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Good Soul

Oakland's Goapele releases new album, Break of Dawn.


Ab Sesay/styling by James Knox

Goapele’s new Break of Dawn is a smooth-grooving neo soul classic, arguably the Oakland-based R&B star’s strongest album so far. The LP is sure to satisfy her fans, who have been patiently awaiting its release: It’s been six years since Goapele dropped an album.

After Change It All in 2005, Goapele took her time recording the nine songs on Break of Dawn. Part of the wait between albums was due to her artistic perfectionism, but the more dominant reason was the birth of her daughter.

“My daughter is four now, and it’s a great age; I’ve been able to come back to music. I have the energy and drive to give to both,” says Goapele, who wrote the tender ballad “Hush” about her experiences as a mom.

Goapele launched Break of Dawn with a concert at B.B. King’s nightclub in New York’s Times Square, which she followed with a sold-out weekend of shows at Yoshi’s in Oakland. She continues to build on her loyal fan base, which includes Prince, Erykah Badu, and Stevie Wonder.

“Stevie Wonder recently brought me into his studio,” she says. “I was in awe just to be standing in front of him, and then he started singing “Closer” to me. It was so amazing to have someone I admire so much affirming what I’ve done.”


» “play”
» “hush”
» “tears on my pillow”


For tour dates and sample tracks, go to goapele.com.

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