1. ALL YOU WANT IS MORE 4.16
2. OUT ON MY OWN 4.18
3. VILLAGE GIRL 4.11
4. STORM TRANCE 3.29
5.   FROM A WHISPER... TO A SCREAM4.49
6.   PREMA, SHANTI, DHARMA, SATYA 4.13
7.   UNCHANGED MALADY 5.08
8.   MISSING THE VOICE 3.57
9.   FLY TO ME 3.35
10.   SONGBIRD 4.23

 

 
 


'When Monsoon’s unique and successful blend of Asian fusion prematurely ended due to the lack of creative control and approval parameters written into their recording contract, I was determined that it would never happen to me in my solo career.

Monsoon’s record company’s business style was singles-led and money intensive. However, with my solo albums, I resolved not to release singles so that people would have to interpret my work as more of a whole. This, in turn, forced certain countries to focus on an accessible album track for radio play (such as Scandinavia where OUT ON MY OWN was in the Top 40 mainstream album charts).

Even though I was an Asian fronting the band Monsoon, at that stage the fusion of Asian sounds was mainly in its instrumentation (sitar, alongside guitar, piano alongside tabla, etc) and, of course, in the writing — raga based melodies shot through with pop sensibility. On OUT ON MY OWN, I developed the style further, but I also began to use my voice as an instrument, woven and layered on tracks such as Prema, Shanti, Dharma, Satya and From A Whisper… To A Scream. Even at this stage of my musical development, the idea of dynamic, multi-tracked, spoken percussion intrigued me, and I began to study it through absorption, as I did with all my vocal techniques.

As this time (1983) I was becoming sort of an unofficial cultural ambassador for the Asian community in Britain because virtually no other young Asians were getting regular exposure in the mainstream media. It’s a role that I will no longer accept. Partially because the community is better represented in Britain now, but mostly because some people stopped reacting on a gut level to me as an individual.

I was also growing in my role as a solo artist and the responsibilities it entailed. OUT ON MY OWN was an upbeat album recorded at a time when I was enjoying my freedom and having a lot of fun. However, it really was the personal growth that occurred in the two year period from 1983 to 1985 that, in a way, was more important than the four albums that came out of it.

Often, it is not the development of potential that we, the audience, are interested in, but the end product — the perfection that results. My intention, by experimenting on my solo albums was to deal directly with people’s reactions to my musical growth; to fly in the face of the fear that limits artists to the level of skill that they initially develop early on when ‘mistakes’ are allowed for. I am not ‘a natural.’ If an audience likes my current work, they must allow for the long developmental process that led to it and the creative processes that continue…

Sheila Chandra 1996