aim high

Recap: Performing at the African Diaspora Awards by Shanelle Gabriel

This past Saturday, I was blessed to be the opening performer for the 6th Annual African Diaspora Awards at the Florence Gould Hall on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Hosted by comedian and Instagram sensation, Dulo (@iamdulo), the show recognized some powerhouses who've made great contributions to the African community and the world around us. 

I was asked to write a poem for the event which is below. It was great to see the other performers grace the stage including Ayo (who was EXCELLENT and a privilege to meet), Afrobeat artist Owen, soulful singer Mayoa as well as the internationally known Sarcodie.  

I opted to wear a dress that formerly was my mother's. It felt appropriate thinking about legacy and ancestors within the Diaspora who've bestowed their spirit to us in their passing. Check out the photos below! 

Pre-show posing with Dulo, our host

Pre-show posing with Dulo, our host

A blessing meeting Ayo.  

A blessing meeting Ayo.  

The Kingsmen Band backed me up for my performance. They were so dope (and quite dapper!) 

The Kingsmen Band backed me up for my performance. They were so dope (and quite dapper!) 

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"If you wan chop frog, make you chop better frog, make you chop better frog, make you chop better frog"

I found this saying odd/ until I learned the importance of/ always doing things big/ huge/ tremendous/ If you gonna do it/ then you better do it/ in some cases less isn't considered more/ especially when it comes to hands, to hearts/ to black skin/ that melanin that holds fast to the legacy within/ call every tribe kin/ whether naija or Brooklyn/ whether from the soul of the Congo or the streets of Chicago/ we're not as different as we seem/ the same history/ the same painter but varied color schemes/ your heart pumps fire from heaven just like mine/ and it's a waste of time trying to keep us divided by bloodlines/ we're in the same family connected by ties that are divine/ whether African or African-American/ Caribbean/ or if you   Reside in another nation/ you're still the Diaspora's foundation/ and if we come together/ imagine the trails we'll blaze/

So let's be butterflies y'all/ but with caterpillar ways/ flap our wings always shine but never forget the ground from which we came/ take the hard world around us and turn it into silk/ no reason bridges crossed and broken can't be rebuilt/ whether it's by plane or via ship/ whether dropped off at islands during the trip/ whether hands were bloodied with liquid, solid gold or sugar cane strips/ whether cotton or coffee/ we lived to see this/ we breathed to be this/ We fought to be this/ unified by clenched fists/ unified by clenched fists/ unified by clenched fists/ Let them know we were born to be this/ we were born fly like this/ yes we woke up like this/ yes we woke up like this/ we rock our crowns like this/ and we're united like this/ we dragging a painful past/ together reclaiming our worth/ Baanu so a emmia/ When two carry, it does not hurt/ So here's to he Diaspora united/ Sprinkling our blessings on this earth

Recap: Atlanta's AIM HIGH Album Release Show by Shanelle Gabriel

If you live in Atlanta and didn't come out last week to celebrate the release of my album AIM HIGH at Acoustix Bar & Lounge's S.M.A.R.T. Thursdays, YOU MISSED OUT! It was an awesome night with so many great people in the building. Eshe from the 90s group Arrested Development killed the stage, singer/songwriter Rudy Currence hit the open mic, and Chris Cocktails, the host, kept us cracking up the whole night. Here are some photos… (Video footage coming soon)

 On stage! "Crushing Hard" in full effect with the D Rhodes band!

 

 Grammy winner, Eshe from the group Arrested Development, SMASHED the stage! An awesome singer, dancer, and performer, her energy is amazing!

 

  Chris Theory, the amazing producer behind "Damn Near" and both versions of "Aim High", and my background singer for the night, the dope vocalist (and make-up artist), Miss Bri Did It. :) 

 

 My sister Lianne (all the way from NYC) was there with her friend Karla, who's known me since I was a baby!!

