It’s finally here PRIDE weekend!!!!!  You have been waiting for it all year and it has finally arrived in all its glittery glory!  I am super juiced and I hope you are too.  This weekend is going to be filled with magic, community, love and excitement!  So make sure you eat when you can, nap whenever is possible and hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE!

I am super excited to have guest columnist Heather Cassell featured this week with her interview with Goapele, who is headlining EDEN SF Pride Weekend.  Check it out then mark your calendars with any or all the events listed below.  Happy Pride!

goapele2Oakland songstress Goapele, pronounced Qua-Pa-Lay, known for her fierce girl power soulful anthems will perform her first single, “Hey Boy,” from her fifth studio album, Strong As Glass, plus many crowd favorites on Saturday night when she headlines EDEN San Francisco’s five year anniversary Signature Party.

The album is set to be released sometime this fall.

The “fun, flirty, retro” single, as she describes it, diverts from her usual R&B tunes, stepping back in time to the upbeat tempo goodtime hits of the 80s.

“When I first started doing music I felt like it was important that I say something because in mainstream music we are not always allowed to have substance in our music,” says Goapele about her younger years feeling as if she had to make a statement, but now that she’s laid the foundation she’s ready to let loose.

“I should be able to express other sides of myself. I can let down my guard. It’s okay to be sexy too. It’s okay to just have fun sometimes too,” says Goapele.

Letting our hair down, but not our community, is exactly what EDEN Pride Events, which produces EDEN San Francisco, is about. The four-day all-girl extravaganza is about having fun while still being fierce, fearless and flawless as women all for a cause. A 100 percent of the proceeds from the weekend are donated to the EDEN LGBTQ Youth Foundation, which gives scholarships to queer youth for higher education and grants to organizations supporting queer youth.

“I am very excited to have Goapele be our headliner this year. Having her as a part of our fifth year anniversary is a major coup for us,” says Christine De La Rosa, founder and producer of EDEN Pride Events, which produces EDEN San Francisco.

EDEN and Goapele appear to be a perfect match as both artist and the women’s entertainment company is all about women’s empowerment and celebrating women’s sensuality and power.

“She is very fearless and look at her, she’s flawless,” says Christine. “She’s fierce.”

Goapele is excited to play for her queer girl fans at EDEN San Francisco during San Francisco Pride Weekend.

“It’s not an unfamiliar community for me,” says Goapele, whose mother is gay.

Of course she loves performing for her hometown fans in the Bay Area and her shows in general because of the diversity of her audience who come out to have fun goapele1and are able to be who they are no matter what their background.

“I feel like, you’re having fun and you came to have a good time and there is a safe environment for who you are. That doesn’t always happen,” says Goapele. “I’m thankful for that that my audience is wide and that everyone seems to respect each other.”

“One of the messages that I’ve always tried to reflect is: I am growing and evolving and I’m strong and vulnerable. I kind of share that with everyone … through different lyrics in my music,” says Goapele. “I feel like by showing that we are complex as women it gives other people permission to also be themselves and be their whole selves no matter what. We don’t have to just be defined by any stereotype as women.”

Girl of the World

Goapele’s music has had a worldly influence from within and without since before she was born. The Oakland native and her brother were raised in a culturally eclectic and political astute household by their New York Jewish mother and their South African father.

Their parents met and married while her anti-apartheid political activist father was in exile in Nairobi, Kenya.

The couple eventually settled in Oakland, another hotbed of political activity during the civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights and youth movements of the 1960s and 1970s, where they raised Goapele and her brother.

Goapele’s name encapsulates the spirit of her family. Goapele, her South African grandmother’s maiden, name literally means “to move forward,” in the Southern African Setswana language.

Politics was mixed with music. Inside her home her family listened to Sweet Honey and the Rock and Nina Simone along with South African musicians Hugh Masekela, Zulu Spear and Miriam Makeba, who were banned in South Africa at the time. Outside her home she was introduced to independent hip-hop, R&B, rap and other style of music that informed and influenced and eventually she took and made into her own music.

“There’s such a cultural mix going on in the Bay Area,” says Goapele talking about political and musical movements that took root in the Bay Area that influenced her way of thinking and being in the world, including her fashion and music while she was growing up. “It’s such a mix of different people coming from different parts of the world and different parts of the country.”

