Sango Amoda


afropunk atl: gallant’s voice invokes the legends

October 16, 2019

Maryland singer and songwriter Christopher Gallant is a giant — not his physical build, but his vocal prowess. The sound of his voice has a weight that booms like thunder, yet is also gentle as rain. The first voice to sing as the sun began to dim on Saturday, Gallant brought to the AFROPUNK stage a slow-burn of soulful energy.     

Hearing Gallant live is to hear a vocalist that will take your breath away. From the moment his voice soared into the high notes that seem able to reach heaven, there was no turning away. Backed by a band that followed his every vocal twist and turn, the 27-year old singer stood as a seasoned showman. Without missing a beat, Gallant kept the outdoor crowd awed and in a trance throughout the electric set. 

It’s nearly impossible to watch Gallant on stage and not contemplate the spirits of legends, whether the late genius Prince, or the living genius D’Angelo. That’s part of the joy of experiencing Gallant: there a nostalgia to the energy he exudes, yet what he’s doing also remains fresh and new.  

“I wrote those songs when I was in a dark place,” Gallant confessed to the crowd. But, ironically, there was no darkness in his voice. Not once did the energy feel dragged down by what influenced the stories that fill this music. There’s simply a natural lightness to it, that exudes warmth and a welcoming. From a dark place to the main stage at AFROPUNK, on this night, Gallant’s story and performance encapsulated the essence of how art can change lives.