Multi-talented Sierra Leonean gospel singer Giileh Scholz sets sight on securing a niche in America’s music industry
Giileh Scholz, simply known as Giileh (pronounced “gie leh”) to her admirers is the latest sensation from Africa poised to make an indelible mark in the gospel music industry in the USA. The Sierra Leonean born singer extraordinaire, actress and multimedia artist recently launched her long anticipated debut gospel album, “Bringing the News” on March 25th, 2011 in Maryland. Held at a packed prestigious ballroom with space for standing room only, the event was a huge success for the singer. Never before has an event showcasing a Sierra Leonean singer in the USA received such high profile attention nor has one ever been executed with such Hollywood coordinated style, flair and Pizazz. The event which could only be summed up in one simple word “Magnificent” solidified Giileh’s status of one of the new leading musical divas from Africa, taking a swipe at the competitive music entertainment industry in the USA.
Giileh represents a rare cadre of African musical entertainers living in the USA that are combining their musical talent along with a sound educational base to manage and produce a distinct product, a blend of music that caters to main stream America while retaining the cultural flavor of their African heritage.
In her particular case, her talent was quite evident at a very early age, she started winning choreography performances from age 11 until her early teens. Her music career was then put on hold she says smilingly “so that I can focus on completing my education.” Now being satisfied with a Bachelor’s in Economics, and a Masters in Technology Management, she has been able to comfortably adapt to the management and technological aspect of her up trending musical career. The distinct product, her music is a mosaic of R&B, Soul; with a touch of African beat blended together to create a melodious musical resonance that cuts across all cultural boundaries.
Her debut album “Bringing in the news’ encases the uniqueness of Giileh the singer. Firstly all songs in the album depict her unwavering faith in God and her belief in the goodness of humanity. She explains that she has been blessed in all areas of her life and it’s only right and fitting for her to give God all the honor and praise. Secondly, each song in the album captures a timeline in her life; the joys and breakthroughs she experienced the consistent challenges she had to overcome and the war and devastation she had to endure in her homeland of Sierra Leone. Finally she delivers these messages in the rich timbre, powerful and melodious vocals that seem to transcend the lyrics and uplift one’s spirits, making a subtle yet profound connection with the listener.
At the launching event the audience got to experience this trifecta effect first hand with the diva’s renditions of four beautiful songs from her “Bringing the News” album; “Nchomalain” – a song of encouragement for women with fertility issues, “Bringing In the News” – a message of evangelism, “Lord Is Looking Down” and “Sweet Hour Of Prayer” – both songs of hope to face and overcome adversity. Her singing was remarkable, her performance was solid and flawless and gave the audience a glimpse of the commitment and dedication she puts into every aspect of her work as an entertainer. She was electrifying to watch on stage; extremely well-choreographed, she was timed along with perfect lighting and special sound effects synchronized with rolling waves of glow lights from the audience. It was indeed exhilarating to watch, an exceptional performance from a truly gifted and graceful artist.
Giileh’s music is gradually filtering into a wider audience in America and her fan base is rapidly growing thanks to the increasing exposure she is getting from the press. She has been featured on Bronx Net TV Murphy and Friends show in New York and has appeared twice on Voice of America’s in focus TV where she was interviewed by popular “African Beat” host David Vandy. She has also been performing as guest artists in leading churches in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, one such case in point is her performance at the Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church, a church that has attracted previous Grammy award winners like Kirk Franklin as guest artists. As a committed humanitarian, she participates in numerous community events in the Washington D.C area, volunteering her time and talent to advocate the causes of various non-profits. She was recently a co-host with television broadcaster Sam Ford of national network ABC television on one such event. In concert with her philanthropic efforts of giving back to society, 10% of the proceeds of sales from her debut album “Bringing The News” is being donated to Save the Nation, Inc., www.savethenationinc.org a 501c (3) non-profit organization she founded to assist the surviving family members of a tragic boat accident that occurred in Sierra Leone in 2009.
The singer anticipates an acceleration of the awareness of her music with a soon to be announced upcoming state wide tour. Along with event sponsor, Save Sierra Leone Foundation, Giileh will be performing at fundraising function events in cities all across the USA to create awareness and funding support for four International Community College Town Centers in Sierra Leone. An educational project endorsed by George Mason University and being implemented by the project’s founder Dr. Gail Kettlewell of LEAD Foundation.
Giileh has also been quite active in the theatre as well, acting in plays performed by Sierra Theatre Productions, Sierra Leone’s only theatre company in the USA that has held shows at prominent locations such as the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She will be playing the lead role in Sierra Theatre’s upcoming play “Let me die alone’. The play to be held at the Montgomery College of Performing Arts in Maryland on June 3rd, 2011 is based on the life and times of Madam Yoko, one of the most powerful and respected women chiefs in Africa. A fitting and appropriate role for a singer with exceptional talent, someone who many believe will become one of the most powerful singers in the United States to emerge from the continent of Africa.
You can follow the career of this remarkable individual by visiting www.giileh.com
Ambrose Thorpe, Shenge Records
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