Women Music March 2021 – Day 12 – Sheila Chandra

Sheila Chandra

Sheila Chandra (born 14 March 1965) is a retired English pop singer of Indian descent. As a teenager she formed the band Monsoon with Steve Coe (who became the band’s producer) and bassist Martin Smith. Monsoon created a fusion of Western and Indian pop styles. The band recorded its only album, Third Eye, in 1982 from which it had a hit single, “Ever So Lonely”, which peaked at No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart. Monsoon followed-up with the single “Shakti,” which peaked at No. 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. Resenting pressure from their record company over musical direction, Monsoon dissolved in 1982 and Coe and Smith set about promoting Chandra as a solo artist on independent Indipop Records.

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. After a creative split with Martin Smith, Chandra released three albums on Peter Gabriel’s Real World label —Weaving My Ancestors’ Voices (1992), The Zen Kiss (1994), and ABoneCroneDrone (1996).

with Monsoon: 1 album (1982)
with the Ganges Orchestra: 5 albums from 2001 – 2013
Solo: 12 albums from 1984 – 2013

Three things to share:
Sheila Chandra was born in Waterloo, London, England. She first came to public attention as an actress, playing Sudhamani Patel in the BBC school drama Grange Hill from 1979 to 1981.

In 2009, Chandra began experiencing symptoms of what was eventually diagnosed as Burning Mouth Syndrome, as a result of which she is unable to sing, speak, laugh or cry without suffering intense pain. She has thus been rendered effectively mute.

As a result of her illness Chandra retired from music. She turned her attention to writing self-help books, the first of which, Banish Clutter Forever – How the Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life, was published in 2010.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Dora says:

    I never knew the reason she retired. That is so sad. Her voice is so lovely and that blend of East-West so distinctively beautiful. Now silenced. Rats! 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It’s heartbreaking. I love her music!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. memadtwo says:

    I never knew she had a band. I used to have a cassette of her “sound” music that I used when I needed to go to a calming place. I wonder if it’s available on CD? Definitely other-worldly. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I never heard of her. I do like her version of Tomorrow Never Knows. I like her sound…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I hadn’t either until I started compiling a list of artists. Glad that I found her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        I love the sound of her voice on Tomorrow Never Knows and the sound of the song.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sheila Chandra is another interesting selection I had never heard of before. What a sad story about what sounds like a pretty horrible disease that forced her to retire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I want to listen to more of her music. So much music, so little time!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s certainly true. And as you keep exploring new music, this becomes ever more clear! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. saree says:

    Loved her voice so much

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      She was a great singer. Gone too soon 😦


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.