The Oakland, California-based songstress broke onto the Bay Area music scene in 2001 with her ethereal EP, 'Closer', and the follow-up full length album, 'Even Closer'. Released on her family-owned record company, Skyblaze Recordings, the album's mix of soulful grooves and thought-provoking lyrics introduced the world to a multi-faceted artist and songwriter, known as much for her social and political activism as for her lush romantic ballads.
"I grew up," Goapele explains, "inspired by a tradition of soulful singers like Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Bob Marley, and Miriam Makeba, people who created timeless music and positive change in the world. I'm also part of the hip hop generation, and my influences continue to grow, so my music has become a blend of many musical traditions."
Critics from Rolling Stone, Billboard, Essence, Vibe, and a host of others, hailed the songstress as an emerging artist to watch and heralded Even Closer as an album that was ahead of its time. The inspiring title track, "Closer," notched #1's on radio playlists from San Francisco to LA to DC to Baton Rouge, and as of August, 2005, four years after its initial release, was #1 at the two largest urban stations in Detroit.
Goapele followed up the release of her album debut by hitting the road and taking her serene -- yet inspiring -- sound to the masses, both stateside and abroad. Time and again, the singer wowed sold-out crowds with her emotionally-powerful songs, energetic spirit, and electrifying shows.
While Goapele garnered the support of music critics and fans, a host of fellow musicians and celebrities--including The Roots, Talib Kweli, Magic Johnson, Prince and Stevie Wonder--came under the spell of her music, style and sensibility. "I'm very excited to get the support of artists I've long admired," she says.