Welcome to another edition of PoPolitickin. In this episode, we politick with Ohio singer, songwriter Gabrielle Solange.
Gabrielle Solange is an American singer/songwriter/producer with an eclectic, experimental sound that explores everything from jazz to electronic music. Writing songs and poetry since the age of 7, she recorded her earliest creations on an old fashioned cassette tape. Imagining audiences, she always felt destined for the stage. She credits her diverse musical style to her mixed heritage, musically talented family, and love of cultures. She was introduced to music production by two Columbus inner city youth arts programs: Capacity (now Transit Arts) and S.T.A.R.S (Striving To Achieve Real Success), where she continued to nurture her love for the arts and began performing publicly in her band, Fatty Koo. When she was 15, the band was discovered and signed to Sony Records. Fatty Koo immediately won the hearts of audiences as BET followed their journey to stardom in a hit reality tv show: Blowin’ Up Fatty Koo. Their first single, Bounce, ranked #64 on the Billboard 200 and became the theme song for the 2005 NBA Playoffs.
In spite of their growing international fan base, they were pulled in many directions as they battled behind-the-scenes to retain the support of Sony and remain true to their sound. Due to the band’s unique versatility, their management struggled with how to market them as other labels shrunk back from the risk of pushing such an alternative group. One opportunity after another fell through, leading to the abrupt end to an otherwise promising music career and thousands of fans with unanswered questions. Gabrielle immediately pursued a solo career, and when turned down by management released one song called Survive for free on social media. The song took on a life of its own and quickly went viral gaining millions of views, video remixes, and even artists claiming the song as their own, leaving her identity as the original artist a mystery to many. Even with this proof of potential from the breakthrough fan response upon releasing Survive, she became discouraged without the support of management and believed it impossible to pursue further success as a musician.
Struggling with a sense of failure, disappointment and depression, she began the personal journey to discover her voice again. In this, she found the desire to help others do the same and created Runsong Productions – a vocal coaching and artist development agency that focuses on enhancing musical skill while discovering identity. She began independently creating music, but kept quiet until 2017, when she released her first single, Drive on digital streaming services. She showcased her music with other local artists on her 30th birthday during an intimate concert with friends and family. She is currently working on her music while hosting creative workshops in schools, and collaborating with colleagues as she builds her brand. She hopes to rebuild her image and career based on who she truly is, telling her story, and inviting others to use their gifts in a way that will set themselves free and impact the world around them.
Follow Gabrielle on social media @GabsWholeStory
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