Goapele’s Voice Soars New Heights

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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 130,000 units. Now Goapele is back on the musical scene with her highly anticipated sophomore effort, Change it All on Skyblaze Recordings/Columbia Records set to be released in spring/summer 2005. "In an increasingly crowded neo soul scene that's produced as many one album curiosities as long haul career artists, Goapele has two assets working for her; a voice as smooth as butterscotch and a sensibility worthy of it," notes Nylon Magazine.

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 trumps her head-wrapped contemporaries by pouring her honey-husky voice over a gumbo of hip hop, mellow vibes and piano ballads for a sound that resists comparison.

Goapele, 25 is a petite songstress with a voice that can fill a stadium. She has been gaining popularity here as an elegant romantic who weaves poetic narratives. “The introspective and airy vocals combined with sassy grooves make Goapele a bit of an urban music anomaly,� according to San Francisco Chronicle.

Meshell N'Degeocello, Shaquille O'Neill and Method Man refer to Goapele as "The next big artist to watch." She is a winner of 2003 San Francisco Weekly Award and Nominated for 2003 California Music Award.

Goapele's eclectic sound and unparalleled live performances continue to draw in a diverse range of fans including Prince, Rosario Dawson, Rodney Jerkins, Magic Johnson, Kanye West, President Gerald Ford and Talib Kweli to name a few.

“Change it All� features production from Bedrock, Jeff Bhasker, Linda Perry, Sa Ra Creative Partners and Mike Tiger (The Coup, Martin Luther) many of whom contributed to making “Even Closer� a success.

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