Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Feature: SOL Spoken's Karega Bailey and Felicia Gangloff-Bailey

I find that power couples are rare. No really, I mean it. Rare. SOL Spoken's Karega Bailey and Felicia Gangloff-Bailey are a power couple-- for real. Hard work doesn't scare these D.C. newlyweds. The two California-raised individuals have strong backgrounds in education and music and the dynamic duo are nonstop working in the careers and passions. SOL Spoken, SOL meaning: source of light, was established in 2010 by Karega Bailey to combine the arts of poetry and song that positively motivates and inspires the community. They are amazing artists with incredible talent and drive where any member of the audience can truly experience and feel an amazing performance poetically, intellectually, and musically.

The married couple have an amazing style and flair that is true to themselves. They are unafraid of trying new styles and eras, mixing vibrant colors and patterns and can still put a unique stamp on any look.

It is an honor and a privilege to feature such a motivational couple, a personal inspiration of mine, and what is even better is to call them my friends.

Scroll down for shots of Karega and Felicia and get the scoop on SOL Spoken with an exclusive Friday Feature interview with Pumps and Lipstick:

Xiomara: What is your mission for establishing SOL Spoken?

Karega & Felicia: SOL spoken was established so that we could use the art of poetry and song to amplify our academic interest to impact humanity, particularly with the youth.

Xiomara: What are your backgrounds in music and writing?

Karega & Felicia: Felicia holds a degree in music education from Hampton University and is a classically trained pianist. Karega is a poet who uses his sociology and education background to address the needs of his students, his community and his people in general. Felicia is currently pursuing her PhD in Educational Psychology with a research interest on African American students, hip hop music, and achievement motivation at Howard University in Washington, DC.

Xiomara: Since the beginning of SOL Spoken, what are a few major accomplishments you have achieved?

Karega & Felicia: Well SOL Spoken is the brand identity for the art that we produce, but all of Karega’s oratory presentations and literature fall under SOL SPOKEN as well. Since its establishment in 2010,
  • We’ve won the Love From the Soundstage Award for Best Collaboration 2011.
  • Karega won the NUSPA ( National Underground Spoken Word Poetry Award) for best male poet of the year 2012.
  • Us along with rapper/poet Common were selected to perform for Dr.Maya Angelou at the Maya Angelou Public Charter School annual fundraiser.
  • We released a double album titled Surrender and completed a six city tour and we have been featured on a number of entertainment blogs and magazines.
  • Launched our clothing line available on
  • Filmed our first music documentary titled Surrender, based on our recent tour in California. 
Xiomara: Describe what someone would experience watching your performance?

Karega & Felicia: We have been told that our performances are powerful and dynamic. Show-goers often report that the passion we display in our work is heart-touching.  A SOL SPOKEN production is going to include poetry, vocal song inspired by hip hop, Roots Reggae, Negro Spirituals, Contemporary Gospel and live musicianship. It has often been recognized as 'Truth Music'.

Xiomara: What are your goals for SOL Spoken this year?

Karega & Felicia: This year, we will get a national distribution deal, make television appearances on major television networks and hold a scholarship banquet in which we provide scholarships to a number of deserving high school students.

Xiomara: What is your style influenced by? Music? Trends?

Karega & Felicia: As artists, our style is inspired by minimalism, comfort, and color. Minimalism referring to cost, we are not after the brand with the biggest most expensive name. We do not represent that. Comfort refers to our ability to perform freely, vibe with our people and when possible, our clothes contain messages that uphold our philosophy. Color refers to just that; color. We like to blend, compliment, contrast and invite new colors into a wardrobe. It is not at all about always matching.  

Xiomara: Got any style icons? If so, who and why?

Karega & Felicia: No style icons in particular, however, Felicia enjoys trends and style from the 70’s. It's her favorite era of fashion because of its burst of vibrant colors that can be paired with anything. Felicia is also admirable of anything edgy accompanied care free attitude and a dash of sexy.

Xiomara: Felicia, what are a few of your beauty regimens that are a must? 

Felicia: I wouldn’t say I have any particular regimens that are a must. I am an advocate of washing my face in the morning and before bed and all around keeping my face clean, that is essential. I’ve noticed lately, however, lipstick is a must! Especially for performances. MAC preferred and usually reds, pinks, purples, corals, oranges….you get the point. I love lipstick. Ruby Woo by MAC is definitely a favorite and most recently I have been rocking Schiap by NARS with Cherry Lip Liner from MAC.  Additionally, because of my fair complexion, I always make sure I am wearing a bronzer. Not something to heavy, but enough to give me a little tone. (Refined Golden, MAC Bronzer).

Xiomara: How has starting and growing SOL Spoken molded you into the person you are today? 10 years from now, where do you see yourselves in your careers?

Karega & Felicia: Since starting SOL SPOKEN, our belief in touching lives through art has been strengthened. We understand that there is much more work to be done and we have accepted the calling to serving. This means that soon we will have to launch a world tour and touch millions of lives with SOL SPOKEN. And in ten years our tours will be more than music, it will be inspiration tours in which we use our academic training Dr. Felicia G.Bailey Educational Psychology Ph. D and Karega Bailey, M.Ed.


For more on the dynamic duo, visit for upcoming event dates, blog, and shop SOL Spoken tees and sweatshirts. Stream amazing performances on your computer or mobile via SOL Spoken's YouTube channel. And be sure to stalk them via Twitter and Facebook!

Photos courtesy of Karega Bailey and Felicia Gangloff-Bailey.

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