Sonique – Sonia Marina Clarke (born 21 June 1968), is a British singer, musician and DJ. She is best known for her song It Feels So Good. She was the lead vocalist on two S’Express singles, and the majority of the tracks on the group’s second album, Intercourse. She won the 2001 BRIT Award for British female solo artist. She was treated for breast cancer and was cleared treatment in 2010.
Born 21 June 1968 in Crouch End, North London, United Kingdom to parents of Trinidadian descent and has actually credited listening to her mother’s CD collection as the reason behind her musical success. 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 England moving into the YMCA, but with mounting debt and disgusted by the sexual advances of the hostel warden, she moved out and slept on the streets.
However, at the age of seventeen, a youth worker commented that she had a nice voice and suggested she utilize it, so she put together a reggae band called “Fari” in which she ended up writing all the music. She credits this band with getting her through her time on the streets.
After Fari disbanded she set about getting a recording contract and in 1985 she released the single Let Me Hold You, published by Cooltempo. Surprisingly, the single hit the Top 40 on the British dance charts.
It was another five years before her next big break, as in 1990, she was credited for the transcendental loop-groove on a track called “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 and the dance-pop duo charted in the UK singles chart with such singles 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.
For three years she accompanied both Mark Moore and her childhood friend Judge Jules to their DJ gigs to study the crowds. She eventually signed to one of Simon Belofsky’s’ companies Serious Records where her first single was I Put A Spell On You. During this time (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 as gold in the UK.
Sonique released her own album, Hear My Cry, in 1998, which didn’t do overly well the first time around, but when it was re-released in 2000, the hit single It Feels So Good topped the charts for three weeks in May. After 14 weeks in the Top 40, it became the UK’s third best-selling single of 2000.
In 2007 when promotional work finished for her previous album On Kosmo, Sonique announced she would continue touring Europe despite the flop of the album. A teaser from some of the new material she had been working on ‘leaked’ online on 5 October 2008 entitled “Better Than That”. Due to the positive reception of this ‘leak’ the track was posted available to download on various legal mp3 download sites.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2009, for which she underwent surgery at a London clinic. Following her operations, Sonique opted to receive 5 months of chemotherapy in an effort to prevent a recurrence. She was given the all clear in 2010 and celebrated by appearing on a cover version of the Cyndi Lauper song Girls Just Want To Have Fun which was released to raise fund for the Cancer Research UK charity.
The single “World of Change” was released on 23 October 2009 and the official video was posted by Sonique’s label on YouTube.
2011 brought the release of the album Sweet Vibrations, which contains the previously released singles: “Better Than That” and “World of Change”.