Sandra St. Victor
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SSV backstage at Celebrate Brooklyn 2014
|Birth name||Sandra Kay Matthews|
|Born||May 28, 1963|
|Origin||Dallas, Texas, USA|
|Genres||R&B, soul, jazz|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, record producer, arranger, pianist|
|Instruments||Piano, Clarinet, Vocals|
|Labels||Atlantic Records, East West Records, Elektra Records, Warner Music Group, Shanachie Records|
|Associated acts||The Family Stand, Daughters Of Soul|
Sandra St. Victor is a Dallas born singer songwriter most known for her work as lead singer of The Family Stand. She attended the now famous Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, (Arts Magnet) High School studying all styles of music. Arts Magnet was also stomping grounds for musical colleagues Erykah Badu, Roy Hargrove, Norah Jones & Edie Brickell. She received scholarships in music to Kansas University & Bishop College in Dallas TX where she continued her studies, until deciding she'd rather learn by doing. She joined a local band in Dallas, and began touring Texas & Louisiana. The band was led by jazz guitarist Zachary Breaux.
St. Victor moved to New York in the early 80's on the offer of Roy Ayers to join his touring band Ubiquity. After seeing her sing with Ayers at the upper west side's Mikell's, Chaka Khan asked Sandra to join her touring outfit, and help her find & audition the new background singer unit.
Sandra toured with Chaka throughout the 80's as well as Freddie Jackson and Glenn Jones. Alongside touring, she made her name on the session circuit honing her chops with some of New York's finest voices, such as Lisa Fisher, Cindy Mizelle, Audrey Wheeler, Brenda White King, Tawatha Agee and Curtis King. In 1986, Sandra was introduced to Peter Lord & Jeffrey Smith via Lisa Fisher at a Luther Vandross concert in Dallas Texas where she was visiting family. Sandra had met Lisa years before in Houston Texas before she moved to New York. Fisher was on tour with The Crystals at the time. Peter & Jeff were known R&B producers and needed someone to sing their demos. Sandra fit the bill. She & the boys hit it off right away. Their three distinct musical backgrounds, classical, soul, pop, rock, jazz, melded together in the studio creating something exciting enough for them to want to record as a team. Hence the beginning of The Family Stand.
Sandra began her solo career in 1993 signing to Elektra Records and recording the never released, "Sanctuary". Although never released as a St. Victor work, the album has had several songs used by other artists, including the title track "Sanctuary" used by Prince on his "Emancipation" CD, retitled, "Soul Sanctuary". "I'll Never Open My Legs Again" used by Chaka Khan on her "Come 2 My House" CD retitled, "I'll Never Be Another Fool", "Whatever You Want" used by Tina Turner, and "Love Is", also used by Prince for an unreleased band under his production. The song was renamed "Van Gogh". Serbian band Van Gogh also covered the song. Sandra's original work languishes still today on the record company's shelf.
in 1996 Warner Brothers released Sandra's "Mack Diva Saves The World", a more solid radio effort than her Family Stand work, critically acclaimed  as well, but still no radio support. Around this time, she was featured on legend Curtis Mayfield's last album "New World Order'" recording a duet with him, "I Believe In You". Going independent in 2001, "Gemini: Both Sides" was released via Expansion in the UK, and JVC in Asia, becoming an underground favorite amongst connoisseurs.
During the Family Stand years, St. Victor's also wrote for Paula Abdul, with band mates Peter Lord & V. Jeffrey Smith. Later, Sandra discovered R&B group Profyle from Shreveport LA and got them signed to Motown Records. Her song, "Lady" by Profyle, co-written with Tom Hammer was covered by The Temptations, and nominated for a Grammy Award in 2003. She co-wrote 3 songs on stand alone vocalist Lalah Hathaway's CD "Self Portrait", released in 2009, with one of the songs, "That Was Then" being nominated for a Grammy Award.
Moving to Europe in the early part of the decade, Sandra formed a touring unit called Daughters Of Soul. This 2 hour show featured Nona Hendryx of LaBelle, Joyce Kennedy of Mother's Finest, Deniece Williams (5 time Grammy winner), Caron Wheeler of Soul II Soul, Lalah Hathaway daughter of Donny Hathaway, Indira Khan daughter of Chaka, Simone daughter of Nina Simone, and Leah McCrae daughter of George & Gwen McCrae. Daughters of Soul toured the festival circuit doing Nice Jazz, Pori Jazz, Java Jazz in Jakarta, among others. Sandra also rejoined Chaka Khan on tour in Europe, and toured with Leon Ware doing Montreaux Jazz, Vienna Jazz, and North Sea Jazz in the Netherlands.
In 2010 SSV's Sinner Child experimented in different ways, with several genres. The plan is to release mini EPs, dance, blues, soul, rock, piano & voice with the group. The first EP, "at my spheres" was produced by underground beatmaster Mark De Clive-Lowe. 2013 saw St. Victor’s 1st full length release since 2001’s “Gemini: Both Sides”. The album, produced by Mark De Clive-Lowe was released on Shanachie Entertainment internationally. After a mini hiatus to restart her Daughters of Soul project, Ms. St. Victor returned to the studio in 2015 with mega producer Mark Batson to work on her next long play album, expected in 2016 -17.
- Sandra St.Victor official website
- Daughters Of Soul official website
- The Family Stand official website