Interview: Lemar, soul singer

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SOUL singer Lemar reached third place in 2002's Fame Academy, but that was enough to win him a contract with Sony Records, which within three years would spawn six UK top ten singles, two Mobo awards and two Brit awards for Best Urban Artist. Since then, he has proved to be an enduring talent on the UK urban scene, helping pave the way for the current crop of artists. His new single, The Way Love Goes, is out now and his latest album, The Hits, will be released on 8 March.

Describe your perfect weekend

I've been really busy recently so my perfect weekend would be at a spa. I would have two days of full body massages, good food and relaxation.

What would you do if you ruled the world?

I'd try to make sure that everyone had a home, access to food and a good education.

What one thing would improve your life?

Free parking. I'm a sucker for getting tickets.

Who did you last receive a text from and what did it say?

It was from my brother and it just said: "Call me."

What's your guiltiest pleasure?

Mr Kipling's lemon cakes. Although I've had so many I might be going off them soon. It has been a few years of steady consumption.

When did you last feel sorry for yourself?

I never do. I just get on with it.

What do you wish you'd never done?

I was training for a boxing match for Sport Relief and got injured. I had a cracked rib and needed a few visits to the hospital as a result. I decided to still do the fight though. Please note: cracked ribs are very painful.

Would your mother be proud of you?

Very. I've achieved most of what I set out to do and that's all she ever really asked of me.

Who would you like to say sorry to?

I would probably have to say sorry to my dad for not returning his (very old) spirit level. He has had it since I was little. I used it to hang up a full-length mirror recently – I don't know why I bought one, it's only a reminder of how healthy I used to be – but I've been too busy to hang it up. To make things worse, I've now lost the spirit level. I haven't told him yet though. I'm really sorry Dad.

Who does the cleaning in your house?

The cleaning fairy. She seems to float in at midnight and makes everything sparkly again.

What's the most you've ever spent on a purchase, apart from a car or property?

I've spent way too much money on watches in my opinion. I went through a watch fetish period a while back (don't ask) and I did go a little overboard but hey, what's the saying? Time is precious. It sure is.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?

I once did most of a set with my flies open. The front row had a good laugh. I thought they were cheering my superb singing.

What is your earliest memory?

Probably of sitting in my parents' bedroom in the summer watching my mum pray. She was a pastor and when my dad went out and my brothers and sisters were at school she would always take a few minutes out to go to her room and pray. I remember the sun coming through the large windows as I sat on the floor beside her pretending to help her out.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Will Smith is a cool actor. I've admired his career in music and film.

What song is the theme tune to your life?

R-Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly. It's an inspiring song and the lyrics are very apt to my life. I honestly believe I am capable of achieving anything and everything I put my mind to if I focus on it properly. I think self-confidence is a powerful thing and unless you have a lot of drive, it's impossible to reach your biggest dreams in life.

Should you vote? If yes, how did you vote?

Yes you should vote. I voted with my heart; if I'd used my head to vote I might have voted for "none of the above".

What worries you in the wee small hours?

Worrying about why I'm not asleep when I've got an early start.

When were you last naked in front of another person?

About seven days ago

When did you lose your virginity?

I still haven't. Any takers?

Who was your favourite teacher and why?

That would be Mrs Jamieson. She was so warm and encouraging. You don't realise how small things affect kids and give them confidence or strength. She was a gem.

Who is your fantasy date?

Lois from Family Guy. I think I'd make a better date than Brian the dog.

What would you do if you were invisible?


What is your most treasured possession?

My mother passed away some years ago but I still have her wedding ring. I think it's a great thing because it was a pure promise she kept with my dad till "death did they part" so I cherish it dearly.

What do you remember better, your first car or first kiss?

My first car.

If you didn't have your current career, what would you do?

I would be a pharmacist. I turned down a place at Cardiff University to chase my career in music. Thankfully it paid off.

What do you think of celebrity?

It's an interesting concept. You never really get used to it. But, hey, I'm not complaining at all.

What has been your greatest achievement?

Becoming a father.

How old are you?

I'm 31 and I'm having fun.

This article was originally published in Scotland on Sunday on 28 February 2010