This “Angel of the Night” Isn’t Going Anywhere Yet

Monday, October 31, 2011 16:29

An Interview with Angela Bofill

by: Casey Pukl

Her home page reads, “Rebirth of the Angel,” and there’s no better way to explain it. After suffering two massive strokes, years of endless physical and speech therapy, and learning to live her life without singing, Angela Bofill is stronger than ever. She’s back on stage joined by some of her closest friends in what can only be described as the most inspirational return of all time. While she can no longer sing her songs on her own due to damaged vocal cords, Angela can now tell the stories behind them. Her latest tour, “The Angela Bofill Experience,” has received rave reviews from critics in New York City and San Francisco, and this Saturday, the R&B legend will be bringing the show to Anthology. I got the opportunity to speak with Angela about the show, what she’s been doing to keep her creative mind active, and how her experience has changed her.

Angela Bofill

CP: Where did the idea for this tour come from?

AB: My manager, Rich Engel. After the strokes, I lost my singing voice, but could talk still. I’m narrating my life while my best friends sing. Maysa has a beautiful voice, and Dave Valentin was my best friend growing up.

CP: Did you have any reservations about doing the show when Rich came up with the idea?

AB: I love performing. It wasn’t weird not to be singing, because the last gig before the stroke, I was in a play. Performing is my love. It’s in the blood. I can talk; I can perform.

CP: So your best friends are playing and singing your songs? That must be really emotional.

AB: Very emotional. My best friends are very talented.

CP: What was it like to hear other people singing your songs for the first time?

AB: Overwhelming. Very emotional. Maysa is amazing. I’m really flattered to hear her do my music. It’s a very emotional show. The first gig was in San Francisco, and all my friends and family were there. All the fans were there. It was very emotional. They gave a standing ovation!

CP: I know you recently took the show to your hometown, New York City. Tell me what that was like for you.

AB: Oh wow. We were at the Blue Note, and it was very hard to get inside. The stairs— they are a workout! But I was born in New York City, so it was like homecoming. My cousins still live there, so it was the first time they saw the show. It was beautiful.

CP: How has your family been through all of this?

AB: Very supportive. This has been challenging. It has been very hard. I’m very blessed. My family is very loving. I can be a pain in the ass! (laughs)

CP: Have you continued writing at all since you suffered the strokes? I know you used to write your own material.

AB: I am writing a children’s show. My daughter recently had a son, so I am now a Grandma, and he is the best critic. He’s a very tough critic! (Laughs) If he likes it, then it’s a hit. I first did my show for him, and he liked it.

CP: How has this experience changed you?

AB: I’m more appreciative of every day. I say, “Stroke is no joke!” I had three years ago, and I’m still recovering. It’s hard, but I’m blessed to be alive. I’m blessed to still talk!

CP: You also sound like you’ve retained your sense of humor.

AB: That’s the most important thing. It’s always better to be laughing than crying.

Be sure to take a listen to our Angela Bofill hits playlist below, and come out to see her this Saturday, November 5, 2011 at Anthology!

Angela Bofill Hits

WHAT: The Angela Bofill Experience

WHEN: Saturday, November 5, 2011, 7:30 & 9:30pm

TICKETS: $12-$68 Buy Tickets

MORE INFO: Artist Profile