Samantha Mumba Makes It To The Big Time

Written By: The Lowdown - Dec• 31•00

cover2000-12In September, we asked whether Zambia’s musicians were ready for the big time.  Whilst we don’t yet have the answer to that question, at least one musician of Zambian extraction (her father is Zambian, her mother Irish) has made it.  She is Samantha Mumba, born in Dublin, Ireland, 17 years ago.

When Samantha left school last year, she knew she had a record deal to look forward to. She’d been so busy performing on stages and in studios for the previous six months that she would get into school in the mornings feeling exhausted.   Since she had a good academic record she decided that she would concentrate on her music and she could always go back to her education if things fell flat.  But, listen to Samantha’s music and you realise this isn’t going to happen too soon. Her songs, which she co-writes, are a confident collection of pop-inflected R&B making her a match for TLC, Brandy and even Britney Spears.

In Dublin, Samantha has already become something of a celebrity.  Between the ages of three and fifteen, she performed at Dublin’s famous Billie Barry Stage School.  In September 1998 she landed a lead role in a production of The Hot Mikado, a modern take on Gilbert and Sullivan’s celebrated opera. This raised her profile and saw her invited to sing on various Irish TV shows.

When a friend introduced her to Louis Walsh, manager of Boyzone and Westlife, in a Dublin club one night. Samantha managed to blag her way into the club pretending she was an R&B singer from New York, recording her debut album with producers in the city. Impressed by Samantha’s talent and potential, he signed her up as a complement to his existing roster of triple-A acts. After signing with Polydor, Samantha spent several months of last year moving between Denmark, Sweden, England and Ireland, co-writing and recording her debut album, Gotta Tell You. Her debut single iby the same name went  to number one in Ireland in a record breaking 4 days!

Samantha has also signed a lucrative modeling deal with a top London agency, but a spokesperson for her says “She’s still going to concentrate on her music career.” She has also been offered several movie offers, one staring opposite singer turned actor Will Smith.

Samantha Mumba is the all-singing, all-dancing, all-real pop prospect you can’t help but take seriously.

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