Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Shiloh Meets World made his way to Saudi Arabia in 2019. However, Shiloh’s relationship with Saudi began way before he steps foot in the country.
We got a chance to have an exclusive interview with Shiloh in the Destination office to know more about his story and what his future plans are. First things first, let’s get to know more about Shiloh. As aforementioned, Shiloh was born and raised in Harlem, New York to a christian family. His father was not around much growing up but Shiloh found comfort in his grandfather. He was the father figure he needed growing up and he supported him in everything he did. Unfortunately, his grandfather passed when Shiloh was still young, however, his influence on Shiloh did not die with him. His grandfather was the only Muslim in a christian household.
“Living in a Christian household, it was the Muslim that I followed the most, still to this day. It stuck with me until I became a man. From the way he lived his life, it was his teachings that prepared me the most for the world, and now that I’m in Islam I feel the most connected to that childhood. I knew converting was what I wanted to do.”
At the age of 19, Shiloh left Harlem and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. “I was living in LA for about 8 years. Throughout those 8 years, music became my focal point and acting took a back seat. I worked on music day in and day out until I signed my first Record deal with Interscope/KIDinaKORNER which are all under Universal Music Group in 2018.”
In 2016, Shiloh met Saud Alturki through their common friend Fahad Seaidan and began working on music with Saud every single day. Their relationship quickly grew and became a very music oriented one where they spent a lot of time together learning about each other’s interests and getting to know each other’s cultures. He was introduced to Arabic Coffee, he saw pictures of his friends in bishts, and so on. His curiosity got him to ask many questions about Saudi and the culture resulting in a humanization of the country before thinking of moving there.
As time passed in L.A, Shiloh kept learning more about Saudi through his friend’s family that were visiting L.A where he would ask them questions that helped him create an image of what Saudi is. “Sauds wife Kinzy who is from Jeddah, was in LA at the time for studies. I consider her a sister, like I do Saud a brother — not because they are married, but because I learned so much from her and her friends as they showed me how witty, smart, and talented women from Jeddah were. I was seeing this in real time.”
“Saud is just as much as Shiloh Meets World as I am Shiloh Meets World because it is the music that we worked on together that got me my interscope deal and more, I’m in Saudi solely because of the friendship that started in the fall of 2016. That in itself is a story because it’s the guy from Khobar that is behind the Harlem born rapper, it’s really beautiful and is the true meaning of bridging cultures.”
His first time in Saudi was in Soundstorm 2019 where he got to perform his music to the Saudi crowd for the first time. He was introduced to Saudi in a way that not many people get the chance to whe coming from the west. Through his connections and network, Shiloh was able to see the Saudi that is more hidden from the public and is a hub for amazing hip hop local talents. He was able to shoot a video in Karantina, an area that was considered the ghetto of Jeddah as a tribute to him growing up in Harlem.
“Moayad Alenafie my good friend from My LA Days is the guy who showed me Jeddah for the first time. Thanks to him I’m the first rapper from the west to shoot a music video in Saudi Arabia let alone Karantina, — I did it before any of the acts that come from where I’m from.”
Shiloh officially moved to Saudi in January 2022. He is now living in Jeddah and is still investing all his time to create amazing music that represents him. His journey navigating the Saudi music scene has been quite tricky. He is aware of his abilities and skills as a musician and he wants to resonate that to the public. He wants people to connect to him because they like his music, not because of where he came from.
“I want people to really connect to me because they like what I offer, not where I’m from. No matter if I’m American or if I’m Saudi, you like me because you like me. The hard part is navigating how I can make that come true you know ? And I’m doing that by talking about my experiences, putting more Arabic in, not just my music but my speech. I want the people to embrace me like I’m their own, even if I’m not. That’s a high expectation I know. But that is what is difficult, it’s not impossible to be loved in Foreign land.”
Aside from his musical career, Shiloh has a different reason he is planning to stay in Saudi for; he met the love of his life. A modernized classic tale of the forbidden love between a girl from a bedouin family and an American musician puts things into perspective for Shiloh. “I want to marry her, Inshallah,” he said.
He is also looking to collaborate with as many Saudi artists as he can in order to create music that pushes the Saudi hip hop scene to the next level. He believes in the importance of collaboration and wants to show the Saudi hip hop fans what he can bring to the table.
Shiloh’s journey in Saudi is still at the beginning stage and has the potential to reach for the skies. He is shifting the narrative and becoming the first American that moves to Saudi to create rap music. A sentence that usually goes the other way around.
For more, make sure to check out his instagram.
Also, make sure you check out his music videos on YouTube.
Finally, listen to his songs on Spotify.