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Damel The Artist – Music

Damel - Vocalist - Songwriter - Producer - Artist - Poet – Performer 

Damel - Essentially an Artist  

The Beginning 

Born in Banjul, The Gambia, Damel often found himself mesmerised by the hypnotic drumbeats on street corners, dancing somewhere in the middle. Memories of Sundays was Latin, Rumba and UK pop melodies and rhythms, and Friday evening cinema that of Indian cinematic film scores. Church also played a big part in Damel's young life as an altar boy, as also the melodic chants of griots and calls from Mosques.

Damel moved to the UK (North West London) at an early age. Each week he’d spend his paper round earnings on pop hits he’d go on to memorise. He became so good at singing that he was regularly picked out at school in front of the class to render a song!   Damel moved to Leeds to join the local funk band Clique soon after leaving school. Here he got his first taste of touring, as the band toured through Finland, Denmark and Cyprus. Damel's song writing skills were soon to be realised. The band recorded and released the classics - 'Where Is my Sunshine' and the Brit-Funk favourite 'Jazzin and Cruisin' co-penned by himself and released on the band's own label. A promotional trip to London brought the band to the attention of the Groove record shop in Soho. .Groove record label snapped up the band on the spot, with a band name change to Cache. More releases and appearances in the UK club circuit followed before Damel and keyboardist Chris Buckley left to form the duo - Lifesighs.


Moving back to London, the duo wrote and produced the ever popular 'All In One Night', released on the Pressure label alongside other label luminaries such as The Blackstones, Junior Giscombe Janet Kay and Steve Harvey.. All In One Night proved to be popular on air and on the club circuit. The band were soon scouted by none other than a younger Jonathan Ross, to appear on Channel 4's Soul Train, hosted by Shalamar's Jeffrey Daniels. Lifesighs went on to release the heavy and dangerous 'Get Serious' as well as producing songs from artists, including Steve Myers' cut of Jeffree's ‘Love's Gonna Last’. 

 Damel's earlier nights-in were to pay off too as he recorded and toured -on saxophone- with such as The Heptics, Janet Kay, and The Coolnotes. . Following a mid-sojourn where Damel undertook a 3 year degree course (BA Hons Sociology and Education), Damel returned to the stage, joining the fantastic Edutainment show - Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame in 1990. The show toured the East Coast of the USA and extensively in the UK, with Damel portraying musical giants Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway, two of his biggest vocal influences. It was during this time that Damel teamed up with Khareem Jamal (Africology) to pen the rare groove classic 'Heaven' (number 1 in Norway). Heaven and 'Two Hearts' found their way onto the Kongo Dance label compilation - Homegrown Vol 1' - alongside Omar, Vanessa Simon and  Root Jackson's F B I.

Through 'Black Heroes' Damel was spotted, heard and asked to join and tour with Soul II Soul (1992 - 1995). With Damel as vocal MD, the band toured Japan, Dubai, Greece, Italy and Sao Paolo and more, culminating with a tour of Germany with Incognito and the legendary James Brown. 

Through his work with Soul II soul, Damel featured in the provision of background vocals and arrangment on Angelique Kidjo's celebrated album, Aye.

Whilst recording tracks towards a solo album Damel re-teamed up Khareem Jamal and Tony Douglas, (both formerly of The Blackstones), to provide background vocals on Lloyd Brown's tour alongside Mikey Spice and Sanchez. The Natural Blend of the 3 voices formed the group Kwest. Putting his solo career on hold, Damel went on to record two albums with Kwest: ‘Quest 4 Lyfe’ and ‘Kwestions and Answers’, amid extensive stage performances in the UK. Time came for Damel to return to his solo projects whilst still performing with Kwest. With this in mind, the smooth and catchy 'Wifey' with its wide-ranging appeal was to be Damel's first offering. Although not officially released it remains resonant with many who heard.  


After a four year sabbatical, l Damel has returned to a great reception in 2020, with his first single of the year “Boo’ed Up”, followed quickly by his second song the hit single “Some Day We’ll All Be Free” – a Donnie Hathaway Cover.  His latest single “Slow” (originally sung by British singer-song writer Rumer), is on release and showcases his phenomenal vocal ability and musical prowess. 

Ms Coral J Reid

Writer, Facilitator and Social Media Manager

07889 267 685



twitter: @coralconsciouslee

insta: @coralconsciouslee


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