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Jaki Graham

By 28th September 2018

Jaki Graham is a unique entertainer – her down-to-earth approach to life and compassion for others, combined with a powerful and inspirational voice and visual impact on stage, have made her one of the most appealing and enduring Soul entertainers to emerge from the UK.
Jaki made her singing debut at the school’s Christmas talent contest with Michael Jackson’s Ben and won with a clear victory. From then on, it was only a matter of time before she would sign her rst record deal.
The rst band she joined was One Night Affair at the age of 17, followed by the SRO Band and then Ferrari. One day, Jaki recorded a session for a jazz funk group called Medium Wave Band and it is from this that she was spotted by talent scout, Brian Freshwater and signed with EMI in 1983. It took EMI to channel her image and style into the correct direction, to form the soul seductress she is today. Her single entitled What’s the Name of Your Game? gave Jaki her rst TV appearance on the children’s TV programme Crackerjack. Heaven Knows became the title track of her debut album.
Could it Be I’m Falling In Love? marked a signi cant collaboration in Jaki’s career, and is one song that remains a timeless 80’s classic. Reaching No.5 in the British charts in March ’85, her second and last hit duet entitled Mated again received wide critical acclaim. Radio 1 presenters obviously loved her, as this song never stopped playing on the radio airwaves at that time. Round and Around was long overdue, as this was Jaki’s rst successful solo hit and reached No.9 in June ’85. When Jaki was nally given the opportunity to take centre stage, there were no holds barred, as her powerful voice, positive energy and radiance were injected in every one of her performances that people couldn’t help but enjoy.
GJ
Unlike so many of her 80’s contemporaries, Jaki’s hits have remained fresh, uncomplicated and modern. Set Me Free remains an ageless pop classic to this day after rocketing to No.7 in the British charts in May ’86, an anthem of that era. Breaking Away followed and o ered her rst location shoot abroad. It also charted at a respectable No.14 in August ‘86. Step Right Up brought Jaki back to her trademark high energy, up tempo pop hits and gave her yet another Top 20 hit in November ‘86.

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