Lemar Obika (born 4 April 1978), professionally known simply as Lemar, is an English singer, songwriter and record producer. Lemar has had a run of chart success in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.
He rose to fame after finishing in third place on the first series of British talent show Fame Academy, which was won by songwriter David Sneddon.
Since then, Lemar has had seven top ten UK singles and sold over two million albums. He is seen as one of the most successful artists to come out of a reality TV show.
Lemar has also won two Brit Awards and three MOBO Awards to date and released his fifth studio album in 2012.
Lemar Obika was born in Tottenham, North London, England to Nigerian parents. He grew up listening to R&B and soul music. He used to sing at home with his brothers and sister, pretending to be The Jacksons.
He was 17 when he had his first concert at the Junior Jam at ‘The Temple’ in Tottenham supporting Usher. At the time, he was designing a website to sell logos for the Ericsson PH337 phone. Later on, he gave up an opportunity to study pharmacy at Cardiff University to pursue a musical career. Lemar had some success supporting various artists such as Destiny’s Child, Total, Uncle Sam and Usher Raymond on their UK club tours and after some years, managed to secure a recording contract with BMG.
Following this, he released his debut single “Got Me Saying Ooh”. His record deal with BMG fell through in less than a year due to restructuring at the record label. He had to eventually take a job working as an accounts manager at NatWest in Enfield, North London.
At age 24, his mother died of cancer and he found listening to Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” brought “clarity” and aims to “write songs as moving as this”.