Mychael Gabriel Presents “Let There Be Light”

Genesis is more than just the start of something. It’s the beginning of everything. After Genesis, anything is possible; before Genesis… well, there is no before Genesis. And how does the tale of Genesis commence? With a single utterance, a speech-act that transforms the cosmos. “Let there be Light,” and light is summoned into being. The rest, quite literally, is history.

Singer, songwriter, producer, and fire-starter Mychael Gabriel’s story is unique and compelling. His story begins when his parents met during the Prince’s historic PURPLE RAIN World Tour. Mychael’s father, Gilbert Davison was part of Prince’s personal security detail on the Purple Rain tour and eventually became Director of Security, Prince’s Manager and President of Paisley Park. Mychael’s mother, Connie, was Sheila E.’s road manager and co-lyricist. Mychael is also Sheila E.’s co-producer, lead guitarist, studio engineer and collaborator. This Minneapolis-grown singer and songwriter is bent on exploring the never-ending sonic space that is music. A multi-dimensional artist in more ways than one, Mychael Gabriel is on a mission to break the barriers of what is and what could be. His unique creativity is in a constant state of evolution and innovation, guaranteeing that each new release spells an experience unlike any other. Mychael’s music has been recognized as infusing elements of the Minneapolis sound with a guitar style of Jimi Hendrix and dynamic vocals.

As a writer, producer, arranger, engineer, mixer, musician, Mychael Gabriel has worked and collaborated with iconic talents Sheila E., Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr, Hans Zimmer, Usher, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Beck, Common, Gary Clark Jr., St. Vincent, Miguel, H.E.R., Earth Wind and Fire, Gloria Estefan, the Escovedo Family, George Duke, George Clinton, Freddie Stone (of Sly and the Family Stone), just to name a few. His work has been featured on MasterClass, DreamWorks Animation, ABC Network, 2007 and 2012 Latin Grammy Awards, 2016 BET Awards, Super Bowl XXVI, 2020 Grammy Awards, 2020 Grammy Salute to Prince. Mychael has proved time and again his merit on some of the world’s biggest stages and alongside music legends.

Mychael is too humble and devout to liken himself to the Almighty. But he, too, is engaged in the act of gainful conjuration. He plugs in, turns up, and, suddenly, all possibilities open. “Let There Be Light,” his new single, is a statement of purpose and a momentous introduction; it kicks off the Genesis album which in of itself, is a biblical allegory, drawing back the curtain on the universe. It’s a little Creation: a thunderclap, a propulsive beat, a scratchy guitar riff, a committed vocal. Throughout, Mychael Gabriel keeps one eye on the dance floor and one eye on heaven.

“Let There Be Light” is also an opportunity for the Minneapolis artist to showcase his formidable musical talents. He’s a funk master, sure. In the long tradition of Twin Cities popular music, Mychael adheres to no genre while respecting all styles. It’s rock, soul, R&B, blues, and gospel all at once, and the star crowns the song with a solo reminiscent of the fearless six-string masters of the Seventies. Like all the songs on Genesis, “Let There Be Light” could be a chronicle of spiritual discovery — or it could simply be heard as words of encouragement, inspiration, and an entreaty to all of us to be the best and most energetic versions of ourselves.

Speaking about the song, Mychael Gabriel says, “‘Let There Be Light’ was like the awakening moment of a musical and spiritual journey that became the Genesis album. I really wanted to start the record off with a bang. When inspiration finally struck, it hit hard. I was able to write this song in about thirty minutes. Concept, story, purpose, and vision were such an integral part of this record as a whole. That is the common thread which I feel makes the whole multi-genre idea work. You need to have a compelling story to tell – and that’s what I set off to do.”

As befits a video for an incendiary track, the “Let There Be Light” clip finds Mychael Gabriel dressed in red from head to toe. There’s nothing infernal about his presentation, though — he’s just a spirit of illumination and an embodiment of vitality, spreading joy and good news. Gabriel puts his formidable multi-instrumentalism on display, sitting at the drums, cooing into the microphone, and slinging the electric guitar around his neck and wailing. When he kicks at a floor full of red balloons as he’s playing, he generates a perfect visual metaphor for the flurry of notes that come from his fingers. He’s a force of nature and a font of creation, making waves wherever he goes.

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