Goapele (pronounced gwa-puh-lay), which means “to move forward” in Setswana, has been doing just that—moving forward and making her presence felt in the music industry since 2001. The American soul and R&B singer-songwriter, once dubbed the “spiritual love child of Sade and D’Angelo” by Rolling Stone magazine, blends the musical heritage of her hometown of Oakland, CA., with ethnic influences from her South African father and New York-born Israeli Jewish mother to create an original style all her own. She has both a sensuous and serious voice that lends itself well to jazz, soul and hip-hop, which she infuses with her own poetry.
Goapele has appeared on Soul Train, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and her work has been applauded by Rolling Stone, Nylon, Billboard, Essence and Vibe. In 2006, the California-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights honored her with its first ever Human Rights Cultural Hero Award for her work in community service and commitment to human rights issues.