NEW ORLEANS- July 6, 2012 – Day two of the Essence Festival in New Orleans was hot, and not just the weather. Events and people turned the heat up to make the annual music festival something more. This year, the Carol’s Daughter Pop Up Shop at 216 Decatur turned out to be a hot spot – a hopping hair and beauty oasis right across the street from the House of Blues. Walking into the store promised many delights, including the blast of a fully-functional air conditioner scented with signature scents, a sea of people dressed in their “Essence Best” with hair and makeup to match, and shelves of products promising results with hair models and demonstrations to prove it. Navigating the crowd was a breeze, as the air of bonhomie mixed with the infectious tunes to make leaving empty-handed impossible. In the midst of it all, famous faces, including that of singer Goapele.
Danielle Jenkins was on site to chat with the exotically beautiful R&B songstress about hair, Carol’s Daughter, and New Orleans. Check out her spectacular and personable interview below:
I want to ask you first off – where do you get your inspiration for your wonderful natural hair looks?
Well, some of it’s from my childhood. My mom didn’t let me even press my hair until junior high so there were lots of braids, lots of short naturals, lots of beads, lots of hair wraps. A woman that I was working with for a long time, Anana Scott, was doing [my] hair wraps. It’s something that feels like an ancient African style -- you know because I have some family from South Africa – we can get kind of futuristic with it.
I’ve seen you shopping around the Carol’s Daughter pop up shop. What’s your favorite product?
I really like the body soufflés, because I like deep moisturizing, and I love all the scents that she has. I see that there are some new products now that I was getting into.
Out of all the events that you could have chosen to participate in, you chose a Carol’s Daughter pop up shop. Why? Does Carol’s Daughter mean anything special to you?
I’ve been a fan of Carol’s Daughter stuff for years now. I think just what she’s been able to do as a business woman and bring such quality products for a long time to be able to see her grow, that’s exciting and inspiring for me.
I’m going to change it up a little bit. I’m a native of New Orleans and a huge fan. So, do you love New Orleans, or do you love New Orleans?
I love New Orleans. I love New Orleans! And this is maybe my third time doing Essence Festival and I was so excited. You know, there was one year that it was in Texas and I was so happy that it came back to New Orleans after Katrina. I feel like New Orleans is one of the most unique places I’ve ever been, from the jazz culture and young people to the food, it’s just so rich. I love it.
Well we love you. Last question: when can we expect to hear the newest thing from you?
The newest thing? Well, I put out my third album, Break of Dawn in the fall  and so that’s in stores, please check that out. And I also just recorded a song “Running” – that’s on the Sparkle soundtrack.
Pick up Break of Dawn in stores now. Sparkle: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is scheduled to be released July 31, 2012, and is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.