"Lola's Theme" is the debut single by British house duo The Shapeshifters. It was released on 12 July 2004 as the lead single from their debut album, Sound Advice (2004).
The name "Lola's Theme" was originally a working title for this record; Lola is Simon Marlin's wife and it was while listening to her record collection that the initial idea for the track was conceived.
"Lola's Theme" features a sample from the introduction of Johnnie Taylor's 1982 R&B hit "What About My Love" and it was originally released as an instrumental at the end of 2003 on their own Nocturnal Groove label. Due to its immense popularity, "Lola's Theme" was licensed from Nocturnal Groove to Positiva Records. At the same time, the sample of "What About My Love" was then completely replayed by Mark Summers at Scorccio Sample Replays, recreating all elements of the sample (strings, brass sections, piano, etc.). The duo then set about finding a vocalist. After a long search they met Cookie, a gospel singer from the London Community Gospel Choir who recorded the vocals for the full release.
The song is a dance-pop song, utilizing elements of "What About My Love" by Johnnie Taylor. Lyrically, the song speaks of a person whom for most of his/her life felt disillusioned and alienated. The protagonist tells the subject of the song that they were a guide who helped the protagonist have a positive outlook on life. The subject remains ambiguous, but can be aimed towards a lover or a parent, or God.
"Lola's Theme" was released on 12 July 2004 and upon its release went straight into the UK charts at number one. "Lola's Theme" also topped the American Dance Charts, peaking at number one on the Hot Dance Airplay chart in October 2004. The duo went on to have a further two Top 20 UK hits ("Back To Basics" and "Incredible") and now have a recording contract with Defected Records.
The song was featured on the soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony on the fictional in-game station Vladivostok FM.
The orchestral sounding music in the song inspired the emergence of similar orchestral sounding dance music over the following two years (such as Inaya Day's Nasty girl), before more electronic dance music became popular in mid-2006. These sounds also owe much to 1970s disco, and so the resulting genre can be described as nu-disco or disco house.
Shapeshifters are a house music production duo based in London, England. They have a recording contract with Defected Records, and were previously signed to Positiva. Max Reich is originally from Gothenburg, Sweden, while Simon Marlin is British.
They are known in the United States as Shape:UK, in part due to a conflict with the Los Angeles based hip-hop act The Shape Shifters. However, the UK duo still uses "The Shapeshifters" name when they are releasing material in other countries outside the US.
Cookie is a British soul singer. She performed the vocals on the number one dance anthem "Lola's Theme" by the Shapeshifters, that was released in July 2004, and their hit single "Back To Basics". She was also featured in "Turn It Around" by Jason Karl.
She is part of the London Community Gospel Choir, and lives in East Dulwich with her two children, Tre and Marlon.