Singer Capathia Jenkins Takes the Audience on a Personal Journey in She’s Got Soul

by Tucson Symphony
Singer Capathia Jenkins Takes the Audience on a Personal Journey in She’s Got Soul

Ahead of She’s Got Soul on Saturday, March 16, and Sunday March 17 we chatted with singer Capathia Jenkins on planning the program, her dynamic voice, and her musical influences.

The She’s Got Soul program is loaded with hit songs- just reading the titles starts a playlist in your mind: songs like I Will Always Love You and Midnight Train to Georgia. For singer Capathia Jenkins the program is about more than paying tribute to some of the greatest soul and R&B artists. “We’re really intentional about where the songs are played in the program to tell the story of what was going on in my life at that time. As we go through the evening, I’m giving people a little bit more insight into who Capathia is. We’re celebrating the songs and celebrating these amazing singers, Adele, Chaka Khan, and Whitney and so many others, and then also along the way, you’re getting to know Capathia a little bit too.”

Outside of the songs, the singers themselves inspired Jenkins’ artistry and creativity. “All these singers inspire me in so many different ways depending on where I was in my life. If I’m listening to somebody like Whitney, who was arguably one of the best singers of all time, what she could do as a raw talent was really extraordinary. Gladys is my favorite singer because she sings with so much honest soul, and then you have a singer like Sade who just has a swagger of her own. She is just so different from everybody else, the idea that you could forge your own path, that inspired me. I take so much of their fortitude and their ability to thrive in a business that’s not always kind and I’m inspired by all of it.”

Jenkins knew from a very early age that she wanted to sing. “I kind of knew even before I could talk that I wanted to sing, and I had people in my life to nurture it.” Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jenkins grew up listening to many of the songs on the program, but it was her Broadway training and later life experiences that helped her tell the deeper story of the lyrics. “Everything, everything is about the lyric, everything is about the story. I was always pushed that way by directors when I was doing musical theater on Broadway. You cannot rely on just the sound of your voice. It’s not enough. You know what I mean? You want to bring people into the story.”

The story behind She’s Got Soul has moments of sadness and heartbreak that naturally come with life experience. Jenkins personal experience with heartbreak enabled her to convey the raw emotion expressed in songs like Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. “If I was singing that 10 years ago, you know, I might not have the life experience to lean into those lyrics ‘we could have had it all’. Now it’s like I get that as a grown woman with some life experience with some heartbreak. Now I’m able to get inside of that lyric from a personal space.” Ultimately the story of She’s Got Soul is one of joy and celebration. “It’s really a party and I think people will just want to get up and dance and have a good time.”