Sonia Clarke (born 21 June 1968), known more commonly by her stage name Sonique, is a British singer, musician and disc jockey. She is well known for her successful career in dance music. She was the lead vocalist on two S'Express singles. She won the 2001 BRIT Award for British female solo artist. She was treated for breast cancer and given the all clear in 2010.
1968-85: Early life:
Sonia Clarke was born and raised in Crouch End to parents of Trinidadian descent. She has credited her later music success from listening to her mother's record collection of mostly R&B artists. The first record she ever purchased was Donna Summer's "I Feel Love". When Sonique was sixteen her mother re-married and moved back to Trinidad. She refused to move with her mother and two siblings and instead stayed in the United Kingdom moving into the YMCA.
1985-91: Early music career:
At the age of seventeen, a youth worker commented that she had a nice voice and suggested she utilize it. She put together a reggae band called 'Fari' in which she ended up writing all the music. After Fari disbanded she set about getting a recording contract.
Sonique released the single "Let Me Hold You", published by Cooltempo, in 1985. The single hit the Top 40 on the UK Dance Chart.
In 1990, she was credited for the track "Zombie Mantra" on the album, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Bass, the debut record of William Orbit's project Bass-O-Matic. Soon after she teamed with DJ Mark Moore in S'Express. The dance-pop duo charted in the UK Singles Chart with singles such as "Nothing to Lose". She maintained a friendship with Mark Moore after S'Express disbanded and shortly afterwards, he gave her the gift of a set of turntables and a mixer with which she began experimenting.
1997-2001: DJ career:
For three years she accompanied both Mark Moore and her childhood friend Judge Jules to their gigs. She eventually signed to London-based label Serious Records, where her first single was "I Put A Spell On You" produced by Chris Allen and ex-Wang Chung keyboardist Graeme Pleeth. She was DJ-in-residence at Club Manumission in Ibiza between 1997 and 1999.
In 1998, she came to the attention of UK promoters/label Fantazia and was asked to mix one of the discs on their album Fantazia British Anthems Summertime. The album was certified gold in the UK.
Sonique also sang on the album "Hear My Cry" in 1998. When it was re-released in 2000, the hit single "It Feels So Good" topped the UK chart for three weeks in May. After 14 weeks in the Top 40, it became the UK's third best-selling single of 2000. In 2001, after the success of "It Feels So Good" she announced that she planned to retire from the world of DJing to focus on her singing career. After finishing the album Born to Be Free, Sonique did return to DJing on a few special occasions.
2002-06: On Kosmo:
In 2004, Sonique announced she was working on a new album called On Kosmo. The first single was "Another World", which reached number 57 in Germany when released in 2004. "Why" (released Spring 2005), reached number 90 in Germany.
"Alone" was selected as the third single with which the album would be launched, but when the album got pushed back from the expected release date of February 2006, the single was cancelled. When the new release date of 29 September 2006 was announced, the track "Sleezy" was chosen as the single with which the album was to be released. However, "Sleezy" was also cancelled when the release date was pushed back once again. When On Kosmo was finally released, on Monday 13 November 2006, it failed to chart significantly in the UK. Nevertheless, Sonique was shown as a celebrity guest at The World Music Awards 2006 in England.