 

 Look who showed up in support: Rudy Currence! Freakin amazing singer, pianist, and songwriter. So proud of him and blessed to have heard him get on the mic later that night. 

 

 Me, the hilarious host (and my Phrat brother) Chris Cocktails, and the lovely Eshe at the end of an amazing night!


PHOTOS: My Album Release Party on Wed, May 15th in NYC by Shanelle Gabriel

If you missed it, you missed a lot! On Wednesday, May 15th at Negril Village Lounge, a gathering of people came out to celebrate the release of my new album AIM HIGH. I was not able to get photos with some of the awesome people there like my friend & amazing emcee Homeboy Sandman (aka Angel!!!), my mentor and A&R for the album Steven "PeeJay" Whitaker, my sister Suzanne, Alonzo Davis from www.JustBeenTested.com, and more great people who showed love. Thank you to everyone that supported the album, who spread the word, who asked me "Yoooo when does the new album come out" over and over, and to all those who weren't able to make it (or didn't even hear about the event), I thank you for caring and always showing love. 

PLEASE cop the album if you already haven't and spread the word! 

www.shanellegabriel.com/Store


People were able to get AIM HIGH CDs signed, hear me perform, and listen to a few tracks from the album!

 


 DJ Commish and DJ Jon Quick, the two who made the night possible and who kept the tunes spinning and the people dancing all night long!

  

 

 Playing a few tracks off the album...

 

Singing "Aim High"... See the passion????!!

 

 

My cousin Kieuna and my stylist, Quanasia! 

 

Me and my daddy! (He brought me flowers!)

 

 

L.I.V.EWire (who performs with me later and KILLS it on the Aim High Remix) & the amazing vocalist and beautiful person, Cocoa Sarai.

 

 

My girls here: Aura, Tiffany, and Jessica holding me down! 

 

 

Some of my favorite fellas: Dela, Sean, and Kameron

 

 

The brotha with the soulful voice, Bradd Marquis, who stopped through RIGHT before his show at S.O.B.'s. That's love!

 

 

Skee-Wee, my Soror! Model and actress Krystal Garner showed love. Skee- Roo to DJ Jon Quick!

 

 

Thanks for the love & support PR Pro and beautiful lady, Keisha McCotry

 
 


East New York neighbor, Radio Personality, and DJ OhSoKool all smiles!

"Aim High" - the New Album Available Everywhere NOW! by Shanelle Gabriel

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Shanelle Gabriel's new album "Aim High" available NOW!

Shanelle Gabriel shows that "Lupus can't hold her" with the release of Aim High today, May 15th, 2013, right in the middle of Lupus Awareness Month. A true fusion of all of her talents, Aim High displays Shanelle's prowess as an award-winning poet and vocalist. A fusion of spoken word, soulful singing, and hip-hop that speaks on love, being diagnosed with Lupus, inequality, and seizing the day, Aim High strives to comfort and empower those battling life's daily challenges all while keeping heads bobbing. This album is available on iTunes, GooglePlay, and on her official website www.shanellegabriel.com.

 

NYC can get autographed copies of Aim High at Shanelle's album release party TONIGHT, May 15th at 6:30pm at Negril Village Lounge (70 West 3rd Street, NYC). At this release party, she will be performing two songs, and DJ Jon Quick (of WBLS 107.5 FM) and DJ Commish (of Music Choice) will be spinning several songs off the album as well the best in Hip Hop/ R&B/ Reggae/Soca. No cover and 21+ only with ID. 

Aim High features appearances by Kel Spencer (emcee and songwriter for Will Smith, Lil Kim, and more), rapper Livewire (who's latest single features Jim Jones), ATL's Willie Hyn, Christian femme-cee HeesunLee, and beatboxer GreyMatter. It also features a comedic cameo from SpokenReasons, the YouTube star and lead actor in Sandra Bullock's new movie "The Heat."

