Lemar Talks … Sister Act The Musical

Lemar has been in the industry as a multi-award winning singer and songwriter for over 20 years …

Recently he’s added acting to his resume starring alongside Jamelia in the family film Little Darlings (2022) and popular Netflix series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (2023). And now, Lemar will bring his singing and acting talents to the stage as ‘Curtis Jackson’ in Sister Act the Musical opposite Beverley Knight & Alexandra Burke.

We spoke to Lemar about taking on the infamous role and staring in his first musical …

Please introduce yourself …
Lemar. Born and raised in the UK – Tottenham. Nigerian heritage. Igbo tribe.

Describe your life right now in one word or a sentence …
Organised chaos.

Your career has spanned over 2 decades, you’ve had 7 studio albums with your latest released in 2023. When you reflect on what you’ve achieved so far, which moments have been the most validating about your career choice and decisions made?
I could pick so many moments but I find myself now more so than ever, bumping into people who have lived quite a few meaningful memories with my songs as the soundtrack. Through finding love, losing loved ones, breaking up, holidaying etc… when people tell me about how some of music has been that integral for them… it definitely makes me feel validated. Music was made to move people. Job done.

And because you do have this legacy, especially being from the UK, how have you seen the industry evolve for black creatives in this world … Are there any significant ‘improvements’ that are a stark difference from when you began your career?
I love what I see now. I like the way music is slightly less apologetic. Slightly less conforming. More inclusive of colour in all its shades and variations. It’s nice to see everyone getting a shot. Still more to do, but definitely an improvement.

Let’s talk Sister Act, you’re currently in rehearsals how are they going – can you share a bit of the rehearsal routine?
Rehearsals have been amazing. I thought I’d like to give it a go because I loved the films back in the day and I did see a version done back in 2008 or 2009 or so. I was invited and went to see it and had a great time. Never would I have imagined that years later I’d get the opportunity to get on the stage and take up a role, let alone with such an amazing line up and team. More impressive than the chance itself, is how amazing the cast and crew have been. Not sure I’d be up to speed in such a short space of time without so many legends working hard behind the scenes and giving me tips and pointers. Really enjoying myself.

Where does Sister Act find you on your career path? Why was it a yes? Was it an easy yes or did you have any reservations?
I had a few reservations. Mainly because I really respect ‘craftsmanship’. I wouldn’t want to say yes to anything and make light of it. Especially when people dedicate their lives to being amazing in that space. I wanted to make sure that I could commit and learn like a sponge… and so far… so good. With regards to everything else – it was an easy yes. The show, the music, the cast etc. No brainer. Career wise it finds me at a stage where I want to keep singing and performing and releasing music but also find opportunities to keep my acting muscle flexed as I really enjoyed the stints I’ve done. I’ve done some more bits this year, and obviously being involved in Little Darlings, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgeton Story and other bits last year was a big eye opener / motivation.

Tell us a bit about your character Curtis Jackson … and how you got to know him and what special sauce are you bringing to make him yours?
Curtis is a Baaaaad Mutha. A self centred, controlling murderer. Quite the opposite to me. I hope to bring some edge in the midst of the comedy. He does have a song that’s quite funny though. Thats a fun moment.

And to be working with Beverley Knight as Deloris Van Cartier, it must be amazing. What has it been like to work with her?
I’ve known Beverly Knight for a long while and she has always been supportive. She’s been nudging me to do something in this space for ages. To finally do something and then also for that first thing to be with her is pretty cool. She has already achieved so much in this world. Lovely to see that for her and very happy to be playing a small role in this cool story.

Everyone loves a musical, and Sister Act has such an iconic soundtrack, which is your favourite number to hear / perform?
There are quite a few that I like. Fabulous Baby, I Could Be That Guy, The Life I Never Led, I Haven’t Got A Prayer, Lady In The Long Black Dress … I could go on … basically … there are a lot of good songs in the show. You get my drift.

Highs, lows, solutions …
Quite a few, yes. Singing songs and the stage part is no problem after 20 plus years of doing it. But acting and sound design and talking / telling someone else’s story and fitting into a team and learning terminology and operations and protocol has all been very new. Like I said though … everyone has been so helpful and supportive, you really feel like they’ve got your back no matter what so … it’s been easy to get up to speed and experiment within certain boundaries.

What’s a moment during Sister Act that best defines what the musical means to you and your participation?
There’s a scene where Deloris is woken up by the nuns and they sing a song … Bless Our Show. That scene reminds me of sitting at home with my mother, she LOVED musical movies, The King And I, Sister Act, The Sound Of Music etc. She would watch them back to back on repeat ALL the time. While my brothers and sisters were off doing ‘teenage’ stuff, I’d be the one left at home with her (being the youngest) so, many a time I’d find myself on the couch with her watching too. She never got to go and see a musical in a theatre but had she had the chance, she would have been over the moon. Throw ‘me’ into the mix as well! I mean … the word proud wouldn’t suffice. She would have been overwhelmed. So yeah, that song always reminds me of her as it sounds authentic to what she used to watch.


If not this, then what?

What’s made you Sad, Mad, Glad this week?
Sad – throat infection
Mad – I don’t really get mad
Glad – Heard from family early this week. Always good to touch base.

What are you watching right now?
Re-watching Blue Lights.

What are you reading right now?
The scripts for Sister Act… Have to make it stick somehow?

The last thing you saw on stage?
Shifters. I saw it at Bush Theatre. What a great piece. Please go and see it if you haven’t.

What’s on your bucket list?
Sky dive. But… nnnaaaaaaah!

Where’s your happy place?

Celebrate someone else …
My big brother Derane released some music recently. The albums called Peaceful Sound For Broken Minds. He’s very proud of it as am I.

Celebrate yourself …

Whose footsteps are you following in?
All the hustlers who went before me.

What’s Next?
More acting – few bits in the pipeline (shhh!). More music (I’ll be releasing songs I did on The Masked Singer very shortly for those who want to have a listen on the move). More gigs – check me out online to see where I’ll be. More fun – otherwise.. it’s not worth it right?

Where can we find you?
Instagram @lemar
Twitter: @lemar
Threads:: @lemar
Facebook; LemarOfficial
….Holler at me.

Where and when can we come and see Sister Act?
I’ll be in Sister Act at the Dominion Theatre in London from March 21st – June 8th with a pause for my ‘Closer’ Tour up and down the UK from April 5th- April 16th.
If it keeps feeling this good… who knows 😉
Bless x


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