An Interview with R&B Songstress and Sade Inspired, GOAPELE!
Posted On 04 Jun 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, American Boy, Artist Interview, Bay Area, Berklee College of Music, Black Eyed Peas, Boi-1da, Break Of Dawn, Closer, Common, D'Angelo, Demonte Posey, Drake, Eric Benet, Estelle, Goapele, Hey Boy, Keith Harris, Kendrick Lamar, Meet Me Halfway, Sade, Snoop, South Africa, Stevie Wonder, Strong As Glass
Goapele is known for seamlessly blending genres while refusing to be limited by any one. As an eloquent singer-songwriter, she completed her first release “Closer” in 2001 and never looked back.
This Oakland native and former Berklee College of Music student has continued to grow as artist and live performer in the eleven years since her debut.
Goapele’s (pronounced gwa-puh-lay) latest and fourth album, “Strong As Glass” was released late last year via BMG Primary Wave / Skyblaze Recordings and it features her single “Hey Boy” which was produced by Keith Harris, known for hits like “Meet Me Halfway” (Black Eyed Peas) and “American Boy” (Estelle). She also worked with R&B veteran Eric Benet and producer Demonte Posey to finish this genre-bending record. There are upbeat tracks mixed with powerful ballads, hard-hitting drums, classic Goapele vocals and even a duet with one of R&B’s top artists.
Learn more about this very talented singer-songwriter in the following All Access interview:
So where does this interview find you today?
It finds me multi-tasking and preparing for a TV audition.
You have a very interesting upbringing! Ultimately, how do you think it all has affected you as a performer? When do you think was the moment that you decided to be an artist?
I grew up in a multi-cultural household in the bay area and my upbringing has made me always want to see different communities come together through my music and at my live shows…its one of the things that’s really gratifying for me.
Do your father’s South African roots ever influence your music?
Yes, it influences the base lines that I’m attracted to and also the way I hear harmonies. And it’s affected me lyrically because the South African musicians I grew up listening to, told powerful stories that changed the world.
Last fall, you released “Strong As Glass”. Is this collection different then anything else you’ve put out?
It’s more straight forward R&B than I have done in the past and there were new collaborations on the album, as far as the producers I worked with and the artists, including Eric Benet, Snoop and Keith Harris.
Who would you still love to work with and why?
I still want to collaborate with Stevie Wonder, Kendrick, Boi-1da, Drake, D’angelo and Common.
Many have compared your beautiful voice to Sade. What do you think of that comparison?
I Love Sade. She has been an inspiration to me and I love the way that she created her own niche and path…musically and visually…I like that she has an international approach lyrically and I like how she presents her sensuality in a timeless way.
When it comes to all your work with non-profits and human right projects, what have you done that you are most proud of?
I’m most proud of how people tell me that “Closer” has been a part of their lives and some transformative moments.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with you? In-studio, on stage or elsewhere?
Going to Stevie Wonder’s studio and hearing him sit down at the piano and sing one of his new songs in front of me and just a hand full of other people in the room
What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment so far and what do you have your eyes set on next?
Being an independent artist and getting to put out the music that I want to and next is getting back into the studio, touring and diving deeper into FILM & TV.
Catch Goapele live this summer!