Goapele’s South African father Douglas Mohlabane was an exiled political activist who struggled against the Apartheid System. Goapele’s New York-born Israeli Jewish mother Noa had been attending protests since the age of 12. Noa attended Friends World College and was studying in Nairobi, Kenya, where she met and married Douglas. Goapele and her older brother DJ Namane Mohlabane were raised in a California South African exile community.
Both of her parents inspired Goapele to become very involved in community affairs at a young age. She attended the Berkeley Arts Magnet School, where she led a pre-teen peer-support group.She also became involved in various groups and organizations that combated racism and sexism. In high school, she sang in the Oakland Youth Choir and became part of a music group called Vocal Motion. Upon high school graduation, she attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where she studied music theory. She formed songwriting skills at Berkley.
Today, her music often highlights the need for political and socio-economic change. She says she has been influenced by many including Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Bob Marley, Portishead, Miriam Makeba, Prince, Sade, Caiphus Semenya, Zulu Spears, and Hugh Masekela.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
@ The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Los Angeles, CA