Born in England of Dominican parents but raised in Canada, where she has returned to live, Singer/Songwriter Sharon Musgrave shot to prominence in 1991 whilst collaborating with William Orbit on the Bass-O-Matic project.
They achieved international status with the hit "Fascinating Rhythm" (Virgin), which Sharon co-wrote. An album soon followed, cementing the group's worldwide status as a credible dance act and Sharon's ability as a writer. A world tour established Bass-O-Matic as an act that could cut it live, due in large part to Sharon's stage presence.
In a recent interview with the UK's Record Mirror, William Orbit, (Grammy for Madonna's "Ray of Light"), throws accolades Sharon's way saying, "I don't have to worry about playing live when I've got Sharon on stage with me, because she's a consummate singer," William adds "No worries, she's done it all. The studio's my home, the stage is hers!"
In 1992 Sharon was invited by WEA to work with jazz pianist Julian Joseph. She collaborated on the "Language of Truth" album singing the Curtis Mayfield song "The Other Side of Town". This track was eventually used as the single from the album. The video for this track inspired a Teacher's Whisky commercial, in which Sharon appeared, playing a blues singer in a 60's bar scene, singing the classic "No Greater Love". Sharon gigged with Julian promoting the "Language of Truth" album and touring with such jazz greats as Herbie Hancock.
Sharon's studio work in England, both as a writer and session singer, led her to work with many notable performers, Simply Red, Mick Jagger, Duran Duran, Courtney Pine, Maxi Priest, Tears For Fears, as well as writers and producers, Terry Britten, Henry Priestman, Jimmy Haynes, Steve Harvey, Phil Chill and Adrian Wyatt.
Her final collaboration in the UK before returning to Canada was in 1998 on the "Get in the Swing" album with Steve Alpert.
Since returning to Canada Sharon has enjoyed a successful solo career both live and on record. Her most recent Canadian solo release in 2002, "Selah" (Zosar Records) earned her two nominations, "Best Songwriter" and "Best Spoken Word", at the prestigious Urban Music Association of Canada award show, held that year in Toronto. Jude Kelly, VP of UMAC claims "The title track "Selah" is especially brilliant". The video for this track achieved top twenty status on the Bravo video chart.
Her latest international release "Nobody" is a track included on the groundbreaking CD "Soulfragettes", (Recoup/Timewarp). This is a unique compilation of powerful R&B female singers. Sharon's track, co-written with Adrian Wyatt, has been singled out for special attention, and is included on the compilation album "Ibiza Lounge 3", (Dureco). Other artists on the same CD include Norah Jones, Moby, Simply Red, Coldplay and Kilian. It is also under consideration for a French film, featuring Gerard Depardieu, Emmanuelle Béart and Fanny Ardant.
Such is the interest in "Nobody" that Sharon and Adrian are working on more tracks for a possible album sometime next year.
For further information please visit her at
Some albums call for a full-bodied glass of wine, ambient lighting and a long stretch across a chaise lounger. Singer-songwriter Sharon Musgrave's debut, Selah, is such an album. Smooth and relaxing, it fills a room and instantly creates a chic atmosphere of refined maturity. Without breaking a sweat, Ms. Musgrave achieves a work that is among the most calming we've heard in recent memory. With so many daily stressors hemming folks up in life, Selah is a much-needed album to help take the edge off a hectic day or to give your frazzled nerves some breathing room. Though released in 2001, Selah has only recently come to the attention of the SoulTracks family and we decided it would be selfish to keep this secret elixir to ourselves, current release or not. Besides, when the work is as good as Selah, this quietly eternal, it doesn't have an expiration date. Peace is always "right on time."
As much as Selah is a musical massage, its subtleties also present a fascinating, impressionistic approach to jazz fusion worth discussing. To call Selah smooth jazz would be too simplistic. It does have a firm foot wading in that shadowy "catch-all" pond. Yet, the rootsy "Cruising" and "Revolution Children" both could be considered folk music as much as jazz; representative of a music hybrid originated by Wes Montgomery and Dianne Reeves and since furthered by Lizz Wright and Norah Jones. Both compositions and Sharon's caressing delivery evoke Southern sycamores blowing in the breeze and smoky juke joints jamming on the edges of murky bayous. With the title track, the album takes a slight detour from the red dirt into the urbane world of spoken word cafes. Now don't groan; "Selah" is one of those rare, unassuming spoken word tunes that privileges music as the primary focus. To prove my point, the romantic jazz set backing Sharon's soothing poetry is given an instrumental reprise as the album's closer. The percussive and bass guitar banter of "I Feel" starts as a comely light rock tune before gently progressing into a genre-free fusion of heady sounds by the time the horns are introduced into the mix. "U and Me For Days" is suggestive of the blues, but Sharon's vocals are a bit too polished and light of touch to give the tune the heft of more than an intimate groove. "Down by the H20" has a slightly dated, but fulfilling production that is familiar, and yet even it can't be nailed down completely as a smooth jazz cut with its dabbling into Maxi Priest's R&B brand of reggae-lite. Despite the many different influences and genre elements interwoven throughout this seven-track project, there are no inconsistencies or musical schizophrenia here. Selah is a very cohesive, well executed album from beginning to end. If there is a major complaint, it's that this 34 minute album-which is really an EP-is over before it's begun, leaving us wanting more.
It's not surprising that a former dance diva whose catalog includes r&b covers of Curtis Mayfield and British electronica has created a project that refuses to be pigeon-holed. What's surprising in these boastful days is how unassuming she goes about it. Vocally, lyrically, musically, Sharon never gets in her own way, always takes her time and makes listeners the focus. Instead of blaring her ample artistic "cred" from the rooftops on Selah, Sharon Musgrave generously engages her audience in an experience that isn't about her, but about warming world weary listeners' souls. Such grace deserves to be shared. Indeed, only the selfish would keep this spa treatment to themselves. So, cop a copy of Selah, light that scented candle, dim those lights, lean back and enjoy Sharon's healing music therapy. Oh, yeah, after Sharon's got you all rested and restored, don't forget to pay it forward. Tag you're it. Highly recommended.
--L. Michael Gipson
"Move over Angie Stone, Jill Scott and even you Lauryn Hill, there is a new soul sista in this game and her name is Sharon Musgrave. Hamilton's newest soul sista is taking off.
Her voice is best described as sensual, sultry and captivating, in what I think is going to be a whole new attitude and style of soul, funk, and sensual groove.
In this I mean, that it has been a long time since I have heard true music with fire, passion, inspiration and feeling that can make you listen and understand soul in a new prospective.
The title track Selah is an earth moving, breath taking and even sexual groove that takes you and that special someone to a higher level.
To sum this album would take a long time for me to explain, so if you really want real soul movin' music in your collection, this CD is a must have."
-Cory J and Ashley
The Satellite Newspaper, February 6th/2002
Cory J and Ashley can be heard on
Bump And Hustle
Monday's 6-9pm on C101.5FM