Friday, August 21, 2020

Lisa Roxanne: Get The Hookup (CDS) (Big Chief, 2004)

Lisa Roxanne was only 14 when she signed a 2-year 4-album deal reportedly worth more than 1 million pounds. It apparently took a long time to convince her mother, a former singer with London soul group Loose Ends, that she had the stamina necessary to succeed but she eventually landed a deal with New York-based Palm Pictures LLC., a label set up by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. The deal made headlines in 2001 with some people incorrectly branding her a “black Billie Piper wannabe” but she was streets ahead of her, Jamelia and anybody else in the UK at the time. Her vocals were on point and her songs were incredibly catchy. Altogether she had 5 singles but for some reason only “No Flow” was ever properly pushed to a format you could actually buy in a store back then. By the time its successor “Love Story” was released, she had officially become defunct despite an appearance on Nickelodeon's "On The Road" in 2002. Her final single “Chillin” was released in 2002 but her then-forthcoming album "Diary Of My Dreams" was quietly shelved. I don’t know what happened but despite Blackwell’s successes with such artists and groups as Bob Marley and U2, he did nothing for this girl who could’ve been amazing. Following this, Roxanne did some work in the US for TV One’s new dating show at the time “Get the Hookup.” At first I didn't know for certain that this was the same artist - this single was seemingly only released in the US - but a quick check in the credits revealed her surname "Naraine." It appears she recorded the title tune “Get The Hookup” and a further b-side track “If I Knew",  both of which appear to be written by the same people behind her earlier stuff, notably “No Flow." I don’t know whether or not they were originally intended for her scrapped album “Diary Of My Dreams” but the songs are a lot less poppy and her vocals a lot more restrained. Once again, a fantastic singer who was light years ahead of Billie Piper, Jamelia, Samantha Mumba and most other similar artists in the UK back then. Why her career stalled after one single, I don't know. 

Get The Hookup 3:05
If I Knew 3:13