Labi Siffre Biography
Born the fourth of five children, at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in Hammersmith, London to a British mother of Barbadian–Belgian descent and a Nigerian father, Siffre was brought up in Bayswater and Hampstead and educated at a Catholic independent day school, St Benedict's School, in Ealing, west London. Despite his Catholic education Siffre has stated that he has always been an atheist.
Siffre played jazz guitar at Annie Ross's jazz club in Soho in the 1960s as part of a Hammond organ, guitar, drums house band.
He released six albums between 1970 and 1975. In the 1970s he released 16 singles, three of which became hits: "It Must Be Love" (No. 14, 1971) (later covered by and a No. 4 hit for Madness, for which Siffre himself appeared in the video); "Crying Laughing Loving Lying" (No. 11, 1972); and "Watch Me" (No. 29, 1972). In 1978, Siffre took part in the UK heats of the Eurovision Song Contest. He performed his own composition "Solid Love", which placed fifth of the twelve songs up for consideration at the A Song for Europe contest. Additionally, he co-wrote the song "We Got It Bad" performed by Bob James, which came tenth.
Siffre came out of self-imposed retirement from music in 1985, when he saw a television film from South Africa showing a white soldier shooting at black children. He wrote "(Something Inside) So Strong" (No. 4, 1987) and released four more albums between 1988 and 1998.
The 1975 track "I Got The" was released as a single in 2006, having been sampled in the Eminem track My Name Is in 1998.
Siffre met his partner Peter John Carver Lloyd in July 1964. They remained together until Lloyd's death in 2013, having entered a Civil Partnership in 2005, as soon as this was possible in the UK.