Recognized for her multi-faceted artistry and vocal prowess by industry insiders and discerning music buyers alike, Dallas-born singer-songwriter Sandra St. Victor has been captivating audiences with her fusion of R&B, rock, gospel and jazz for over a decade now, first as a member of the innovative trio The Family Stand from 1988 to 1993 and then as a soulstress in her own right via her much-treasured 1996 Warner Brothers set, "Mack Diva Saves The World," and 2001’s “Gemini: Both Sides.”
Sandra St. Victor, vocals
Other musicians, TBA
That music would become her chosen career was evident from an early age, when growing up in Dallas, Sandra began singing in church. After honing her skills in her home state, then a major move to New York City, Sandra found herself in the studio doing backing vocals for international artists and subsequently on the road touring with, amongst others, Roy Ayers’ Ubiquity and Chaka Khan.
One such collaboration linked her with future band and musical soul-mates, V. Jeffrey Smith & Peter Lord. This trio later became The Family Stand. Incarnated first as Evon Geffries & The Stand and signed to Atlantic Records in 1988. Much-loved by critics and those who did get a chance to hear it, the trio's debut set "Chapters" contained the scorching R&B charted single "Stand And Deliver."
The follow-up album with the now-renamed Family Stand was a 1990 release, "Chain" included the Top 3 R&B hit "Ghetto Heaven," which also achieved success in the U.K. (and was revived in 2000 by rap artist Common on his best-selling "Like Water For Chocolate" album as a duet with D'Angelo with Macy Gray featured as the female vocalist in the European remix video for the song).
The response to "Chain" (which also included the songs "In Summer I Fall" and "Sweet Liberation") led to U.S. touring with Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rollins Band and trips to Japan and Europe. In 1992, The Family Stand began working on what would be its swansong set as an original unit: "Moon In Scorpio" was an ambitious project that covered a wide musical range, with an emphasis on rock, designed to push the boundaries of what a 'black' group was expected to do musically. The set is now recognized as a must-have classic, but at the time without the kind of across-the-board support it needed, received little exposure and the group began turning its attention to writing and production work.
The trio worked with Paula Abdul on her Virgin album "Spellbound" (which contained the gold single, "Rush, Rush"), with the New York duo Aftershock and with Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates) on his 1993 solo album for Epic. In 1993, Sandra began working on what she expected would be her first solo album for Elektra Records but executive changes meant that the proposed record never surfaced. Free of her contract with the label, Sandra moved to Warner Brothers and in 1996, Sandra's brilliant "Mack Diva Saves The World" was released.
The album was filled with soulful highlights from the infectious first single "Rise", to the emotion-packed opus "Since You've Been Gone.' Tracks like "MPH!" and "Knocked Up And Locked Down" were a testament to Sandra's willingness to step to the cutting edge, lyrically and musically and it was no surprise that the album quickly became a critical favorite.
Sandra continued to rack up further career achievements, duetting with the late legendary Curtis Mayfield on the song "I Believe In You" on what would be his final album, "New World Order," an event she describes as "the pinnacle in my career at this point"; and having Prince record her song "Soul Sanctuary" for his "Emancipation" album. Longtime friend Chaka Khan cut Sandra's "I'll Never Be Another Fool" for her 1998 set "Come 2 My House."
In mid-2000, Sandra began work on "Gemini: Both Sides,” a soul-filled artistic and musical triumph for the singer, songwriter and producer, released via internet on her website; http://www.sandrastvictor.com. "It's been a very liberating experience for me as an artist to have all kinds of control in my hands, from deciding what to put on the record to choosing the artwork. It's been very freeing."
The focus on Sandra's work continues: her song "Like Wow!" is the first single from teen pop star Leslie Carter's DreamWorks debut album, and was featured in the hit movie “Shrek”. "Ghetto Heaven" (a St. Victor collaboration with Peter Lord and V. Jeffrey Smith) was again revived with a version by late guitarist Hiram Bullock and singer Lalah Hathaway. St. Victor went on to collaborate with Lalah Hathaway on her 2008 release, “Self Portrait,” writing three songs with the legendary daughter.
In her new home, The Netherlands, she has already written for some of the premier artists including Gordon, Idols winner Boris, soul singer Rose, and Holland’s most successful pop/soul star Traincha Oosterhuis.
With the success of her independent release "Gemini: Both Sides”, St. Victor motivates younger artists to remain passionate about music, and real about music business. SSV’s continuing innovative live solo concerts and appearances, include her pet project Daughters Of Soul, inspire and mesmerize audiences worldwide.
After much dues-paying, Ms. St. Victor is living it, and loving life. Reaping her rewards as a barrier-breaking musical trendsetter whose unique artistry puts her in a category of her very own. Because, when all's said and done, there is only one Mack Diva!