Spears and Hugh Masekela.
Goapele brings a well-needed enigmatic presence to a mundane industry that is devoid of innovative magic and fascination, but thick with semblance. Her signature of throaty moans and nostalgic lyrical poetry evoke all things old yet somehow manages to be refreshingly new.
Erykah Badu votes Even Closer as the most creative and innovative album for the 2003 ShortList Music Project and says, "Goapele you Shine! I love you. I’m pleased that you demonstrate True Jedi, and the music is beautiful too”.
The poised chanteuse delivers a testimony-driven, emotionally aching yet uplifting and candidly charged classic cuts to soul music junkies who feign for organic gutbucket vocals and raw bass lines. Goapele brilliantly experiments with skillful compositions and heart wrenching harmonies, all with a smooth as pearl delivery. The songs showcase the singer/songwriter’s impeccable ability to mix classic soul with rhythm and blues along with new-age funk, dripping with sensuality. The multi-layered feel-good tracks effortlessly spirals her superb lyrics and velvety voice around carefree bass laden beats instantly garnering her respect for skillfully uniting hip-hop, jazz, R&B and melodic soul.
Change it All features production from Bedrock, Jeff Bhasker (The Game, E-40), Linda Perry (Pink, Christina Aguillera), Sa Ra Creative Partners (Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Jill Scott) and Mike Tiger (The Coup, Martin Luther) many of whom contributed to making Even Closer a success. The album also features a duet with fellow soulster and Virgin recording artist Dwele.
On Monday, June 5th Goapele, Skyblaze/Columbia recording singing sensation, the Bay Area’s princess of soul, will host a meet & greet and perform songs from her new album “Change it All” at The Jazz Cafe (5 Parkway, Camden Town) in London. The show begins at 8pm.