'The love child of Lenny Kravitz & Ianlya Vanzant'
Sonya's Back (way back) Story
Artiste on Polygram, columnist in Marie Claire UK & Caribbean Women's advocate! The first thing you need to know about this British diva from South London, is that she is a Gemini. Exercising the prerogative of the sign of the twins, to be a bonafide multi-tasker. Translated; parallel careers (Songstress, Psychological astrologer & International Journalist).Citing a kaleidoscope of musical genres & influences from Gladys knight, Kate bush, The Isleys, to Tina Marie & Burt Bacharach! Sonya is as difficult to pigeonhole as fellow Gemini, Prince. But her eclectic sound, best described as 'Flower Power soul'; is far from schizophrenic & remains cohesive & commercial thanks to the consistency of her love for all things 70's.
Weaned from birth on a diet of Teddy Pendergrass, Millie Jackson, The Carpenters, Shirley Bassey & Barry White; Sonya still mourns missing out on Studio 54. Her nostalgia for Philly strings, dramatic deep- south vocals & Hippie Chic vibes is evident from the folky-funky rock of 'In your Eyes' to the thumping classic disco of' Love Divine'.
Sonya conforms to nobody's idea of the pioneering Jungian Astrologer (Navigators UK), emotive Songwriter or the scholarly feminist Humanities major that she is. Brainy but still Bootilicious- she's is one of the most articulate personalities on the planet but also possesses one of the best soul voices to come out of the UK.
Based in the Caribbean (Trinidad & Tobago, home of Carnival, Soca & steelpan) for the past few years, Sonya is returning to her music after a hiatus in grassroots women's wellness advocacy and has recently joined the C.S.I (Champion Sounds Inc.) local production & publishing team at the forefront of the emerging new wave of Caribbean based productions
CHAMPION SOUND STUDIOS is the premier audio mastering and mixing facility in Trinidad & Tobago. Headed by Industry veteran MARTIN "MICE" RAYMOND; Assistant Professor of Audio Recording and Music Production at the University of Trinidad & Tobago; a musician, record producer and engineer for over 30 years, Martin worked extensively in the UK before returning to Trinidad in the late 90's. He is known for his production and mix work with Machel Montano, David Rudder, Brother Resistance, Mungal Patasar, Andre Tanker, at al and as T & T's leading mastering engineer, has shaped the final sound of many recent Road March, Soca Monarch and Calypso Monarch hits.
The studio's hit team also includes: GREGG ASSING Born in the UK of Trinidadian parents, Gregg has been a mainstay of the UK reggae scene for many years. A key member of the hit group Aswad, Gregg has also lent his keyboard & production skills to hits for Billy Ocean, Gregory Isaacs, Freddie McGregor, Maxi Priest and many more.
Sonya is delighted to bring her talents as an artiste, songwriter and media professional to the C.S.I group and determined to lend her creative voice to the rising chorus of global BWE (Black Women Empowerment) activists to 'defend our daughters from today's rampant ghettoization, devaluation and exploitation.'
Sonya says 'if a picture paints a thousand words; then a song says more than a thousand sermons in a language that everyone can understand.'
This year Sonya also reunited with longtime friend & UK multimedia producer Mark Lewis (Mary J. Blige, Caribbean's Next Top model) as a consulting TV producer at Bravig. She plans drag him back to hit making during the commercial breaks. She is also moonlighting as Journalist again; encouraged by the success of her exclusive expose' interview with Trinidad's highest rated TV personality Ian Alleyne (Crimewatch); for Maco People (the Caribbean's bestselling magazine group) published in their October 2012 issue
As her colorful CV attests, Sonya is a genuinely multi-talented, pint-sized powerhouse. After notching up a European dance hit 'Don't want Ya' (Discoin, Italy) & a UK top 40, No.1 club smash 'Love Itch' (Chrysalis); Sonya (prompted by clichéd major label politics & power struggles) deftly shed her dance queen incarnation & reinvented herself as an acclaimed Psychological Astrology guru. As the Managing Director of Navigators Astrology Consultants ltd. Sonya wrote pioneering columns for many top titles including - Marie Claire, Heart & Soul (US) and The Voice Newspaper. Her many TV credits include ITV1 & BBC1 & international publication features range from The Telegraph to The Daily Mirror and Women's Health.
Meanwhile her music steadily developed under One Management and while juggling marriage, motherhood & media, she perfected an impressive catalogue of 30+ mastered, co-writes. To date her collaborations include;
Mark Lewis (Mary J Blige, Spice Girls, LL Cool J,) Geoff Dugmore (Dido, Robbie Williams, Europeans), Tim Gordine (Robbie Robinson), Ron Rogers (T 'Pau), Lotown (Curiosity killed the cat, Soul II Soul).
Sonya's 'Damascus road' conversion in 2002 led to a period of biblical scholarship, early retirement from her astrological career & signing up to Akin & Randolph literary Agency in New York.
In 2003 Sonya joined independent filmmakers Buccaneer Distribution as Associate Strategic Director, promoting their cult feature 'Emotional Backgammon' internationally & reunited with music impresario Viv Broughton (Mica Paris, EMI, Island records) her long time mentor & owner of the legendary Premises Studios; to develop an international TV music show to showcase all her talents.
By 2005 Sonya and her family had emigrated from London to Curacao (Dutch Caribbean) and Sonya set her sights on Caribbean based media production in partnership with the region's biggest media companies, corporate sponsors and government agencies; including; Advance Dynamics (Inside T& T Carnival) Eddie Grant (Ice Studios) 95.i radio (Citadel) TV6, WITCO and the TDC (Trinidad Development Company).
However by the end of 00's, Sonya and family had relocated again, to the multicultural twin island Caribbean Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, weathered culture shock (twice) and survived the vagaries & expat perils of both the fledgling Caribbean media industry & West Indian property development.
Nevertheless, Sonya had also still managed to hook up Eclipse Audio (Trinidad's hottest progressive production team) to produce a vibrate collection of new tracks and add some roots and rhythm to her unique brand of classic Bohemian Soul.
From 2010-13 Sonya hung up her mic again to become an advocate for grassroots Caribbean women's empowerment; in what she discovered to be a surprisingly sexist, colonial minded and colour conscious society.
As the Founder and Managing Director of Pure Holistic Health & Beauty Spa, Port Of Spain; Sonya partnered with the city's' newest international hotel The Carlton Savannah and recruited the best regional wellness and natural beauty professionals to offer everything from chemical free mineral make-up to Acupuncture; in Trinidad's first multidiscipline holistic Natural Spa. Marshalling her first world skills, Sonya successfully promoted ethnic pride, self-esteem, and women's wellness of Mind, Body & Spirit and the spa received national attention ( featured in The Trinidad Guardian, The Express, Newsday and regularly on The Gayelle Channel hit talk show 'The Box').
A born and bred Londoner, hailing from Wimbledon (yep, where they play the tennis); Sonya welcomed the opportunity to 'give back' to the women of her Grandmother's homeland. Relocating in 2015, she remains proud of the pioneering project and its lasting impact on the clients, young minds mentored & local industry.