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.
Take a look at all our other Where Are They Now posts and don’t forget to follow the playlist!