When Gizelle Smith stormed from relative obscurity onto the funk scene in 2008 as the front woman of Hamburg-based band The Mighty Mocambos, critics and music lovers alike immediately hailed her as “the golden girl of funk”. Mention the name Gizelle Smith in funk-knowing circles and ears will immediately prick up with curiosity and tangible excitement, eagerly ready to hear more.
Born and raised in Manchester, the love child of a Seychellois mother and an Afro-American father who was a band member of legendary Motown group The Four Tops, Gizelle has a multicultural upbringing steeped in soulful music. Gizelle‘s first single “Working Woman” with The Mighty Mocambos became an overnight smash and a prime-time club favorite of funk & soul DJs worldwide, leading legendary producer and Grammy nominee Kenny Dope (Masters at Work / Bucketheads) to remix the song for his own Kay Dee Records. The album that followed, “This is Gizelle Smith and the Mighty Mocambos” on Mocambo, Légère and Soulbeats was released in 2009 and sold nearly 10,000 copies in spite of the ongoing music industry crisis. Follow-up solo singles “June” released on Record Kicks in 2009 and “Johnny” on Mocambo in 2012 sold-out in record time and are now both highly collectible 45s.
In the wake of her breakthrough releases Gizelle has enjoyed extensive radioplay on national stations such as BBC 2 and BBC 6 (UK), Radio Nova (FR), Radio 3 (SP), Rai 2 (IT) and more, and has performed far and wide, from London to Manchester, Paris to Marseille, Frankfurt to Berlin, Milan to Oslo, solidifying her reputation as a highly energetic, dynamic and incredibly charming performer. After a hiatus from gigging to work on her debut solo album, in February 2017 the London funk scene was raving about Gizelle Smith‘s performance on stage with the mighty LeRoy Hutson, and once again tongues were ablaze with excited talks of her vocal talent and upcoming projects, setting the scene for the launch of what will no doubt be Gizelle Smith‘s most significant work to date: her debut solo album “Ruthless Day”.