Gena was born a princess of the Kalabari people. The Kalabari live on the Niger delta and are renowned throughout West Africa for the beauty of their women. As the Daughter of a UN diplomat the desire to travel is well entrenched in her bones, even so she has a deep love for africa and returns to her parent's home in Ghana as often as possible. As she says, "I'm a proud 100% African woman".
Gena began singing whilst at university, singing in the same church that she regularly sings at today. It is here that she found and developed her wonderful talent. She first became noticed as a singer outside the church when celebrated jazz singer Nina Simone suggested that she turn professional. Within a few years she was signed to Arista Records / BMG and her single "Joy" reached No.6 in the UK Dance Charts and No. 1 in Italy.
This opened new horizons for Gena but instead of following the path of other celebrated dance divas she left to find her own creative voice by returning to her gospel roots. What has emerged is a captivating performer with a strong and distinct style that is attracting attention everywhere.
She has a passion for Gospel Music and is renowned for her solo acapella performances. The range and emotional power of her voice never fails to capture people’s feelings whether in an intimate social setting or in a large arena. Gena is a captivating performer with a strong distinct style. This was evident after the events of Sept 11th when, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Gena broke a moment’s silence with a moving rendition of “Amazing Grace”.
Gena has performed with world famous singers including Shirley Bassey and opera diva Jessye Norman. She was offered the lead role of Queen Sarabi in Disney’s West End musical, “The Lion King”. Gena also sang at Durham Cathedral in the first performance of Vox Dei by classical composer Julian Stewart Lindsay in the title role, supported by a large orchestra and 140 choristers.
In 2005, Gena performed at many high profile private events and very recently for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. Venues include St James’ Palace, The Tate Modern, The Royal Opera House, The Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Madison Square Gardens Arena.
For the event “Worship His Majesty” held in New York’s Madison Square Gardens Arena in September 2005, Gena was both presenter and performer, helping to ensure the smooth flow of the evening’s program. Other ministering Artistes included CeCe Winans, Alvin Slaughter, Ron Kenoly, Terry MacAlmon, Phil Driscoll, and Vinesong. Gena was Worship Leader for the event in 2004 *(See www.liliesinternational.org and click on images)
A highlight of her career as a singer was her performance at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. Gena’s first album, “Voices” is a critically acclaimed acapella gospel album that celebrates the power, joy and emotion of gospel music and she is currently writing and recording her new album for release this year.
Gena West is also an accomplished actress and television presenter. She
is Founder and Principal of Stage 2 Stage Performing Arts School in London,
helping children to grow in confidence by expressing themselves through
drama, dance, and singing. Gena is regularly asked to present programs
here in the UK and abroad, and was recently commended for her excellent
role as presenter of the program “Kingdom Economics” on Sky