Coming Out of the Wilderness
'My Biography' My name is Shakeilla Allen, and my stage name is 'Co-Co'. I was born in Greenville N.C. I moved to Dallas, Texas at the age of six, which is where I currently reside. I developed a passion to sing at the age of two. I began to sing before I could even talk. I was extremely shy as a child, but yet and still, singing was still my passion! As I grew older and my voice matured, I began to stand in front of mirrors and sing for hours at a time to help me overcome my shyness. In 1992, I attended Robert T. Hill Middle School, and by this time the shyness was actually beginning to leave. I then joined Robert T. Hill Choir. By the time I left Robert T. Hill, I won an award for 'Best Female Vocalist'. I entered High School at Bryan Adams in 1993, where I really got a chance to open up. I joined two choirs at Bryan Adams, which were the Women's Choir and the Gospel Choir. During my freshman year, my choir director recognized my gift, and she began to choose me to do solos for every program our school had. I became well known from my GOD given talent; so well known that when Valentines' Day rolled around each year, people would pay me to sing a love song of their choice for their significant other. In 1995, during my junior year at Bryan Adams, I was completely over my shyness, and I had the opportunity to try out for the Women's Choir at the 'Black Academy of Arts and Letters', and I was selected. In this choir I sung for gospel recording artists such as, Ce-Ce Winans, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Gayle Arbuckle Sneed, and Tommy Young West; for a tribute to women with breast cancer. It was truly an honor, a wonderful experience, and the beginning of my journey. By the time I reached my senior year of High School, in 1997, I had another opportunity to sing on a program with gospel recording artist, Carnell Murrell. I received a lot of positive feedback on my performance from various record producers, but I was very young and at that time in my life I was uncertain if a singing career would take me where I wanted and needed to be in life. In February of '97, I was chosen to sing a song for my schools' 'Black History Month' program. The selection I had chosen was, 'I Believe I Can Fly', by R&B recording artist, R. Kelly. The reason I had chosen that particular song was because, being a senior in High School, and a young, black woman, I came across so many awkward situations, and day to day issues that would sometimes bring upon depression, and even stress. Growing up in a Christian home,I always believed that no matter what you have to face in life, and during all bad times, 'If you just look to the hills from whence cometh your help', GOD can, and will bring you through it! Having come from such a righteous background, I believed strongly in that, so I couldn't have thought of a better song for the occasion than, 'I Believe I Can Fly'. After my performance I received a standing ovation, and was asked to perform the song again! That very day I knew in my heart that GOD had chosen me, even as a child, and instilled the gift to sing within me, for a purpose. Now, I ask of the world... 'May I share my gift with you, for GODS'glory?' In all humbleness, Shakeilla 'Co-Co' Allen.