Lemar Obika

Written by: Laide O

In this artist spotlight Laide talks about Lemar Obika, a talented artist based in the UK.

We love him because he's gorgeous, he's Nigerian, and did I mention he's gorgeous? Why we Really love him? His innocent and boyish looks, his humility and he dresses smart. He has spawned three 'Top Five' singles in England and his talent can't be put in a box. Versatility is the name of his game.

The first time the 25 year old Nigerian born Lemar shot into our lives was during BBC's Fame Academy. Although he failed to clinch the fame prize, which was a shock to most viewers seeing as he was clearly the best, Lemar's career has grown considerably over the last two years. He's currently the toast of the British media. He is loved for his humility and his refusal to adopt the 'bad boy' image. The video of his latest single 'If There's Any Justice' (which I absolutely adore) is played on mainstream music channels. His 2003 debut album 'Dedicated' which is a must-buy, has sold over 600,000 copies in England alone.

Few know that before he became a household name on the hit TV show, Lemar thought he had achieved his dream by securing a deal with a major record company. It all fell through before he could release his first single, but he didn't give up and at last his debut album is in the shops.

So is Lemar's future a guaranteed success? Well, with help from producers with such diverse credits as So Solid Crew, Big Brovaz, Jamelia and Kele Le Roc, you would think so. With Dedicated, Lemar has taken the last twelve months to blend a credible, likeable and alluring combination of songs that will please fans of Fame Academy and R'n'B devotees alike.

There are songs you can dance to; "Dance With U" his first single, a song which could be identified as a cross between Michael Jackson's and Musiq Soulchild's dance hits, cleverly manages the balancing act of staying true to the R'n'B scene where Lemar comes from and also keeping in tow the audience he built up with Fame Academy. There is some Daniel Bedingfield influence seen in "Fresh" and "No Pressure"; which very well serve as seduction songs. There are also a few anthems thrown in for good measure, such as "Lullaby" and "Good Woman" (Destiny's Child eat your heart out!) The funky "Hot Summer" smacks of a summer hit. "Body Talk" can't help but remind us of a hint of Olivia Newton-John with Lemar pulling it off with a classy twist. I would even go so far as to suggest that the next single "50/50" which is hot by the way and an acoustic number "All I Ever Do (My Boo)" which rounds things off nicely.

He just released his second album "Time To Grow" which features the single If There's Any Justice.
In my opinion, he really defined himself as an artiste with this album, which has a soulful edge, although there are more generic R n B tracks on it as well. Lemar wowed fans with his version of I Believe In A Thing Called Love, by The Darkness. He recieved a 2004 Brits award for Best Urban act at the 2004 Awards Ceremony.

One issue that Black British artistes face is the pressure to be considered credible by the notoriously hard-to-please British crowd. Lemar has done this and still is able to strike the balance as he is popular to a culturally and racially diverse crowd.

To learn more check out www.lemar-online.com





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