Born as Sonia Clarke in North London’s Crouch End, England and also raised there. Sonique’s formative years were infused with the sounds of her mums’ record collection. Every Sunday the house would be filled with the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack, Gladys Knight, Otis Redding and Denice Williams.
But had things been different one defining day during Sonique’s teenage years, we may never have heard her own music at all. From the age of six, little Sonia had serious designs on the world of professional athletics. Still in possession of a superfit physique, Sonique explains: “I dreamed of being the world’s best pentathlete. Trained every single day. I guess I was pretty obsessed.” But, at the age of 15, all that came to an abrupt halt: “I came second in a race”, she says matter-of-factually. “Wasn’t used to losing.” Which pretty much sums up Sonique’s life philosophy: Be the best or don’t bother. With her music career, she’s certainly put that theory into practice.
Sonique’s career as a recording artist began when she was signed to Cooltempo determination to making music instead. She had joined a reggae band called Fari which did more than hone her singing skills and she embarked on a crash course in song-writing. Her first records while still a teenager was «Let Me Hold You” which became an immediate club hit and entered the top 25 in the UK dance charts without any promotion.
It was Ernie McKone, an old school-friend with connections to the music industry, who offered to write with her this song. Later, on Bass-O-Matic’s debut album Sonique earned a credit for the track «Zombie Mantra». She began writing more songs and was put in touch with Tim Simenon (Bomb The Bass). They recorded some tracks together but, before they could even be released, his mate, a certain Mark Moore, poached her for his own project.
However, it was both as the singer and a songwriter for Mark Moore’s S’Express that Sonique first entered the limelight, featuring on the minor hits «Nothing to lose» and «Find ‘em, Fool ‘em, Forget ‘em» in 1990 and 1992, respectively.
“S´Express needed a singer and a songwriter, so I was asked to collaborate on the album «Intercourse», and I created my own style and identity,” she says. “I didn’t realize what was happening, but I was proving myself. S’Express taught me I could command a stage and from Mark I really learned how to write – he’s a very clever songwriter.” But, after finishing this project, Sonique decided to go it alone. “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I just knew I wanted people to look at me, listen to me, feel me, relate to what I was doing – everything.” It was Mark Moore who gave her the first turntables and a mixer too.