I interviewed singer Jaki Graham a few years ago (gosh, how time flies) about her career to date, her legacy as well as her thoughts on the current crop of soul starlets. Jaki was such a sweetie. Totally down to earth, personable and humble – definitely my type of artist. It’s going to be quite a busy few months for Jaki. Next month she releases her first UK album in 23 years, entitled For Sentimental Reasons. The singer will also be honoured on Birmingham ‘Walk of Stars’ on the 3rd October, and next year sees the release of her autobiography ‘Heaven Knows’ due to be published in February 2013, detailing her turbulent upbringing and some of the many trials and tribulations she’s faced throughout the years.
A truly well deserved accolade. And with the stories of so many Black British artists absent from the public domain, I look forward to reading the autobiography.
Below are links to a couple of samples taken from the new album:
Before there was a Leona Lewis or a Alexandra Burke, British soul singer Jaki Graham was one of the biggest black female singers that this country had produced. With 5 top twenty hits and two top 40 albums, there seemed to be a time when Jaki appeared to be a mainstay on Top of the Pops. Who can forget that infectious smile, that big ole head of hair and that old school innocence expressed poetically via timeless Brit soul classics such as Round and Around, Heaven Knows and her biggest hit – Could It Be I’m Falling in Love? I was a big fan of Jaki. We shared the same sized hair so I felt an immediate affinity with her. But huge tresses aside, she also seemed to possess that down to earth persona that is far too often a rarity in the ego-driven world of show business.
So how nice it was to all these years later finally get to have a chat with her. I wasn’t disappointed at all. Jaki still has that charm, and warm personable spirit that leads you into believing you’ve known her for eons. We spoke about Jaki’s journey through fame with all the the varying ups, downs and bumpy bits.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of her album Breaking Away. To celebrate the occasion Jaki is releasing a re-mastered version of the album. And that’s not all. In October the singer will be releasing another album Absolute Essential – The Very Best of Jaki Graham, which is a compilation of all her hits. Continue reading