XENOMANIA artists:

Origin: England
Years active: 2004
Members: Niara Scarlett, Giselle Sommerville
With Xenomania:
I'm Not Shy
If You Need A Good Girl
Looking For A Place
Money In My Pocket

Mania were a pop duo, consisting of Niara Scarlett and Giselle Sommerville. They were launched in May 2004.

Niara Scarlett and Giselle Sommerville met at the Xenomania house in the beginning of the decade. It was there that they came to their own as singers, songwriters and artists. Niara had been with Xenomania since 2001 and contributed to songs by Girls Aloud ("Sound Of The Underground") and Sugababes ("Hole In The Head", "Round Round"). Giselle Sommerville was concentrating on writing her own songs but was in the girlband Orchid, the first band that recorded Girls Aloud's "Sound Of The Underground". She'd known Brian Higgins for a while and began writing with Xenomania in 2002 while attending music college in Brighton.

Niara and Giselle quickly became friends and co-writers. "I wrote with Niara one day and I knew instantly that she was into the same stuff that I was into" says Giselle. "We wrote some good tunes together. That's how we met, we struck a chord".1 They realised they had certain things in common so they started to write together to fill time. "Every time we worked together, something great came out of it. They were quite characterful tracks, and I think they just sat in a league of their own. We wondered who would cover these tracks, as they were more left of field than a mainstream act would consider doing. So we decided to release them ourselves", adds Giselle.2 Although their influences were diverse, they shared a love for black music like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, India and The Chimes.

Mania's one debut single, "Looking For A Place" was the first fruit of a joint venture between Xenomania and BMG3. It reached #29 in the charts in August of that year. An album sampler of Do You Know Your Daughter's On The Roof was sent to promo. The album was scheduled for release on September 20th, but it was never released. They were dropped in 2004.

After they disbanded, Giselle stayed with Xenomania to keep writing (her co-writes have since included Girls Aloud's "Call The Shots"). Niara is working on solo material and has recently co-written Mutya Buena's first solo single, "Real Girl".

Two of the songs included in Mania's album sampler ("Money In My Pocket" and "I'm Not Shy") were re-recorded and released by girlband Frank in 2006 for the album Devil's Got Your Gold.


1. http://www.peoplesound.com/artist/mania
2. http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/entertainment/music/rock_and_pop/s/123
2. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,,1262249,00.html

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x Mania discography
x Mania on Wikipedia
x "Looking For A Place" video
x Mania interview

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