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Sheila Chandra at The Big Chill in 2008
|Birth name||Sheila Savithri Elizabeth Chandra|
|Born||14 March 1965|
|Genres||pop, world fusion, English folk music|
|Occupations||singer, author, songwriter, actor|
|Labels||Indipop Records, Phonogram, Mercury Records, Real World Records|
|Associated acts||Monsoon, Ancient Beatbox, The Imagined Village|
Indian-Western pop fusion period 
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. They recorded their 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.
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. Phonogram "posthumously" released Third Eye in 1983.
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 solo voice and drone style 
In the 1990s Chandra decided, having been a studio artist exclusively, to give concerts for the first time, and concurrently released a trilogy of albums on Peter Gabriel's Real World label. These were in the minimalist ‘solo voice and drone’ style which she developed especially for live performances, so that she could perform alone on stage with only the occasional taped drone for accompaniment. Martin Smith was no longer actively involved by this time. Drawing on similarities of structure between Indian ragas and English folk melodies, she started to incorporate many British and Irish traditional songs and techniques, as well as other vocal styles and techniques from around the world. Vocal stamina issues caused her to abandon live performances in 1994 and she only returned to the concert stage in 2007.
Other projects 
In 1990 Chandra interrupted her sabbatical to record a single ("Raining") with the folk/synth band Ancient Beatbox which also appeared on their self-titled album. In 2000 she contributed two tracks, one a cover version of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren" and the other a remix of her solo track "Ever So Lonely/Eyes/Ocean" by Stephen Haig, to the album Gifted on Real World Records.
Chandra is a respected performer on the world music scene and remains active into the 21st Century. In 2001 Chandra released a collaborative album with The Ganges Orchestra entitled This Sentence Is True based on her two experimental EPs with them (EEP 1, EEP2).
2002 saw the release of a remix of her original hit single "Ever So Lonely" retitled "So Lonely" by the band Jakatta. It charted at no 8 in the UK. In 2002 she performed the song entitled "Breath of Life" (retitled "The Grace of Valar" in its 2006 release) with Howard Shore for the The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers soundtrack.
In 2007, she recorded two songs for Simon Emmerson's project The Imagined Village, which set out to re-interpret traditional English songs using a wide range of contemporary English musicians. She also appeared with The Imagined Village on a concert tour of England in the late autumn of 2007.
An excerpt from Monsoon's Ever So Lonely
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- Third Eye (1982)
- Out on My Own (1984)
- Quiet (1984)
- The Struggle (1985)
- Nada Brahma (1985)
- Roots and Wings (1990)
- Silk (1991)
- Weaving My Ancestors' Voices (1992)
- The Zen Kiss (1994)
- ABoneCroneDrone (1996)
- Moonsung: A Real World Retrospective (1999)
- This Sentence Is True (The Previous Sentence Is False) (2001)
- The Indipop Retrospective (2003)
- Ever So Lonely (1982)
- "Shakti (The Meaning of Within)" (1982)
- "Tomorrow Never Knows" (1982)
- "Wings of the Dawn (Prem Kavita)" (1982)
- "Ever So Lonely" (Remix by Ben Chapman) (1990)
- "So Lonely" ("Ever So Lonely" remixes by Jakatta) (2002)
- "Raining (My Eyes Are Filled With Clouds)" with Ancient Beatbox (1990)
- "Breath of Life" in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
- "Welcome Sailor" and "'Ouses, 'Ouses, 'Ouses" from Imagined Village (2007)
- Banish Clutter Forever – How the Toothbrush Principle Will Change Your Life (2010) ISBN 978-0-09-193502-3
- Mathur, Rakesh (1991). Nada Brahma; DEVI in Hinduism Today, August 1991.
- Schaefer, John (1993). Sheila Chandra's Interview with John Schaefer at WNYC 1993: Weaving My Ancestors' Voices.
- Schaefer, John (1996). Sheila Chandra's Interview with John Schaefer at WNYC 1996: ABoneCroneDrone.
- Prasad, Anil (2000). Sheila Chandra: Natural extensions in Innerviews, 3 May 2000.
- Joe F. Compton (2000). "The Commonality is Brilliance...".
- Mite (2000). Sheila Chandra Interview in Mutant Renegade Zine #13, Winter 2000.
- Teropong (2008). Sheila Chandra in Womad Singapore, 23 August 2008.
- Millard, Rosie (2010). Another Fine Mess You’ve Got Me Out Of at Times Online
- "ROLL CALL: Grange Hill's Online Attendance Register". Grange Hill Online. GH Online. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
- Sheila Chandra at Allmusic
- "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - The Complete Recordings (2006)". HowardShore.com. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sheila Chandra|
- Official website
- Sheila Chandra at Imagined Village
- Sheila Chandra at Allmusic
- Sheila Chandra at the Internet Movie Database
- Sheila Chandra at Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music