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WHUR Presents: Sounds Like Washington, Live! Featuring Gallant, Michelle Blackwell & surprise special guest - 7/12/18Thursday, July 12 2018 6:00 PM Doors / 8:00 PM Start / Ends 10:00 PM (Estimated End Time)
WHUR Presents: Sounds Like Washington, Live! Featuring Gallant, Michelle Blackwell & surprise special guest - 7/12/18
at City Winery Washington DC
- 6:00 PM
- 8:00 PM
- 10:00 PM (Estimated End Time)
This is a FREE show! Doors open at 6 PM and the show begins at 8 PM. Seating is open, first come, first seated. This is a free event and the only way to get in is to win on WHUR 96.3. WHUR will be giving away tickets on-air, online (www.whur.com), on social media, and the WHUR mobile app. Winners will receive a winner’s letter via email that they’ll need to present at the venue in lieu of a ticket.
When it comes to music, Gallant is quick to step out of his comfort zone. Following his roundly acclaimed 2016 debut, Ology, which was nominated for a best urban contemporary album Grammy (he lost to Beyoncé), he’s now at work on LP No. 2, with a wide range of producers including DJ Mustard, Salaam Remi and Max Martin.
Ology showcased Gallant’s elastic voice -- an arresting tenor that swoops from gossamer falsetto to guttural wail -- and his genre-blind approach to mixing vintage soul, glistening modern pop and futuristic electronica. “When I was a kid, I literally thought, ‘If you’re black, you’re only allowed to make certain types of music,’” says Gallant. “Then I saw Seal’s ‘Crazy’ video. He showed me there are no rules.” The admiration is now mutual: “When Gallant opens his heart and sings, I don’t hear R&B -- I hear him,” says Seal. “He knows exactly who he is but remains open.”
That means expanding his horizons both in and out of the studio. “It has felt so right with Max since day one, which I wouldn't necessarily expect,” says Gallant of working with Martin. He’s filming new episodes of In the Room, a series of acoustic duets that has included Andra Day, John Legend (with whom Gallant toured this past spring), Sufjan Stevens and, coming soon, Moby and Dua Lipa. He also happens to have a runaway hit in South Korea: “Cave Me In,” with K-pop mavericks Tablo and Eric Nam. (With 5.3 million YouTube views, it bests even “Weight in Gold,” Gallant’s biggest hit on his own.)
“I don’t know if Gallant is capable of singing a bad note,” says Moby, who found the singer after asking a friend to point him to today’s “Sam Cookes and Otis Reddings.” And while he exudes a sophistication and raw energy onstage that recalls those legends, Gallant is a man of quieter pleasures when at home in the San Fernando Valley: reading non-fiction (recently Dreamland, about opiate addiction), playing Nintendo Switch (“I called all the stores when it came out -- I love having the console first”) and watching Cartoon Network. “I’m pissed I’m missing Comic-Con right now,” he says with tangible FOMO. He recently voiced a character for Cartoon Network’s We Bare Bears and plans to do more voice acting soon. “It makes me feel like a kid,” he confesses with a rare grin.
Later in the afternoon, Gallant is grooving, eyes closed, to Brandy’s eponymous 1994 album, his lanky frame draped in bold prints, baggy pants and a tailored blazer. “I like the way it’s loose, unpretentious,” says Gallant, a fan of edgy suiting who has worn normcore -- deliberately ordinary looking, that is -- Adidas on the red carpet. “I could be part of 112 -- that’d be tight.” He’s nostalgic for that R&B quartet’s heydey. “I wish I was born in ’82 so I could grow up in the mid-’90s,” he muses -- and for a moment, like when he’s singing, he seems like a man who has slipped free of history. “When I’m onstage it feels like I’m jumping out of space into this other reality where I can manipulate the fabric of time. It feels like I could do anything.” - Billboard Magazine
Born with natural aesthetic abilities, Michelle Blackwell has been immersed in the Performing Arts arena since childhood that has spanned many years and encompassed all artistic disciplines.
She's worked with platinum record selling producer Chucky Thompson on multiple music projects, including DC Rapper Non-Chalant’s single “Until the Day” which was featured on the soundtrack for the movie “Bullet Proof,” starring Damon Wayans and Adam Sandler.
For more than a decade she's built a large and consistent following in the Washington DC area and abroad, performing with some of the DC Metropolitan areas most talented artists and musicians and strives to be an ambassador for Gogo music outside of the DC’s Beltway a catalyst for the success of its unique and homegrown sound that she likes to call “Urban Gogo Soul”.
Her latest project, her new cd entitled "Body Of Work", is her latest step in her extensive walk in her musical/ performance journey in which she will be releasing new original works and a few remixed fan favorites. Gogo Music(a Washington DC born music genre, fused with a heavy percussive, bass and Latin, jazz, soul and funk influences) will be prominently featured on "Body of Work", as she is a native Washingtonian and self professed lover of this largely unsung American indigenous music.