All poems and songs were written by Shanelle Gabriel with production from Chris "Theory" Bradley from Atlanta, the JahRock'n Productions team in NYC, Marshall "Soulful" Jones in LA, and the Bronx's own DJ Static. This album has many notable tracks including the percussion-driven, powerfully-sung "Damn Near" and the humorous, nostalgic crowd-favorite "Crushing Hard." She tells the inspiriting story of her diagnosis with Lupus in "Vanity," a poem that she's shared at numerous events and walks for Lupus. This album and the videos for it are set to receive coverage and press from several prominent websites, including Vibe.com, as well as airplay on numerous independent & college radio stations. 

Shanelle Gabriel has toured nationally and internationally, hitting cities from LA to Vancouver to Johannesburg, South Africa. She has shared stages with artists such as  Eric Benet, Talib Kweli, Nas, Erick Sermon, and more. She appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam alongside Jill Scott and DMX, was spotlighted on the Rachael Ray Show, Fox News, and KAYA 95.9 FM- Johannesburg, and was recognized for her work by Listerine and Wal-Mart in the "Your Mouth Matters" campaign. This follow-up to her first album Start Something (winner of the 2008 Atlantic City Alternative Soul Best CD Award) aims to propel Shanelle Gabriel to even greater heights in her career.   

ATLANTA, SAVE THE DATE!->  Shanelle's album release concert will be next THURSDAY, May 23rd at EPeriod's "S.M.A.R.T. Thursdays" at Acoustix Jazz Restaurant & Lounge (840 Marrietta St, Atlanta, GA) at 8:30pm.

Follow Shanelle Gabriel (@ShanelleG) on Twitter and use the hashtag #AimHigh on all your social networks!

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WEBSITE: www.shanellegabriel.com

SOUNDCLOUD: soundcloud.com/shanellegabriel

TWITTER: twitter.com/ShanelleG

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/ShanelleGabriel

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/FriendsofShanelleGabriel

 

January Updates! [Midwest tour, new album, new video] by Shanelle Gabriel

 Behold all things are made new..


January is all about planning for February and beyond. Glad to get back on task after the insanity of the last few months. Thank you for all the prayers, condolences, and positive energy many of you sent regarding the loss of my mother and brother-in-law. I appreciate all of you and thank you for your love & support. MUAH!

Alright now, shout out to my new assistant, Lyday Patterson, who will be working to help me make an impact both as an artist and as a company, Starting Something Productions, Inc. Big tings a gwan! And February is a BUSY month. I'll be in Texas for the latter half of the month with a stop in Seattle, but next week, I hit the road next week for a mini-tour in the midwest:

2/5- University of Central Missouri
2/6- Avila University
2/7- University of Missouri- St Louis

For a complete list of dates, go to my Calendar. Hope to see you soon!
And if you want to book me, drop me a line at info@shanellegabriel.com.

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Aim High: The Album 

I've been in the JahRock'n Productions studio ALL week getting this new album wrapped. AIM HIGH is going to be an AMAZING project. The next few months are going to be intense, but I'm really looking forward to sharing my stories, my poetry, my music, my lyrics with you. This album features some dope friends of mine: Kel Spencer, Livewire, Heesun Lee, and GreyMatter, all dope artists that rep NYC as well as the awesome Willie Hyn who's holds it down in Atlanta and a cameo from YouTube star/ comedian/ poet SpokenReasons. Production by Chris "Theory" Bradley, DJ Static, Marshall "Soulful" Jones, and Team JahRock'n. I can't wait to let you all hear it!


 
 
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Video: "Daddy's Girls" (Live from Urban Grind in Atlanta)

Here's a poem I created for my father. I'm a bonafied Daddy's Girl, and proud of it. Thought I'd share my first off-book live performance I did at ATL's Urban Grind last month.
To see it CLICK HERE-> http://youtu.be/XzBzzCi7Qbo

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Till next time,
Stay Blessed!!

Shanelle Gabriel