So I had this idea kicking around for a while after visiting Milk Carton Pop Stars and The Isle of Failed Pop Stars...why not dedicate a blog to all of my favorite MIA stars of yesteryear?
I have been waiting for almost 10 years for this woman to hit the charts again. Where the hell is Samantha Mumba? Apparently she was huge in the UK, but still one-hit wonder status in the U.S. (with "Gotta Tell You"). I loved "Baby Come Over" though...I was surprised when I checked Wikipedia and this song only hit #49 on the Hot 100. I swear I heard this all over the radio...or maybe I was just listening a bit too obsessively. Trivia: On the UK version of the album (which I proudly own), the original version of "Baby Come Over" doesn't have the Kool and the Gang sample of "Ladies Night." The American version (seen in the video) does.
I'm going chalk up her downfall to being part of a instantly failed trend: The late-90s/early 00s pop princess. Spice Girls. Britney. Christina. Jessica. Mandy. Plus Samantha was stuck with the "Black Britney" tag (I believe VIBE called her that, I could be wrong) and she was from Ireland. I guess America wasn't quite ready for a black pop singer with a weird accent...not yet, at least. Perhaps Sam was ahead of her time? I remember seeing her perform on some televised Disney Channel concert with a bunch of other "where are they now" acts, but back then Disney wasn't as fully committed to pop music domination as they are now.
A few years ago, I remember hearing her new song "I'm Right Here" on the radio ONCE. Just once. This was a great song that only peaked at #80. Here's the video:
This video is a tragedy but I'll forgive her for that. I used to bump this song on my iMac (it features a guest rap from Damian Marley not in this video) for about three years straight.
Supposedly she had a new album coming out produced by Sisqo (WTF?), but lately news on Samantha Mumba has been dormant. Come on Sam, I'm waiting on a comeback.
How she can comeback:
Since Rihanna sort of has the foreign black pop singer game locked down, there's not much room for another one and audiences are very fickle with random comebacks. I suggest Sam try to record a few club-happy dance tunes. Nothing wrong with a little techno. Then quietly ease back into the pop realm after you've scored a few dance cuts under your belt. If it can work for Kylie Minogue and Robyn, surely Sam's got a chance.