She put a spell on us all and it made us feel so good. But does it still now, Sonique?

Sonia ‘Sonique’ Clarke (b.1965) has, surprisingly, been recording for over thirty five years now! She released her debut single, “Let Me Hold You”, back in 1985, but it didn’t do much. What it did do was bring her to the attention of some high flying producers and DJ’s, most notably Mark Moore and William Orbit. They both worked with her in 1990 with Sonique contributing to Orbit’s new dance group, Bassomatic, who had a top ten hit with “Fascinating Rhythm”. Moore went one step further when he asked Sonique to record the vocals for his new S-Express single, “Nothing To Lose”.

Sonique spent most of the 90’s DJing around London as well as working closely with Moore, long after S-Express had finished. But in 1998, she made her own attempt at a chart comeback with a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ 1956 classic, “I Put A Spell On You”, which was not as massive as you would expect, only peaking at No.36 in the UK. However, the follow up, “It Feels So Good” edged a little further and made it to No.24. Her debut album, “Hear My Cry”, came soon after, but that flopped and Sonique disappeared for a year, coming back at the beginning of the 21st century with a second go at “It Feels So Good” and with radio support this time, pow, a massive hit! In fact a number one!

The UK’s third biggest seller of the year was also a number one and a top ten hit in over twenty countries worldwide and heralded the reissue of “Hear My Cry”, which would win Gold and Platinum discs around the globe. Sonique won a second big chart hit with the follow up, “Sky” (UK No.2) and closed the year with the re-release of “I Put A Spell On You”, which finally broke the top ten and which Sonique made her own to a whole new generation of music lovers. Now finding that she wanted to devote her time to being an artist, Sonique ‘retired’ from her DJing and set about writing and recording the follow up to “Hear My Cry” and made her return in 2003…

…with the song, “Can’t Make Up My Mind”. The track broke the UK top twenty and preceded her sophomore album, “Born To Be Free”. But just as soon as she had unleashed that album, so more new music began to flow through 2004 and 2005. First with the new track, “Another World” and then with “Why?”, both of which would feature on her next album, “On Kosmo”, in 2006. But by now chart placings for the former chart topper were non-existent and only success on the dance, club and indie chart were forthcoming and, pretty much ended with the final single from the album, “Sleezy”. Sonique continued to tour and record for the rest of the 00’s until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

After surgery and chemo, she returned to work and in 2011, released the album, “Sweet Vibrations”, sweeping up all of the tracks post 2003 as well as some new recordings. She has worked with various artists as a guest vocalist ever since including 2018’s “Melody” with Mauro Picotto and 2019’s “Shake” with Power Of Muzik and will, no doubt, continue to be welcomed on stage at anytime for an always welcome encore of “Feels Go Good” and “Spell On You” at dance and music festivals across the world.

Sonique 2021

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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!