Born in Accra, Gibril “Gibrilville” Mansaray is a multiple Akademia Award winning recording artist, and multi-faceted entertainer. Growing up with his family in Nigeria, Togo, Benin and Ghana, he gained his interest in music from his father’s massive record collection to his big brother’s love for reggae music. Gibril collaborated with M1 (Dead Prez), on his first single titled “Streets of Africa”. The record was produced by Billboard topping producer Eric ‘Coptic’ Matlock. He put his first band together in Manhattan, where he was picked up at an audition by immigration officials and detained for 9 months by I.C.E.
On his release under supervision in 2012, Gibril went back into the studio to record his album “The Foreigner J.J.C. Deluxe”. The Album is accompanied by a documentary on YouTube. He followed that up with the EP “Black Cadillac Season 1” in 2016, which was produced with his band Season 1 and mixed by Gordon “Commissioner Gordon” Williams whose resume includes multiple Grammy Awards and numerous Gold and Platinum albums. September 2017 saw the release of the six track “Black Cadillac Season 2”.
Gibrilville proves to be a force on any type of beat. However, his latest recording, is a laser-focused potpourri of sounds that include African, Latin, Hip-hop and Pop styles. This all-embracing approach to the music is counterbalanced by Gibrilville’s reality lyrics.
This dichotomy between the lyrics and the beats inspires a deep sense of unrelenting hope in the face of adversity in relationships. Gibrilville stated that the EP tells his love story with his girlfriend, Jessica, who he first met in Accra during early 1992 and then hooked up with in NYC years later.
“Follow The Line” and “Or Be Done With It”, further my personal perception of Gibrilville as one of the more emotionally stirring contemporary songwriters in his genre.
“Jessica” is an emotionally supportive dedication to a love of a lifetime, set against a synth-driven riddim that bends heavily toward a reggae vibe. The auto-tuned infused “Girl Of My Dreams (Ft Farouk)” rides on an infectious mid-tempo groove, while the club banger “Love Me Tonight” twists and turns itself up in an energetic blend of urban and Afro-Soca rhythms. Lyrically “Just Like You” (Prod by Wheezy beats), stands out between its bubbly synth-pop feel and dark, brooding beat.
Gibrilville’s presence on these tracks has a powerful impact because his songwriting force is compounded by a clear voice and straightforward delivery, a perfect and persistent complement to his lyrically dense middle-register.
Gibril “Gibrilville” Mansaray is one of the best at what he does, and he has a very tight, largely glossed-over catalogue to prove it. He is lethal on pretty much any beat, but, because of his tendency toward reality lyrics, his talents are maximized on dark and dirty instrumentals.
When he takes a more revolutionary approach, Gibrilville can make any African, Latin and Pop rhythm feel as urban and contemporary as grime or trap. “Black Cadillac Season 2” is only a glimpse into his, Gibrilville’s raw and rugged talents which he is able to polish up to a glittering shine on this new music release.
The prodigy-like arrangements and smart production skills employed here, together with Gibrilville’s multicultural background and an ever open mind for inspiration, result in an exceptional collection of songs.