Gazele has a presence that is undeniable, she screams for your attention, not just with her voice, but with her spirit, her soul. This Sydney soul singer has been a back-up vocalist and done things in her own right, but now it’s her time to shine, she’s running solo like a gazelle in an open field. Except instead of a field, it will be replaced by a stage at Gingers in Sydney with an astonishing 7-piece band.
We chat to Gazele about what we can expect from her solo work, why working as a back-up vocalist has helped her music career and why the soul scene in music has been so inspiring. Margaret Tra writes.
You're a back up vocalist, how does it feel to come out on your own?
Actually, I've been a lead vocalist for many years in cover bands as well as a backup vocalist but it's only this year that I've truly been able to focus on my originals project and bring that to life. So to be recognised for the music I'm writing is a massive thrill and exactly where I want to be right now. I've spent a lot of time supporting so many other great artists and I've learned a lot, I've been working on finding my style, my unique sound and I'm ready to share it.
Your stage presence is amazing; it's almost so hard to believe you were ever a back up vocalist?
Thank you very much. Being a back up vocalist requires a lot of stage presence, especially for the artists that I've worked with such as Jessica Mauboy, Diana Rouvas and Alphamama. The trick is to make sure that every bit of energy that I put out on stage supports them and enhances their performance. It's an amazing feeling to be part of a group supporting someone's music and I love the backup vocalist opportunities that I get. There's so much to think about like, "Am I blending in with the other vocalists?" "Is my energy matching the artist?" "Do I look like the supportive team member not the star?" It's fun.
What can we expect from your solo work?
Well, you can expect honesty, stories, raw energy, catchy melodies, easy listening and you can expect to dance. Anything that grooves I absolutely love whether it's fast or slow. I've been influenced by soul, pop, dance, R&B, funk music and so many other genres; it's going to be a bit of a mix from me.
You're performing at Gingers in Sydney, are you excited? What can we expect?
Yes, I'll be launching my original works next Thursday the 17th of July. I'm so excited! I really love singing at Gingers, they support live music and the venue has a great vibe. I'm hoping that it'll be packed out. I've got James Chatburn doing a feature set before me, he's an incredible singer/songwriter living here in Sydney and then I'll be hitting the stage with my 7 piece band after him. It's going to be a high energy show and I can't wait to share all of the music I've been working on.
Do you feel supportive as a soul artist in Sydney?
I sure do, it's been interesting for me, as I've taken more steps towards developing my original music and put it out there more, I've discovered so many local lovers of soul music and it's really inspiring. I feel like it's really coming up from being just an underground scene into the spotlight and I'm looking forward to seeing how the scene develops. With nights like Innersoul, the Monday Jam at Gingers and so many others it's easy to see that there are some avenues popping up to get soul music out there.
If you could share the stage with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Honestly, I would love to share the stage with John Legend. I love the sensitivity in his voice and his ability to tell his story through song. As a performer I find him captivating and genuine and I love his songs.
What stimulates your soul?
Connecting to people stimulates my soul, real conversations and passionate people really inspire me. God, music and love stimulate my soul.
Want to hear more from Gazele?
Catch Gazele at her Artist launch at Gingers in Sydney.