Goapele at Yoshi’s Oakland

From Thursday until Sunday baydestrains faced the winter storm to witness Oakland’s own Goapele at Yoshi’s restaurant and jazz venue in Oakland.  Hands down, no beating around the bush; her band was amazing.  The guitarist, pianist, bass player, and drummer definitely gave me a musical high this Sunday.  I have never seen Goapele live so it was a treat to hear her elegant soft voice amongst her polite personality.  It took a few songs for the crowd to warm up but after the first introduction of Dave Jackson on the keys, the audience began to clap their hands and sway to the rhythms that the handsome brothers were producing. Goapele gave us three songs from her upcoming album that she admitted to the audience she’s been working on for three years now.  They touched on single-hood, love, and of course heartache. Goapele has the perfect voice when capturing true emotion in sound but when it came to stage presence I felt as if the band in the background took over tonight.  The chemistry is there, and she’s still aspiring. Just give us that next album already, your fans are antsy!

Check out this clip from Dave Jackson on the Keys. This was on Saturday but he rocked the house just as good for us!

Photo Credit: Fred Shavies of 3680photography.com Check out all his latest flicks around the bay!

The Opening Act: The Dreamer x T-Ran

While other artists are in competition to be different, Ta’Darrell “T-Ran” Randolph, Oakland native, has already won and is taking the next step by breaking the barrier for today’s Hip Hop music.  At a very young age, T-Ran first fell in love with hip hop after watching the movie “Kush Groove”.  Inspired by the talent and culture the film progressed, he was determined to make his love for music his career.  He began pushing his music freshman year of high school where he networked with artists and participated in local events in his community.  When transferring to Howard University (the other HU lol) his support system was so strong that he dived right into the scene, performing opening acts for homecomings and participating in events in Washington D.C.

“I am an artist from the bay, but I am not a typical bay artist,” he says as he describes his versatility to not conform to a certain genre.  With an opportunity to attend a school with all kinds of cultures from around the world, T-Ran’s exposure outside of the bay area is what shaped him.  By looking up to artists like Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Wale, and R&B sensations Pattie LaBelle and Usher, I would say that he has developed his own sense of music in the genre of Hip-Hop.  It’s very rare that you come across an artist willing to build its own brand in an industry that has all been recycled and reused.

T-Ran currently has a mixtape that has been out since March entitled  “The Opening Act: The Dreamer” which includes poetic stories created over recognizable instrumentals.  One of his first songs “Give it To Me” was inspired while working at his job for Nike.

“They would give me stacks of shirts to fold, so I started writing the first verse in my head to kill time,” T-Ran made sure that his voice was heard in and out of the studio.  Whether it is an on-air personality for Howard’s radio station or an internship for a business executive, his constant dream is on rotation to becoming a reality.

I always ask artists to share advice because with culture rapidly advancing, it is always aspiring to know one’s journey to their dream.

“If you always stay true to yourself more doors will be opened then closed”- T-Ran

For more info on T-Ran visit:


and Download his latest mixtape here: http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/en/view-album/424-opening-act:-the-dreamer