Destiny decreed that Bay Area-based Luna Angel would become a reggae singer. After all, she has the pedigree. Born to a Jamaican mother and a French father, Angel (her real name) literally grew up surrounded by Bob Marley's music -- her uncle is legendary Wailers lead guitarist Junior Marvin.
Angel's uncle helped her start her career by recording some tracks with her in Jamaica a few years back, when she was a teenager, but he also cautioned her that the path she had chosen was not an easy road. "If you want to step into this thing called music, it's not going to be a bed of roses," she says. Still, she adds, "I have a lot of confidence in my music ... I try to put everything into it." After studying her vocal craft at Berkeley's Jazzschool and gigging around the area, Angel has finally released her debut album, Move with Me, on her own label. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the album isn't just her strong pipes, fluid delivery, and message of "unconditional love," but that in addition to singing, she writes, plays drums, keyboards, and guitar -- and also helped to produce the disc. This is one multifaceted Angel, just as the album's title track has several meanings. "'Move with me' means not only dancing, but mentally, spiritually, emotionally," she explains.
Rhythm, Angel emphasizes, is a must, especially these days. "This world is in a state of emergency," she notes, therefore "we have to be conscious. There's no excuse for ignorance." And while she admits that reggae tends to be a male-dominated field, she feels her hands-on DIY ethic has given her more control over her art than other female singers. She's blessed, she adds, to be able to "be a part of the creation process." Witness Angel's ascension for yourself this Saturday, when she headlines the all-female reggae showcase Riddims Couture -- also featuring DJs Bella, Shania D, Jenicyde, and Black -- at Oakland's Oasis, 135 12th St. Libras admitted free, $5-$10 for everyone else. For more info, visit LunaAngel.com
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