One of the pioneers of modern UK R&B music, singer-songwriter Junior Giscombe is best known for his transatlantic hit “Mama Used To Say”. Reaching the UK Top 10 and Billboard Top 30 in 1982, the song propelled him to that year’s Billboard ‘Best Newcomer’ award, presented to him by the iconic James Brown.
“Mama Used to Say” remains a rich source of inspiration for other performers, with multiple covers by artists such as Beverley Knight and interpolations in Warren G’s “Do You See” and Heavy D and The Boyz’ “Is It Good To You” amongst many hip-hop tracks. The song was also recently synced in the trailer for Idris Elba’s In The Long Run 3 on Sky One. Watch below:
Following on from his breakthrough single, Junior’s 1982 release “Too Late” was another UK Top 20 hit and he received further international recognition when his song “Do You Really Want My Love” was included in the soundtrack of 1984’s highest grossing film, Beverley Hills Cop. Debut LP ‘Ji’ reached the UK Top 30 and was the first of a series of critically acclaimed album releases across his career, the tenth of which, ‘Everyting Set’, was released earlier this year.
Junior continues to contribute to recordings and in 2021 alone, he has featured on the song “Bring The Beat Back” by JBZ as well as tracks “1,2,3,4 (The Beat Goes On)” and “Nothing We Can’t Do Together”, included on the recent A-P Connection album ‘Wide Vision’.
Alongside his own recording projects, Junior has been a prolific songwriter for other artists such as Sheena Easton, Phil Lynott and perhaps most notably The Lighthouse Family, to whose debut album ‘Ocean Drive’ he co-wrote the songs “Keep Remembering” and “What Could Be Better”. The album went on to sell over 5 million copies worldwide and spent 175 weeks on the UK chart. Junior was also one of the creative forces behind his nephew Richard Blackwood’s musical career, which in 2000 yielded several UK chart hits in the form of “Mama – Who Da Man” (UK #3), “126.96.36.199 Get With The Wicked” (UK #10) and “Someone There For Me” (UK #23).
Check out his interview with PRS’ M Magazine here.