Connie Mitchell

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Connie Mitchell
ConnieMitchellTheVoice.jpg
Mitchell backstage at The Voice
Background information
Birth name Connie Thembi Mitchell
Also known as Miss Connie, Feyonce
Born South Africa
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, violin
Years active 1995–present
Associated acts Primary, Machine Gun Fellatio, Sneaky Sound System

Connie Thembi Mitchell also known as Miss Connie is a South African-born Australian singer-songwriter. In 1995 she was a founding member of Primary. Briefly, in 2004, she was vocalist for Machine Gun Fellatio under the pseudonym Feyonce. Since mid-2005 Mitchell is the lead vocalist with Sneaky Sound System, appearing on their singles: "Pictures", "I Love It", "UFO", "Goodbye", "Kansas City", "When We Were Young", "16" and "We Love".

Before Sneaky Sound System[edit]

Connie Thembi Mitchell was born in South Africa.[1] Her mother was a singer in a musical troupe, Ipi Tombi, while her grandfather and father had extensive record collections.[2] Mitchell attended Riverside Girls High School in Sydney.

While still at secondary school Mitchell met the Fonti brothers, Jamie and Sean, who were members of the techno-grunge band, Caligula.[2][3] With Mitchell on lead vocals; Sean on keyboard programming, guitar and samples; Jamie on bass guitar (ex-Massappeal, Def FX); and John Bousfield on guitar they formed another techno rock group, Primary in late 1996.[3] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described their sound as "Dominated by ... Mitchell’s hyperactive and full-frontal vocals, with thunderous electronic rock underpinning the music, Primary sounded like a techno Skunk Anansie".[3]

Primary's debut release was a five-track extended play, Vicious Precious, in March 1998.[3] Mitchell described their song writing process "When we write, I sing over something the boys have done and there are lyrics in there. I don't know where they come from. I think it's a mood thing – they convey what kind of mood we were in when we were doing it".[4] The group followed with their debut album, This Is the Sound, in the next year.[3][4] Their second album, Watching the World, was praised by journalist, Ed Nimmervoll, as his Album of the Week in May 2001 "music with many layers of interest. Connie's lyrics are a strong counterpoint to the depth of the band's music".[5] Mitchell joined Machine Gun Fellatio as a vocalist for a short stint in 2004, appearing under the alias "Feyonce".

Sneaky Sound System[edit]

Connie Mitchell's next band, Sneaky Sound System, developed from Sneaky Sundays night club, launched in 2001 by Black Angus (Angus McDonald) and Daimon Downey.[6] In 2004 Angus and Downey met Mitchell in a park as she was playing guitar with a friend and the duo asked Mitchell to sing "I thought they were a bit dodgy ... You know, two guys coming up to you, excited, jumping around a bit, saying 'Come to our studio'".[6][7] The pair did own a studio, and when Mitchell sang on "I Love It" Sneaky Sound System had their new vocalist – it became their breakthrough single in July 2006. Their [[Sneaky Sound System (2006 album)|self-titled debut album followed in August. Angus noted that "We were told by every label we might sell 10,000 copies and it wasn't worth it, so we decided to do it ourselves."

Mitchell also shares song writing credits with McDonald on "Pictures", along with almost all other Sneaky Sound System tracks. In the 2006 International Songwriting Competition, the song came second in the Dance/Electronica category.[8]

Their self-titled album went on to become their multi-platinum, ARIA-Award winning debut. Its successor, "2", entered the Australian charts at number one, and Mitchell has since appeared on albums by Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Rick Ross.

Mitchell spent a couple of weeks in early 2007 recording vocals for Kanye West in Los Angeles.[9] She features on four tracks on Kanye West's 2007 album, Graduation, including the singles, "Can't Tell Me Nothing".[10][11] and "Flashing Lights".

Described as "a star in her own right" with a golden voice,[12] Mitchell also laid down tracks with Snoop Dogg during his extended stay in Sydney for the Good Vibrations Festival.[12]

With Sneaky Sound System, Mitchell has supported Robbie Williams and Scissor Sisters, and played the Australian leg of the worldwide concert Live Earth in July 2007.[10]

As of 2009, Mitchell is the only singer in Sneaky Sound System after Downey announced he was leaving the band to pursue other interests.

In March 2013 it was announced that Mitchell would act as mentor to Seal's artists on the 2013 Australian season of The Voice.[13] In April that year in a peer-voted survey conducted by Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper, Mitchell was rated at No. 18 on a list of Australia's greatest singers of all time.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murfett, Andrew (8 October 2011). "Confessions from a new Sneak clique". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Wilcox, John A. "Miss Connie Mitchell Interview". ProgSheet. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Primary'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 9 September 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Artists :: Primary". Australian Music Online. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed (25 May 2001). "Primary – Watching the World". HowlSpace – The Living History of Our Music (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 29 September 2001. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference Nimmervoll was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference Take40_Bio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference AutoBE-1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference AutoBE-2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference GP was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference AutoBE-3 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Cite error: The named reference CHV was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference AutoBE-4 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference Herald_Sun was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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External Links[edit]

  1. ^ "Sneaky Sound System – Biography". Take 40 Australia. MCM Entertainment. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Herald Sun: "Winning System", April 8 2007. Website accessed 17 April 2007.
  3. ^ The Daily Telegraph (Sydney): Connie hits hip-hop: "From Hugo's to Hollywood, independent Sydney pop phenomenon Sneaky Sound System are becoming one of the most sought after acts in the world", 10 March 2007. Website accessed 17 April 2007.]
  4. ^ George Palathingal: "Next stop: the world." Sydney Morning Herald, 21 July 2007.
  5. ^ JJJ Top Shelf Radio with Robbie Buck: Kanye West. September 11, 2007, accessed 24 September 2007
  6. ^ Channel [V] (Foxtel) Music News: "Sneaky Sound System tour Oz, website accessed 17 April 2007.
  7. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald 1 March 2013 Christine Sams "Ben Lee Joins The Voice". Website accessed 26 March 2013.
  8. ^ "John Farnham tops the list of Australia's greatest singers of all time". Retrieved 13 May 2013.