Since the runaway success of her 2001 debut album, Closer—and the 2002 extended play Even Closer— Goapele has become synonymous with a musical sound that can be described as soul stirringly calm. Ten years later, she’s performed a slew of shows, has become an advocate for human rights, gave birth to her a daughter, Bahia Osun, in 2007; and now, has released, Break of Dawn, her first album in six years.
Marked by the album’s lead single, “Play”, the Oakland native has tapped into—and embraced—a new power and confidence that has manifested itself into a new sound.
It’s been about six years since the last album, and in the break you had a child. How has being a new mother affected you personally and professionally?
My pacing changed for a little while because I wanted to have time to give to her and be with her. I wanted to enjoy our time as a family and not feel like I was missing anything because kids grow up so fast! Music is something that I want to do forever. I felt I could afford to take my time a little more with it and get into the studio when I was ready and on my own hours. I did [fewer] shows so I could be home more. Now that she’s four, I’m ready. My focus and energy is in sharing this new music that I’ve been creating.
I love the new single “Play,” it’s a different sound coming from you. It’s just sexy and sensual. What do you think attributes to this new sound you’re bringing?
I’m just growing and changing. That’s part of where I am now. I feel I’ve come into my womanhood enough and been sharing music long enough with so many different subjects that I felt I could share something more straight up sensual.
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