“It’s given me a broad perspective and just a broader view in everything in life and music,” continues Goapele. “I feel like lyrically that affected me. It wasn’t just songs about love songs. It was songs about resistance and carrying on tradition and even songs that I didn’t understand but just felt good to me.”

Evolution

1549234_10152311665864655_1404662353_nFeeling good is where Goapele is heading with her new album. She hinted that her forthcoming album is “more personal and it’s just more on the different perspectives of love.”

“I feel like you can’t get to the light without getting through the dark and you can’t experience joy without being honest and getting through the hard places,” says Goapele, about the journey she takes her audience through with her music.

“Music is the soundtrack to our lives,” she continues about how she listens to music to get her through difficult times, when she wants to feel “bad ass,” and when she simply wants to feel good. “Music reflects our lives and our lives’ reflects music.”

“At the end of the day I want to feel good. I want to feel joy. I want to feel uplifted. I want to feel inspired. I imagine other people do too,” she says.

It’s also the journey she takes musically describing it as, “Ever growing, ever changing,” she says, borrowing a quote from Bob Marley.

For her forthcoming album she forced herself to move out of her comfort zone in order to grow and stretch to “try and raise my game a little” as a part of her “evolving journey.”

She’s thankful for her family who supported her music career helping her to start out independently as a grassroots artist, building her fan base and launching her own label, Skyblaze Recording. That provided her the insight into the music business that has allowed her to stand on equal ground in more of a partnership relationship with her newest record company Jordan House/Primary Wave Music.

She moved out of The Zoo, an incubator for emerging artists and producers in Oakland, where she recorded Change It All, to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles she’s been able to spread her wings creating songs for soundtracks for the Middle of Nowhere, The Door and Baggage Claim.

Goapele has stepped out of the recording studio creating the soundtrack for films, onto the silver screen appearing in Sparkle, Whitney Houston’s last movie.

10488127_10152501156239655_7262816735188192796_n

“It’s been kind of an organic transition getting into you know acting through music,” says the singer about her emerging acting career. “It’s a different world and a new challenge and it’s exciting to get into different forms of creative expression.”

Goapele will be performing Saturday, June 28 at EDEN SF V’s anniversary Signature Party at Mezzanine, 444 Jessie Street, San Francisco. The party gets started at 9 p.m. – 3 a.m. with a midnight Champagne toast. Pre-sale tickets General: $25 / VIP: $35.

 

thur

In San Francisco

Eden_Thurs_2014final800EDEN Pride Kickoff Party
supperclub
657 Harrison St, SF
9pm-2am
$10
Buy Tix

SF+NY+LA
Lauren Bedford Russell from Showtime’s The Real L Word NY & MTV’s Brittney Duet Wildn Out w/Nick Cannon will be hosting this star studded fashion explosion, make sure YOU dress to impress. This event will be filmed for an up and coming reality show.

ღ Special Musical Performance by Oh Blimey (http://www.edeninthebay.com/performers/oh-blimey/)
ღ DJs Lady Ryan and Fusion
ღ EDEN Gos-Gos rocking’ the poles Unique, KJ & Amanda
ღ Two floors
ღ Private Pole Dancing Room
ღ Papparazzi
ღ Sexy Aerial acrobats
ღ Dress to impress

 

fri

In San Francisco

 

Eden_Fri_2014FINAL800All White Everything Party
Factory
525 Harrison St, SF
9pm-3am
$20/$30
Buy Tix

This is the night where we dress like angels but we act like devils. Hosted by Jessica Clark Life HBO’s True Blood and Ari Fitz of MTV’s The Real World EX-plosion. Crowd Control provided by Rose Garcia’s Official Fan Page and Mona Webb of EDEN – San Francisco Pride

★ Special Musical Performance by emerging Interscope artist Colette Carr (http://www.edeninthebay.com/performers/3129-2/) and Aima (http://www.edeninthebay.com/performers/aima/)
★ DJs Val G, Lady Ryan, Motive, Fusion, Lezlee, Angie Vee, Dirty Rich Kidd
★ 3 Rooms, 3 Sound Systems, all banging’
★ Hot Sexy Go-Gos Unique, Babs, Carter, KJ & Amanda
★ Photo Booth
★ White Attire Encouraged but not required.

