Artist Profile | Valerie T. Smith-Giles
Valerie T. Smith-Giles
Valerie Giles has been singing, playing, and writing music as long as she can remember. She has memories (at age five) of singing and playing her first song, “Lord Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary” Her early musical aptitude is not surprising when one considers the musical backgrounds of both her parents: Her mother directed the youth choir for over 20 years, and her father a vocalist that sang in gospel groups locally .Valerie picked up other instruments along her musical development including flute and drums.
She served as the 1st chair flutist as far back as 5th grade through 12th grade, and was the drummer for her father’s gospel group. At the early age of twelve, she began directing the choir, and was the pianist at her local church Refuge Temple C.O.O.L.J.C. As Valerie gained more experience, she began developing her own musical style, and began writing plays and songs that she performed with her girl group, “Vision,” who were all pre-teens. By the age of 15, she was traveling with National Recording Artist, Erick Matthews, while singing locally with her High School girl group, “Sister’s in Christ.” She also studied music theory and scored her first piece of music for her High School Marching Band.
Valerie began teaching piano/music theory/vocal performance in her senior year of high school and continued her studies as an undergraduate at The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a major in Music and Business. She recorded with the UAB Gospel Choir on the Sophomore Album, “Lessons for Life,” where she led the remake of Deborah Cox’s, “How Did You Get Here?” Valerie went on to become the Music Director/Minister of Music/Worship Pastor for a few prominent churches in the city of Birmingham. Valerie currently serves as The Assistant Worship Leader for The Worship Center Christian Church in Birmingham, AL and Bessemer, AL. Her diversity and talents have placed her on major theatre productions as well. Valerie was featured in 2008 in a lead role in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies Production, and many more jazz cabaret shows.
With over 17 years of gospel, jazz, and some classical training behind her, Valerie displays a diverse, vocal control, and range that is anointed and effective. Through life experiences, professional training, and humility, she has learned the true essence of Praise and Worship. Valerie’s influences include Erick Matthews, Drea Randall, Kim Burrell, Israel Houghton, Tonya Baker, Candy West, and more.
Most notably, Valerie has composed, arranged, and written songs for her debut album, in which she will co-produce along with Producer Jay Terry. She is currently working towards completing her debut album. Her first single is scheduled to debut in October 2011.