“It’s the fire in my eyes, and the flash of my teeth, the swing in my waist and the joy in my feet, I am a woman phenomenally, phenomenal woman, that’s me!”
In the words of the iconic Maya Angelou, what better words could be used to describe the creative phenom that is singer and performing artist Gazele.
Stepping out of the shadows as a respected backup singer for the likes of Jessica Mauboy, Diana Rouvas and Ms Murphy to name a few, Gazele is ready to take the reins of her booming singing career and put her long awaited solo mission into overdrive. The Nigerian born African Australian beauty is a force to be reckoned with as she takes her blessed-by-the-vocal-gods pipes and releases their power in a series of intimate showcases around the Sydney soul circuit. Having performed at popular live music jaunts such as Gingers with a big band in tow, Gazele bursts with pride at being able to share her original works with an eager audience. And she has managed to keep that crowd eager, waiting and watching for what this powerhouse has up her creative sleeve.
Having just performed an exceptional showcase for the Nigerian Independence Day recently, Gazele has that pep in her step as all groundbreaking independent artists have when they know they are reaching their target audience. With her position as backup singer for one of the most beloved artists in Australia, Aria darling Jessica Mauboy, Gazale is in a rare position to not only learn from the best in the business but show and prove she is the entire package herself! She is humble, hardworking, passionate and undeniably gifted with the talent, beauty and strength to be one of our pop and soul leading ladies. For now though , this Darwin bred, Sydney based beauty toils away at a craft she adores, ensuring her creative imprint is well and truly heard and felt by all who are blessed to share time and space with her. The world is ready for Gazele and Gazele is ready to take on the world!
Congratulations of the rise of your music career here in Australia – how long have you been a soul songstress and what is your musical background?
Thanks so much, I’m glad my career rising slow and steady. I have been a singer my whole life and I have always loved soul in music, the genre didn’t really matter to me as long as I could feel the soul. I grew up with music all around me in the house, in church, everywhere. I have been a songstress professionally for the past 5 years. I moved to Sydney from Canberra to complete a Bachelor of Music, phew. I have gone from singing lead in local Sydney party bands to singing with sound system groups, starting up my own covers band, singing backup vocals for Jessica Mauboy, Diana Rouvas and Ms Murphy and now I am finally stepping out on my own and performing my own original music that I’ve written as an independent artist.
You are a proud African Australian with a fierce and beautiful style – how would you best describe your sound and what would you say is your greatest influence when it comes to your style?
That’s so true, I am a proud African Australian. And thanks for these lovely compliments. I would best describe my sound as delivering the raw honesty of soul music with a pop sensibility. I love catchy melodies, I love hooks and I’m all about groove. I’m influenced mostly by pop/soul/funk/rnb/dance genres so my music pretty much blends it all. I would describe it as feel good music. My greatest influence would be my upbringing, my family. I was raised to be aware of my soul, spirit and my emotions and my parents let me express myself. Being born and raised in Australia has exposed me to so many beautiful styles of music and culture and then to add my African heritage on top, I get rhythm, dance, and being loud, these things have all had powerful influences on me, my outlook on life and the music I create.
What are your perceptions on Australia’s soul music community and what do you hope and foresee your role as being in this industry one day?
I think that Australian soul music is thriving and it’s becoming more and more mainstream. In terms of what’s happening in Sydney at the moment there are so many amazing singers and bands around that are really showing how good Aussie soul is. I would list a few but honestly I would be writing the whole page. It was so good to see the talent on one stage at the Soul Search competitions that have been going and I’ve been checking out artists all over this country. We have so much talent and we need to be supporting this scene/genre 100% unapologetically. Also I’d like to mention it’s been so good to have the support from passionate PR teams, promoters bloggers and more pushing soul music into the spotlight, it’s a real community.
Who would you say is your greatest influence / inspiration in your musical journey thus far and why?
I would have to say my biggest influence has been Michael Jackson, he never followed trends, he created new ideas and never afraid to try new things. I love his showmanship, even through watching him on TV everything he did made me want to cry. I admire his connection to his band and crew and I love the percussive way he sings, it’s all connected to his physical movement. Michael’s music is timeless I believe and I want to create music that means something and that can be listened to for a long time.
Your dream collaboration line up one day – who would you love to work with / create alongside with?
I would love to work alongside John Legend. There’s something magical that happens when he opens his mouth and sings. I really enjoy his music and his writing skills. I’d love to spend a day or more with him picking his brain about how to write beautiful melodies and how to sing with that much soul and conviction.
What are you currently working on right now – future EP’s etc.?
I am currently working on 2 EP’s, firstly a produced, studio vibe and secondly a live, raw recording vibe. Hopefully they’ll both be done by the end of the year. I’m really excited to explore different sounds and show some versatility. In the not too distant future I would also love to tour my live show.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
Hmm, in 5 years I see myself on a world tour, spreading feel good music to anyone who wants some love and positivity. I like to dream big. I would love to be writing and collaborating with some of my most favorite artists in the world and I’d love to write an album that many people will be able to relate to and cherish. And I’d really love to be able to speak to heaps of people and encourage them to go for their dreams especially young people.
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