PAULINA ODURO

Black Africa has over the years produced a number of remarkable female singers. Mirian Makeba, Angelique Kidjo, Yvonne Chaka, Mbilia Bel, to name but a few. But there are many more 'unsung heroines' of African music who have not acquired international recognition but are, nevertheless, equally talented, evocative performers like Ghanaian-born Paulina Oduro.

Paulina moved to London at the age of nine, with her diplomat father and mother. Her interest in music began at an early age.

Recognising her talent and enthusiasm for music, her parents encouraged her, in addition to her normal education, to undertake formal tuition in music, learning to play classical piano. Her main interest in music was to singing. However, as with most parents, they insisted on her having a more stable career. Paulina therefore trained as a nurse but after three years in that profession she felt music was her proper calling and at the age of 21, she quit nursing to become a professional singer.

She joined a reggae band called Casanova and within six months they released their first single. Since then Paulina has sang with a number of reggae and soca bands. Her pedigree includes performances with such greats like Calypso King Mighty Sparrow, soca favourite Arrow, Lord kitchener, Alexander O'neil and renowned Trinidadian singer David Rudder. Her silky smooth vocals have also attracted most leading Ghanaian artists to record with her. Paulina was also one of the lead female vocals with the Western Diamonds, the top Hi-life group in Ghana from the early to mid-1990's.

Her solo debut CD, Woman Power, released in March 1999, is a reflection of her vaious musical influences and experiences over the years. It contains most genres of African music. According to Paulina "it's a fusion of African music." The title track, has a distinct soukous flavour, very melodic, with a pulsating rhythm that should fill every dance floor. Sung in both English and her native Fanfi language in her inimitable vocal style, the CD is the ultimate in modern African music.

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