Sonya Aurora Madan

is the vocalist with UK band Echobelly who first came to prominence in the early '90's. Aside from Sonya, the band consists of Swedish co-writer and guitarist Glenn Johansson and Andy Henderson on drums. Their first EP 'Bellyache' (released on the independent Pandemonium label) was a veritable revelation to a world starved of such blatant pop excess and was soon followed, in 1994, by their debut album, 'Everyone's Got One' (released on their own label, Fauve). The LP topped the independent charts in England, prompting former Smiths frontman Morrissey to pay Sonya a visit to encourage Echobelly to open for him on his US tour. With their instant pop sensibility and unique, voyeuristic outlook, it was no surprise that the band managed to smartly bypass all the pitfalls laid before them by an over enthusiastic music press and end 1994 with a Top 10 UK album and an undeniably successful world tour. The group could also count R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Michael Stipe, and even Madonna among its growing fan base. The Material Girl also put her money where her mouth is, offering Echobelly a cool million to sign with her label, Maverick, but the band turned down the offer and opted for Sony's smaller, more personal label, 550. Their next album, 'On' (produced by Shaun Slade and Paul Kolderie), made No. 1 on the indie charts. 'On' was an altogether different creation to 'Everyone's Got One', sounding more accomplished and confident. After more extensive touring, Echobelly's last LP, 'Lustra', was released on Epic in 1997. More recently, they have been back in the studio working on new material for a forthcoming LP. Sonya also tells us that a new official Echobelly website is in the pipeline.

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