Wrabel Is Happy Singing (More Than) Sad Songs

Wrabel at Columbia City Theater (Photo by Mocha Charlie)

Wrabel has been having one heck of a year, or should I say, years. Not only has he continued to write hit songs for other musicians since 2011, putting his name in the songwriter credits for musicians like Kesha, Backstreet Boys, Ellie Goulding, Pentatonix, and Bishop Briggs (and many more… Google it, it’s a long list!), he also continues to write songs for his own repertoire, releasing some as singles, and some that he only plays live at shows.

Wrabel is funny, genuine, and humble. Having seen him perform his songs at the piano over the years, it’s been incredible to see him evolve from a quiet and shy musician who took very few moments between songs to chat about his music, to someone who can now tell so many stories he has to cut himself off at times, reminding the audience that he really is there to play music. Fans love it all, and his fan base is continuing to grow.

Earlier this year, he finished writing a song that he thought perhaps he’d sing himself, or maybe shop around. Lo and behold it got in front of the right ears and within just a few short days of him playing it for a record executive, it was picked up by P!nk. Within three months, she had recorded it and invited him on a whirlwind 3-month world tour this summer that would take him to countries he’d only dreamed of. He would be the special guest on the tour singing that song, “90 Days,” (featured on P!nk’s latest album, Hurts 2B Human), in front of massive crowds. It increased his fan base like never before. About midway through the tour, in Vienna, he found himself in true disbelief that this was his life. Singing on that tour gave him the gift of being able to spend time with his mom in Europe (an unbelievable and wonderful experience), more places to shop (he loves to shop!), and the strength from within to get himself back on track with his own music to release another EP, One Of Those Happy People (Sept ’19), and get back out on his own tour this October.

His show last week at Columbia City Theater was the fist stop on his Happy People Sing Sad Songs Tour, and he found himself playing a bit of a longer set, due to the last minute cancellation of his tour mate, Billy Raffoul (He rejoined the tour the night after in PDX.). Opening the show was Joy Oladokun, who shared her own stories of living in Nashville, visiting Memphis, and other life moments that give her inspiration for her own original songs that she performs solo on stage. Whether the songs are happy, full of angst, or just for fun, she expresses them with strong vocals that express her feelings eloquently from behind her guitar.

Given the extra time for his set, Wrabel shared even more stories with the crowd, and also stepped from behind the comfort of his piano at times to perform in front of the mic with his guitarist, Cole Citrenbaum (half of the band Opia). Their chemistry and banter found them laughing to the point of having to stop mid-song and start again, much to the cheers and laughter from the crowd. Once the songs began, you could occasionally hear slight sounds of fans singing along, but for the most part everyone was able to experience near silence as he played. Fans simply took in every note, allowing the venue to fill with the emotional performance of his songs throughout his entire set. Wrabel himself was emotional throughout as he played, because he just couldn’t believe the genuine love and respect the crowd had for him. He was in awe over the whole experience and couldn’t believe how quiet the venue was while he played. It had been two years since he’d played in Seattle, and everyone was taking it all in, enjoying the fantastic evening of music.

Wrabel will continue for some more US dates through October, and has also announced some UK dates beginning in February. He is still promising another full length EP (release date TBD, but I was told “Spring 2020…?”). Let’s hope!

Mocha Charlie is an amazing photographer who has a real passion for music. She covers and shoots several shows per month in and around the region. She a brilliant photo journalist but most importantly, she is also a mother who does her best to balance out her life and live it to the fullest. Mocha Charlie uses her passion and talent to support the community, her friends and family any way that she can.