Monsoon & Sheila Chandra
Genres synth-pop, world fusion, folk music
Occupations singer Instruments vocals Years active 1980s - present
Associated acts Monsoon Sheila Chandra (born 14 March 1965 in London) is an English pop singer of Indian descent.
Indian-Western synth pop fusion period Sheila Chandra first came to public attention as an actress, playing Sudhamani Patel in the BBC school drama Grange Hill.
As a teenager she formed the band Monsoon, and created a fusion of Western (synthpop) and Indian pop styles.
The band consisted of Chandra, Steve Coe (who became the band's producer), and Martin Smith. Chandra and Coe later married.
They made a lone album Third Eye in 1982 from which they had a surprise hit single "Ever So Lonely", which peaked at #12 in the UK.
They followed-up with the single, "Shakti", which peaked at #41, but this was to be the band's final charting single.
The album also includes a cover of The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows", featuring the distinctive EBow guitar sound of Bill Nelson.
However, resenting pressure from their record company over musical direction, Monsoon dissolved and Coe and Smith set about promoting Chandra as a solo artist on an independent label.
Chandra went on to release a number of albums in the 1980s, at times experimenting with her voice as an instrument through a range of techniques.
In the 1990s she released three albums on Peter Gabriel's Real World label, although Martin Smith was no longer actively involved by this time.
Shift to British and Irish folk influenced singing Since 1992 she has shifted from the Indian-Western fusion of synthesizer-centered pop to styles that draw on British and Irish traditional singing traditions.
Chandra is a much-respected performer on the world music scene and remains active into the 21st Century. In 2002 she performed the song entitled Breath Of Life with Howard Shore for the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers soundtrack. In 2007, she took part in Simon Emmerson's project The Imagined Village, which set out to re-interpret traditional English songs using a wide range of contemporary English musicians. Chandra recorded two songs for the album, which included performers as diverse as Paul Weller, Billy Bragg, Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Benjamin Zephaniah and Johnny Kalsi. She also appeared with The Imagined Village on a concert tour of England in the late autumn of 2007.
Discography Monsoon : Third Eye (1982)