Sheela Gathright Sheela Gathright
Sheela is originally from New York, she grew up in the South Bronx, and has inherited incredible family talent.
She is the daughter of Willie Wright, enigmatic Soul artist and composer of the 1970s. She comes from a family of musicians and actors and began to sing as a child in a Gospel choir. At the age of 11, her first musical appearance was as a backing vocalist for the song “I’m So Happy Now” on one of her father’s albums. “She barely had a microphone at the time”, he recalls.
“I spent the summer in Boston, the winter in the Bronx, musically, I went from one extreme to the other”. This is where her broad musical roots lie which are full of contrasts.
After finishing high school she studied Stage Performance in New York early in her career in the United States, making a living primarily as a model. “Bruce Darnell and I were pretty much the first two models of African descent to work in Germany”.
In the late 1980s she emigrated to Germany and began by chance her singing career in Cologne.
As a Soul and Jazz American singer, she is considered one of the most melodic and warm voices to be heard today within Black music in Spain. She has become a true institution over the years, especially within the German community in Mallorca.
As an author the Groove inhabits her honest lyrics where she explores family memories, lived experiences with a great sense of humor, a lot of humanity and tenderness with a charismatic, moving and authentic voice of Soul.
With her I have found my village, my tribe, the higher spirit to guide my personal path to discover my own freedom to be. She is someone who is completely different from everyone else; beyond the norm intellectually, artistically, socially and/or in mindset, far from the dictatorship of a collective subconscious.
I have found my Cimarron sister, someone who moves from place to place freely and willingly, without being forced or coerced to do anything, leaving a magnificent trail of light in her wake that vibrates in a different frequency.
For almost 20 years, she has been my spiritual sister, even if our relationship has evolved, and we are no longer connected to the hip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we have grown and aged together, almost side by side. Her music, her voice caught me, captivated me and took me home. She inspired me to encounter my own voice, becoming a vocalist as well.
Our bonding ritual always seems to happen or start in the kitchen between my AfroCarribean culture and her AfroAmerican one. We talk, we laugh, sometimes dancing and singing but the exchange and the communication happen at another level. In each other’s presence.
She has taught me so much without pushing or preaching, just by example. The “living now in the moment ” in-spite of, is synonymous with my adoptive sister, healer and teacher. Thanks to her, I learned how to go through turmoil, crisis and pain, knowing there is an after, looking hard for the lesson in the intent to overcome.