Friday, 30 August 2013


                    BLACK               SOCIAL            HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The self-proclaimed First Lady of the U.K. grime scene, MC/vocalist Lisa Maffia put the tabloid controversy surrounding So Solid Crew behind her to became its most successful solo member. Born in South London in 1979,Maffia grew up on a Battersea housing estate with her sister and Italian mother. Learning to perform at an early age, she trained in Latino ballroom, tap, and modern dancing, and secured a Prince's Trust grant to provide funding for her singing lessons. But after becoming pregnant with daughter Chelsea at the age of 17, her music career was put on hold. Two years later, she made her first recordings, as the only female in the hip-hop production collective So Solid Crew. After signing to Relentless Records, they released debut single "Oh No," featuring Maffia on lead vocals, and scored a number one hit with "21 Seconds." One of the most controversial groups of the decade thanks to their links with violent crime, they split up in 2003 after four Top Five hits and a number three album. The same year, Maffia signed a solo record deal with Independiente Records, and debut single "All Over" charted at number two, higher than any other solo single from her former bandmates. Second single "In Love" reached number 13, but despite high-profile support slots on tours with Christina AguileraBlue, and Daniel Bedingfield and a MOBO Award for Best U.K. Garage Act, both her debut album First Lady and third single "Women of the World" missed the Top 40. After parting company with Independiente, she set her up own label, Maffia Recordz and signed the likes of Northstar Ent, Flirta D, and Youngstarz. In 2007, she returned to the charts when she provided vocals for the Dave Spoon dance track "Bad Girl at Night." (number 36). Maffia has also carved out a career as a model and a TV personality, finishing third in the third series of Channel 4's The Games and appearing as an air stewardess in ITV's CelebAir.

Lisa Maffia  born Lisa Finch Maffia, 16 June 1979, South London  is an English singer-songwriter, musician, fashion designer, model and presenter, who originally came to the public's attention as the main female member of So Solid Crew. Whilst in So Solid, the singer notched up five top 20 hits, including a platinum selling single "21 Seconds" and a platinum selling album They Don't Know. As a solo artist, she has released two top 10 singles and an award winning album including the platinum selling single "All Over". Maffia is mixed race, born to an Italian mother and a black father


Early life and career debut

Maffia was born and raised in Brixton, London by her mother, Shirley Maffia. She has a daughter, Chelsea, born when she was 17. She trained in Latino, ballroom, tap and modern dancing and practised gymnastics as a child. She has a god daughter named Alexus Lee-Chang, who attended Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School which is located next to Norwood School in West Norwood where Lisa attended. Lisa then went on to Brixton College to do a diploma in Photography and Art & Design. In 2000, Maffia got her career debut when she added her vocals to So Solid Crew track, "Oh No".

2001-2002: They Don't Know

On 6 August 2001, whilst with So Solid Crew, Maffia released "21 Seconds". It reached number one in the United Kingdom in August 2001. The single also won Best British Video at the 2002 BRIT Awards. With the success of "21 Seconds", the crew went on to release their debut album They Don't Know which ending up going platinum.

2003-2004: First Lady

On 21 April 2003, departing from the So Solid Crew, Maffia made her debut at number 2 with "All Over". It spent three weeks in the top 10. She then released "In Love" which reached number 13. This led to the singer releasing her debut solo album, First Lady. Promo for the album including support slots for artists such as Christina Aguilera, Ashanti, Loud bank coast, Ja Rule, Daniel Bedingfield and Blue. The album reached number 44 in the UK Albums Chart, and the album sold 97,000 copies. Lisa also performed her single All Over at the Mobo Awards.

2005-2006: The Games and Maffia Recordz

Taking a break from music, Maffia took part in the Channel 4 reality TV show The Games. She earned a silver medal behind Kirsty Gallacher. After The Games, Maffia set up her own independent record label, Maffia Recordz, on which she released her underground single "Shake 4 Daddy" and signed acts such as North Star and Romeo. The label also signed the soundtrack to the film,Rollin With The Nines.

2007-2009: Celeb Air and recording for second album

In May 2007, Maffia announced on her official Myspace that she has been recording her upcoming album at the Murlyn Studios, known to have penned songs for Christina Milian, Madonna, Kylie Minogue and others. On 10 September, Maffia released her single "Bad Girl At Night", whilst the single reached 36 and number 4 in the overall dance charts, the single had success over Europe leading to Maffia doing a European tour. On 20 August 2008 it was announced Maffia would participate in ITV2's CelebAir where cameras followed Maffia and other celebrities as they work as air hostesses. Maffia won ITV2's CelebAir on 23 October 2008.
Maffia updated via Twitter that she recorded every other week (during January 2009 to August 2009), working with various producers including Roger Sanchez and Bloodshy & Avant and to expect a surprise U.S. star. She also recorded four songs for the comeback album of So Solid Crew including "Since You Went Away", the video of which was shot in June 2009.

2010-2011: House Of Maffia

In January 2010, Maffia released and toured with So Solid Crew on their single "Since You Went Away". The track reached top 10 in the independent singles chart, this led to various performances on Big Brother's Big Mouth, Channel 5's Five Live and Radio One's Live Lounge. With the success of the track, it was announced on Maffia's official Twitter that there would be one final album from So Solid Crew, and to also expect more albums from Maffia herself, with her next solo album to be expected in 2012. She also launched her fashion boutique House Of Maffia.

2012-present: New music and re-launch of Maffia Recordz

In March 2012, Maffia announced her underground single titled "Don't Stop The Music", featuring Maffia Recordz signee's MC Romeo and Tyler Daley. Its worldwide premiere was on BBC'S 1Xtra on 8 April 2012, and then went on to be released in July 2012. On the 22 July, Maffia announced via Twitter she would be teaming up with Aggro Santos on a new track produced by Paul Morrell. Maffia also appeared on Peter Andre's new album Angels & Demons on a track titled "X".