Ola Onabule is probably one of the best kept secrets in the British music world. Ola's four-octave vocal range drips with emotion and he is being hailed as Britain's finest soul singer - someone who not only connects with his audience but gets them up and dancing.
But Britain's best-known sportsman, David Beckham, has known about Ola for years - he chose him to sing at his wedding to Victoria in Ireland in 1999. Dad-of-three Ola said: "David's a big soul music fan and was putting feelers out to find someone for the wedding apparently someone close to him had been to see us several times and simply booked us for a wedding in Ireland."It was only as the event got nearer that we began to wonder if we were booked for 'that' wedding.
"It was quite freakish al first, with all these famous people, but they were a great audience,''
Ola has worked with a list of world class names, including Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau, Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle. But it could have been so different if his dad hadn't taken him to see James Brown when Ola was just nine. He said: "That was when I realised that music could be your living. I was groomed to be a lawyer- but when I came to London to study I just hassled every band at university to let me join them - folk, rock, even the goths!''
His perseverance paid off and he was briefly signed to Elektra before spending time as a session musician with Simply Red, KD Lang, George Michael and Michael Ball. He said: "There were other sessions but I just can't name them?artists who were, um, less cool. Would be a nice way
to put it!" Ola also sang on jingles for ad campaigns - including one for McDonald's. And his previous singles have been used on films and in TV - Eastenders seems particularly taken with some of his music
For further details of Ola Onabule go to www.olasmusic.com
Added by mavit on December 15, 2005