EXCLUSIVE: GOAPELE Talks Beauty, Style and Her Role in ‘Sparkle’Published by Jared Michael Lowe on Friday, August 17, 2012 at 6:01 am.
The stage has always been the true home for Goapele Mohlabane. And while the soul singer, simply known as Goapele (which means to move forward) has been busy expanding her brand (she’s making her feature film debut in the remake of the 1976 film, Sparkle), she hasn’t abandoned the music like some singers who get caught up chasing Hollywood dreams.
The Oakland native and mother of one has had a busy summer promoting the film and her latest album, Break of Dawn; recording (she has a new cut entitled “Running” on the ‘Sparkle’ soundtrack) and touring across country. To say her schedule is exhausting is an understatement. But she has to keep it moving, right?
CultureList was able to catch up with the singer after a recent show in Philly to get the skinny on her experience working with Whitney Houston, her hair and beauty regime, and how she keeps her body tight on the road.
You’re starring in the new film “Sparkle” produced by and starring the late Whitney Houston. How was it working with her and the rest of the cast and crew?
It was an absolute dream to work with Whitney Houston, as well as Jordin Sparks and the rest of the cast. Like everyone, I grew up listening to Whitney Houston so it was an honor to be in the same film as her. Working with Salim [Akil, the film’s director] was also a major treat. I’ve never worked on anything like this that was so high caliber before and Salim made it feel like home. We shot it in Detroit, so everything had an authentic Motown feel to it. This is my first film and I plan to do many.
What is your character in the film?
I play a lead singer of a group in a talent show competition that comes on before Sister’s [played by Carmen Ejogo] and her sisters [Jordin Sparks and Tika Sumpter] perform on stage. It was a dream come true to sing and dance in a film. We worked with [choreographer] Fatima Robinson, who was amazing to work with. I learned so many cool new moves to incorporate in my stage performances.
So, with such a busy schedule, you manage to keep an amazing physique. How do you keep in shape?
GP: (laughs) I try! I work out whenever I can and drink plenty of water. It is hard doing so, while maintaining the schedule I have but I always make time.
People have followed your hairstyles for years. From locs to twists to straightened hair, how do you stay up to trends with your dos’?
As you may have noticed, I like to switch my hair up, so I visit AfroLab.com to see the latest trends. I believe your hair is an extension of who you are and I like to be creative with mine.
You have flawless skin. What are some of your beauty secrets?
I’m a big fan of Dermalogica. I use their facial cleanser and moisturizer. I make sure I drink plenty of water and don’t wear makeup unless I have to.
How are you describing your style now?
Ironically since “Sparkle”, I’ve been inspired by retro looks. I love the pin up girl meets rockabilly style. It’s kind of fun!
“Sparkle” is in theaters nationwide August 17
—Jared Michael Lowe