Sheila Chandra Music Biography
“With a dexterous tonal range that's as bright as lightning and bold as a summer cloudburst, she weaves a near-climatic spell so lovely and haunting it becomes its own environment.”
In 1981 Sheila Chandra met Steve Coe in London and became the lead singer of Asian fusion band Monsoon which then signed to Polygram.
Sheila Chandra - UK Chart Placings
Ever So Lonely
Ever So Lonely
Rulin’ Records/Ministry of Sound
Shortcut Recommended Listening
A Real World Retrospective Real World 1999
The Indipop Retrospective
Third Eye Deluxe Edition
Cherry Red 2022
If you are sourcing material to play, please be aware that there are several remixes of Monsoon’s “Ever So Lonely”. If you want the original 1982 Top Ten single, you’ll find the 12″ on CD1 track 6 and the 7″ radio edit version on CD2 track 13 of the 2022 Cherry Red reissue of Third Eye.
Description of Music
Asian influenced World Fusion. Strongly melodic, ornate vocal, often lyricless starting in pop and moving album by album through fusion-based solo voice and drone, to more lateral cutting edge soundscapes. As an artist has ignored trends, (most albums at the time of release had no contemporary comparison) and has tried instead to define the boundaries of world music and her own voice. Highly distinctive vocal approach. A pioneer.
Career Path and Significance
Worked exclusively in Asian Fusion in for almost three decades. Was the first Asian woman to appear on Top of the Pops in 1982 with Monsoon’s worldwide hit ‘Ever So Lonely’ and proudly wore a sari and bindi at a time when there were few Asians and few positive representations of Asians in the UK mainstream media. Was the only full-time artist in Asian Fusion in the 80’s.
A self-taught musician and writer. Made her writing debut in 1984 on her second solo album ‘Quiet’. Apart from her start with ‘Monsoon’ (signed to Phonogram) has worked with independents or small labels in order to retain artistic freedom. Has not generally favoured remixes (a few illicit ones have slipped through) and has never released a single as a solo artist. Manages herself. Only played live for 2 years in the early 90’s, but returned briefly to live performance in the mid noughties until vocal stamina problems and pain issues forced her to retire .
In 2001 ‘Billboard’ stated that ‘In the past five years a new round of second generation British Asian Musicians have emerged… all owe a debt of gratitude to this 36 year old singer’s pioneering work’.
In 2022 the BBC included a signed copy of ‘Ever So Lonely’ in its 100 objects from 100 years of BBC history collection.
For further information visit Wikipedia