Chanté Moore has touched the hearts and souls of music lovers for two decades with her smooth, sensuous melodies about love, loss and everything in between. Moore appeared at Aurora’s Kasbah Nightclub on April 23, where she swooned fans with a repertoire of songs from her lucrative career beginning in the early 90’s.
Moore’s vocals laced with gospel, soul and jazz continue to awe generations of audiences more than ever. Setting her aside from other singers is her songbird falsetto voice which was reminiscence of the late Minnie Riperton to many in the audience. She has released 20 hit singles and seven albums including Precious, Things That Lovers Do and Love the Woman. She won 1997’s American Music Award for Favorite Soundtrack and 2002’s Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single, Group, Band or Duo.
In addition, Moore was featured on numerous soundtracks including Waiting to Exhale (’97) and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (’98).
Inspiration from Family
At an early age, Chanté Moore drew much of her musical inspiration from her parents who have shown her what love and life is all about. Still a minister at 82-years-old, Moore’s father remains strong. Her mother, who was also a singer, passed away years ago. There was always music in Moore’s home, from her mother’s singing to her father playing the piano.
“My sister, my mom and my brother all played,” explains Moore. “They said, at that point, I wasn’t really the most talented in the family. My brother played the drums, my sister taught herself to play the piano, guitar, flute – everything. I was the little one so I was always the annoying one, jumping around trying to just be around.”
For Moore, the most important thing in the music industry is to be in love with it. Growing up with a strong religious background has taught her to sing about the truth and to believe in her own lyrics. If she doesn’t believe in the words, she couldn’t sing that song. As a result, most of her songs are autobiographical – 70 percent of the music she writes is based on her own life experiences.
“It [singing] was what I loved to do, so it taught me not to really care what anyone thought and to really pursue my dreams,” Moore says. “If you don’t love it, all the rest of this stuff – like the business and the industry and the back-and-forth and the ups-and-downs in music – will hurt your heart.”
Favorite Artists and Moments
Some of Moore’s musical influences are centralized in Gospel with artists such as Andraé Crouch, Walter Hawkins and The Imperials. Initially, she wasn’t allowed to listen to anything, but Gospel music until she was about 13-years-old. By then, her brother turned 18, an acceptable age to listen to secular music in her family, which opened up a whole new world of music for her.
“I started listening to Prince and Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye,” Moore says, laughing. “It just was a flood of all music from Motown to jazz. It was wonderful to be bombarded with so much music at once.”
From there, Moore pursued her dreams, which led to a string of life – changing events, eventually landing her on the stages of “Showtime at the Apollo” and “Soul Train.” As a child, she had always watched “Soul Train” on television.
“To actually stand there with the late Don Cornelius himself, so many things were surreal to me,” Moore says.
A fond memory for Moore was shooting her first music for the song “Love’s Taken Over.” For three days, her crew traveled all over the city of Paris. From there, everything happened very quickly.
“It was just amazing and wonderful,” Moore says. “It was a dream come true – all of those memories.”
Challenges and Rewards
Moore admits being in the music industry is challenging, especially since it’s based on popularity. She has always told her children, family and friends that if they didn’t love it, don’t get in it.
Moore has the privilege to work with talented, notable artists such as George Duke, Prince, Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston, to name a few. One of her favorite artists to work with was the late George Duke who taught her so much about the industry and how to be comfortable in the studio.
Moore loves doing live performances and working off the audience’s high energy in intimated venues such as the intimate Kasbah Nightclub.
And last month, she did it well.