b. Ladbroke Grove, London, England. This talented, soul-inspired vocalist’s demo cassette inspired a bidding war among the major record companies in 1993, with the U2 -backed Mother label emerging as the victor. Fiagbe’s father had been a huge fan of Lena Horne (hence his daughter’s name), and Fiagbe’s microphone performance certainly incorporates some of the dynamism of that artist. Her debut single, ‘You Come From Earth’ (released as Lena), which thematically shared fellow UK artist Jamiroquai’s wide-eyed wonder at the universe, was inspired by a documentary about space travel, but flopped. In light of this, the record company insisted on some remixes. Fiagbe herself was unhappy with the house mixes applied to the follow-up single, ‘Gotta Get It Right (One World)’, which grazed the UK Top 20: ‘The only thing I dislike is if by putting out dance mixes people start seeing me as a dance artist, then I can’t handle it. That’s not what I’m about.’ After this she toured with Lenny Kravtiz and Daryl Hall, co-writing ‘Borderline’ on the latter’s Soul Alone set, and earned further critical praise for her debut album, Visions (limited editions of which contained a free seven-track acoustic CD - as if to confirm Fiagbe’s status as a singer-songwriter). An aborted album project and a change of label subsequently stalled Fiagbe’s career, although she did return to the UK Top 40 in 1996 as guest vocalist on Wasis Diop’s single ‘African Dream’.
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