Being from the Bay area, singer Goapele was surrounded by diversity. Growing up in Oakland, Calif., the 33-year-old was privy to all different kinds of culture, of which she has showcased in her music.

While she's been categorized as riding in the same lane as neo-soul singers Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, but never forgets her roots.

"I think that we have an edge that comes from the Bay area and in my music I always want there to be a beautiful aspect and a gritty raw kind of harder aspect and I feel that that's probably because I'm from the Bay area," Goapele tells the BoomBox. "It's by the ocean but there's just an energy thing and just all these different influences, even politically, and I feel like we can be individuals up there so I always like that contrasting balance in my music."

With three albums under her belt, and a four-year break, Goapele is ready for a return to music. "It's been a really gradual process," she said of putting together music for her forthcoming EP, 'Milk & Honey,' due out this September. "I started working on it a while after I had my daughter who's 4 years old now, so I came from a different place in myself. I just feel like I'm a grown woman. I can say everything that I wanna say and it's been liberating and it's been a slow grower and I feel really excited about the process at the end."