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Name: Lemar Obika

DOB: 4th April 1978 (Tottenham)

Age: 28

From: London

Family:Parents; _ & _ Brothers; Derane & _, Sister; _

Marital Status: Girlfriend; Charmaine Powell

Previous Job: Account Manager at a bank

Hobbies: Working out at the gym, chilling with family & friends, watching films, going to the cinema.

Fave musicians/bands: Marvin Gaye because ‘Sexual Healing’ is amazing; Michael Jackson, as an artist he’s impeccable – wow! R Kelly as a songwriter, he’s continually getting songs in the club and collaborating with different people; Jodeci because K-Ci and Jo-Jo’s voices are amazing; Stevie Wonder because he’s an amazing writer, ridiculously prolific; Al Green – just an amazing voice and because he came up with ‘Let’s Stay Together’ Is also inspired by Boyz II Men and Usher.

First record: SWV ‘Right Here’. First album was R Kelly 12 Play

Would like to duet with: Alicia Keys, "I’ve seen her perform and she was absolutely amazing." "She's very soulful, she plays, she's got a good voice, and I'd really like to do a cover of a soulful song with her".

Would like to date: Beyonce

Ultimate party tracks: Andre 3000 from Outkast. "It’s mad, it’s funny."

Ultimate chillout tracks: "I like Coldplay tracks: ‘Clocks’."

Other interests: "My favourite book is 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest'; I love Scarface and I used to watch EastEnders, though it’s been a while since I’ve caught up."

Motto: Try, try and try again.

Early Life: Although he loved to sing as a child, Lemar was also a dedicated student. "When I was younger I was into music, but that wasn't exactly what I wanted to do, I wanted to do pharmacy. So I studied and studied and studied, and I had a place to pharmacy, and I  got into studios when I was about 16, and I just started singing. I never had singing lessons in my life until Fame Academy."

He was eighteen when he had his first concert at the Junior Jam at the Temple in Tottenham supporting Usher.

After finishing his A-levels he was offered a place at Cardiff University to read Pharmacy, but instead opted to pursue a singing career, against the advice of his parents, and began making a name for himself on the London R&B scene. 

Lemar had some success in his musical career supporting Destiny's Child and achieving a record deal through BMG Records. When the record deal fell through due to restructuring at the label he was signed to, while working at NatWest bank during the day.

The track "Got Me Saying (Ooh)" earned radio play but was never released, with BMG dropping the singer as part of their restructuring programme.

Lemar returned to banking and reapplied for university, but then applied for BBC Fame Academy at the end of 2002. The singer qualified for the finals and, over the course of the show's 10-week run, impressed the audience with his passionate performances of a number of soul classics. Lemar was eventually placed third in the competition behind winner David Sneddon and Sinead Quinn, and turned down an offer from Mercury Records to sign a multi-album recording contract with Sony Records.

While he ended up finishing third in the show, he caught the eye of veteran English R&B singer Beverley Knight who invited him to sing a duet with her during her concert at the Hammersmith Apollo. Sony Music was so impressed with his potential that they signed him to a five record deal worth £1 million.

 

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Last updated: August 21, 2006.