 

In Oakland

 

10473170_749276165094321_8156025218508218326_nBleu Sugar
Bench and Bar
510 17th Street, Oakland
9pm-2am
Doors Open at 9pm
$12 before 10:30pm

Hey family and friends ! PRIDE is here once again and that means its time to party HARD ! Start your Pride weekend right and come celebrate your love and sexuality with us ! Its also . . . Lady Lana’s BIRTHDAY PARTY !!! An icon in the Oakland community for her events and shows throughout the decades, you haven’t been to a party in Oakland unless you have made it to a Lady Lana party.  Her show is unrivaled in Oakland with the best performers, singers and dancers galore!

So you know its going dowwwnnn if it’s a Lady Lana party!

Special guests and surprises galore!!!  Make sure you bring enough 1’s to generously tip your dancers 😉 .

 

 

sat

In San Francisco

 

Eden_Sat_2014Final800EDEN 5th Year Anniversary Party
Mezzanine
444 Jessie St, SF
9pm-3am
$25/$35
Buy Tix

Celebrating five years of being THE Party, this EPIC night is gonna be one for the record books. Hosted by Jessica Clark of HBO’s True Blood, Ari Fitz of the Real World MTV EX-plosion with Crowd Control courtesy of Rose Garcia of the The Real L Word (Season 1) and Mona Webb of EDEN-San Francisco Pride

✷ Headliner: Goapele!!! (http://www.edeninthebay.com/performers/goapele/)
✷ DJs Val G, Lady Ryan, Motive, Angie Vee
✷ $1000 Balloon Drop at midnight
✷ Free Champagne Toast
✷ EDEN Go-Gos Unique, Babs, Carter & Amanda
✷ Body Painting
✷ Photobooth

In Oakland

 

10422469_10204112339267107_5376107836154978928_nThe Dawn of a New Gay
The Living Room Project
1919 Market Street, Oakland
10pm-2am
$5-10 suggested (no one turned away) 21+

A Grown & Sexy After Pride Party in Oakland!
House || Soul || DnB || Funk || Hip Hop || Whatever Else We’re Feelin’

*Live Performaces*:
Troutt Valerie
Solas Burke-Lalgee
Paulynn Brown
Blackberri Singer
Spokenword artist Marvin K. White and Audacious Iam

*Resident Sound Jedis*:
DJ Trinity
DJ LP

*Guest Selector*:
DJ Jose Soul

*Art Installation*:
“Spoken Legacy” curated by Bushmama Africa

 

 

sun

In San Francisco

 

SFPride2014San Francisco Pride Women’s Stage
Corner of Leavenworth and McCallister, SF11pm-6pm
FREE

Showcasing some of the best performers and DJs from around the country, the Women’s Stage at SF Pride attracts between 3000-6000 LGBTQ folks who rock out to the amazing performers on the stage.

In Oakland

Eden_Sun_2014FINAL800The Social Life
EDEN Official After Pride Party
Parliament
811 Washington, Oakland
7pm-midnight
Buy Tix

Why host the EDEN finale in Oakland you ask?
1. Oakland has the largest number of lesbians per capita in the US.
2. All you single ladies have more options to mingle and make new friends with simply gorgeous women.
3. Oakland was ranked #5 place to visit by the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/travel/45-places-to-go-in-2012.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)
4. Oakland was named the Most Exciting City in Country (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/oakland-most-exciting-city_n_3202553.html)
So yeah, that is why we end in Oakland 🙂

⚑ The Social Life is Oakland’s largest women’s party, hitting capacity every month.
⚑ The sexiest women + trans babes in the Bay, amazing DJs + hottest host!
⚑ Resident DJ Lady Ryan rockin’ alongside DJ Lezlee & Dirty Rich Kidd
⚑ Skyy Vodka will be hosting an open bar from 7pm-8pm. Yes you heard me right so get there on time!
⚑ Papparazi
⚑ Less Traffic + better parking = more party time.
⚑ 2 blocks from the 12th Street Bart
⚑ Bartenders pourin’ up the best drink specials all evening.
⚑ Dresscode: Fashion Forward

 

 

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