In an alternative life, Lemar would be working in a pharmacy. Instead, in the 21 years since appearing on BBC’s Fame Academy, the Tottenham singer has won three MOBOs, two Brits and has released seven studio albums. On his new album, Page In My Heart, Lemar explains where he’s been and why it’s important to remind yourself who you are.
“I'd probably be working in a bank, or a pharmacy actually!” says Lemar on what he might have done had he not featured on the hit reality TV show in 2002. “I was gonna be a pharmacist. I had a place at Cardiff University, but then fate had its own decisions, or its own intentions…”
Fate took on the form of a set of forgotten keys when Lemar was working at NatWest:
“I was working at a bank and at the time I was also touring with Trevor Nelson,” he recalls. “There was another show on – I think it was Pop Idol – and his voice was the one they used for their advert. I was on my lunch break and I went back to my desk.
"I forgot my keys in the canteen so I went back to pick them up, and as I was leaving I heard his voice. That's what made me turn around – his voiceover for the show. I thought, ‘If Trevor's doing it, maybe it's a bit of karma or an omen in there,’ so I'll throw my hat in for this one before I go back to uni and call it quits on music.”