Justin had his first taste of the limelight when he was selected from scores of aspiring stars to appear in the children's TV series The Fame Game... And on his fifteenth birthday the Glaswegian singer had lots to celebrate - he got his first recording contract with Virgin Records!Being out of the regular children's TV audience by the late 1990s, I don't really recall what The Fame Game was, but I don't think he was an actor, I think it was meant to be a documentary about Justin (Osuji)'s experiences as a teenager in the music industry. I do remember some hype about the release of his debut single, a cover of Beatles B-side 'This Boy'. It's presumably because there was a telly programme still running that the project wasn't abandoned when that only got to 34, though a rethink was clearly needed for the second single, with sixties nostalgia abandoned in favour of the emerging trend for anonymous songs written by Scandinavians. 'Over You' sounds like something that might have been turned down by the Backstreet Boys, and a year or so later might even have made it to a Westlife album track. There's nothing memorable about it - I've forgotten it in the time it's taken to type up this post - and his singing is frankly not that great either, though in fairness this may have more to do with the material and production than his inate ability. Despite a decent chart position in January, it wasn't really enough to build a career on, and his third single was another to peak at 34. He made the Top 20 with a half-decent cover of the Everlys' 'Let It Be Me' and released an album to little excitement, before the game was up.
Available on: EMI Presents 'The Great Big Scottish Songbook'