With feet rooted in gospel, a heart filled with soul, and a voice touched with jazz, singer and songwriter Chanda Rule has been weaving stories through song, humming melodies, and bending words since her childhood. After graduating from Howard University, she took a flight to New York with dreams of using her freshly-earned journalism degree on Madison Avenue. Daunted by rush hour and cubicles, she turned to music for solace and soon after began her professional career in musical theater, appearing in a variety of productions, from New Jersey’s Hudson Shakespeare Company and regional tours, to “Hair, The Musical” in Amsterdam and Milan.
Her “bewitching voice,”as described by the Baltic Times, has a flexibility and range that has graced a variety of musical projects: from “Sapphire Dreams” recorded with the legendary pianist Kirk Lightsey, “Feeling Good: A Tribute to Nina Simone” where she was featured with sax powerhouse Donny McCaslin, and gospel fests and workshops with the Golden Gospel Singers, to appearing as a featured vocalist on ARTE Concert, Ö1 Jazznacht, and ORF’s Dancing Stars. Featured in Cicily Janus’ “The New Face of Jazz” (Billboard Books), Chanda has also performed as an opening act for India.Arie, Kamasi Washington, Amel Larrieux, Angela Bofill, Regina Belle & The Whispers.
Of her latest project, “Hold On”, a bluesy mix of folk, gospel and soul, Chris Spector of The Midwest Record says it “reaches back into some emotional roots to serve up a set of civil rights jazz vocals that remains defiant and powerful as well as being solidly appropriate for the times….this music shows the resilience of the human spirit and desire to break free. Hot stuff for ears on the edge that want some real (and tasty) meat on their musical bones.”
A published writer and storyteller, Chanda also uses her music for community building and communal healing. Her stories that combine original narrative, sacred text and music have been awarded, commissioned, and featured on Vennly podcasts.