Goapele: From ‘Closer’ to ‘COLOURS,’ The Journey of a Neo-Soul Visionary

At a Bay Area studio over twenty years ago, singer Goapele heard the bare bones of a song that would ultimately change her life. 

“As soon as I heard it, it just captured a feeling for me,” Goapele said in a recent interview with The Chicago Defender. “I was finishing my EP project. And I felt really excited. I felt fearful. I felt vulnerable. I felt proud.” 

“I just felt like I was at the edge of something that I hadn’t reached, but I was just gonna have to let it go and be what it was,” she said. 

That track would become a song entitled “Closer,” a neo-soul favorite turned anthem for those who aspire to something greater, a reality vaster and more meaningful than we thought possible.

“Closer” would help the Oakland-born singer secure a record deal and launch her as a visionary artist specializing in sophisticated R&B and alternative soul. Think Sade meets Joi meets Cassandra Wilson with some Prince influence thrown in, and you might come close to approximating the breadth and depth of this singular artist — a best-kept secret in contemporary soul music.  

On Friday, the same day she drops “Purple,” the second single from the forthcoming album “COLOURS,” Goapele will perform two sold-out shows at City Winery Chicago.

Earlier this week, Goapele spoke to The Defender about making “Closer” and the moment she knew that music would become her career. She also talked about why she loves performing in Chicago.  

To check out our full interview with Goapele, see the video below: 

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