R&B / Soul

Soul and R&B singer-songwriter GOAPELE MOHLABANE’s music mixes neo-soul, trip-hop, lieder and jazz. In addition to her solo work, she has collaborated with rap/hip hop icons E-40, Clyde Carson and Mos Def. “Goapele” means to move forward in Setswana, a Southern African language.

Goapele attended the Berkeley Arts Magnet School, where she led a preteen peer support group and was involved with groups that combated racism and sexism.

She sang in the Oakland Youth Choir and became part of a music group called Vocal Motion. After high school she studied songwriting while briefly attending the Berklee School of Music in Boston.

After attending Berklee, Goapele returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and released her debut album, Closer, which eventually reached #63 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

In 2002 she and her family formed Skyblaze Recordings, an independent music label. She released her first nationally distributed album, Even Closer with Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings and her music was part of the soundtrack to the movie Honey.

In 2004, Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment Records acquired Skyblaze Recordings and re-released her first album. Even Closer reached #24 on the Billboard Charts for Top Independent Albums.

Her second album, Change It All, was released December 2005. On September 14, 2006, the Ella Baker Center honored Goapele with the Human Rights Cultural Hero Award during the Center’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, titled “Tribute to a Dream.”

This year’s Milk & Honey is the fourth studio album from Goapele after a four-year-long hiatus and a three-year stint at Columbia/SME Records. On this album she reveals a more confident, open, and sensual side. Goapele says she is liberating herself a little more and claims while there was something very empowering about appearing in a T-shirt without make-up on the cover of her first internationally distributed album, Even Closer. There is something equally empowering about shedding her fears of music-industry exploitation and strutting confidently into more brazen territory.

Goapele returns to Anthology on August 12.

FRI 8/12, 7:30pm click to purchase tickets

$11 – $29
click to purchase tickets

FRI 8/12, 9:30pm click to purchase tickets

$11 – $29
click to purchase tickets

“This spiritual love child of Sade and D’Angelo mixes sweet soul vocals, jazz funk instrumentation and hip hop rhythms by underground Bay Area beatmasters. Goapele can kick it in the streets as in the lounge.” – Rolling Stone Magazine

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