Shara Nelson


Shara Nelson was the vocalist for Massive Attack before setting off ‘down that road’ on her own. But where did that road lead?

Born in London in 1965, singer Shara Nelson began performing aged 18 in the early 1980’s with the band The Circuit and recorded the singles “Aiming At Your Heart” and “Can’t Get Over You”, although neither did anything at all. She went solo in 1986 and released two further singles, “Standing Ovation” and “Love’s Hit You” but by 1989, was working with DJ’s and producers The Wild Bunch. Robert Del Naja, Adrian Thaws, Grant Marshall and Andrew Vowles from the team formed their own group the following year and called themselves Massive Attack and took Shara with them. Their first single, “Daydreaming”, barely touched the charts but in early 1991, the follow up, “Unfinished Sympathy”, did.

“Unfinished Sympathy” would prove a huge hit all across Europe and finally peaked at No.13 in the UK, although over time, approval and support for the song only increased and currently it has sold over half a million copies in their home country. Shara was the main vocalist on their debut album, “Blue Lines”, which hold a double Platinum certification in the UK and featured on the third single to be released, “Safe From Harm”. The song went top 40 across Europe and broke the dance chart in America. Now very well known, particularly for her appearance in the video of “Unfinished Sympathy”, Shara kick started her solo career and began writing material for her debut album. She finally surfaced in 1993 with the lead single, “Down That Road”, which reached No.19 in the UK and No.109 in America.

Shara’s album, “What Silence Knows”, followed in September 1993 and although it only reached No.22, it received a Gold certification for 100,000 copies sold. The album was shortlisted for the Mercury Music prize of 1994 (along with Dina Carroll‘s “So Close” and PJ Harvey’s “Rid Of Me”) and included three further top 40 hits with “One Goodbye In Ten” (No.21), “Uptight” (No.19) and “Inside Out” (No.34), while “Nobody” stopped just short of the UK top 40. Shara returned in 1995 with her follow up, “Friendly Fire”, which featured the top 30 hit “Rough With The Smooth”. The album charted at No.44 in the UK. Shara put a halt to her solo career once more and began recording with other acts from 1996 onwards, providing vocals for the US dance chart top ten hit “Sense of Danger” for the group Presence.

She did, however, align herself with new Bond composer David Arnold’s side project in 1997, “Shaken And Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project”, on which she recorded her version of Shirley Bassey’s “Moonraker” from the 1979 film of the same name. For the next ten years, Shara recorded with a number of acts including UK electronic duo Air Cuba, rapper Kasha Rae and producer Adrian Sherwood. Shara seemed to of ‘lost the plot’ a bit after 2006 and made the headlines in 2011 when DJ Pete Tong obtained a restraining order against her for harassment of him and his wife, for which Shara also received a 12 month community order and community service sentence. Since 2012, Shara has recorded a number of new tracks and has also recorded with The Artful Badger (2013) and NUfrequency (2014).

Shara is rumoured to currently be working with producer Simon Britton (David Gray, Alexandra Burke, Leona Lewis) on new material that should surface in 2021. Let’s see shall we…

Shara Nelson 2020

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So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!