Giselle Sommerville is a British singer/songwriter. She used to be part of the pop duo Mania and has co-written songs for Girls Aloud, Alesha, Sugababes, among others.
She was born in Sussex in the late '70s. In her teens Giselle was listening to The Cure and Guns 'n' Roses until she was taken to a Soul II Soul concert in Brighton. From then on she was constantly buying vinyl in Rough Trade or Camden market and blagging into the Ministry of Sound on a Saturday night. Seeing La India performing "I Can't Get No Sleep" made her want to sing.
She moved to Shepherd's Bush in the nineties, where she trained as a beauty therapist, did a sports massage course and then pushed off to India. After traveling she bumped into Xenomania's Brian Higgins, whom she'd known for a while.
In 2002 she began collaborating with Xenomania while at music college in Brighton. She joined girlband Orchid, who recorded a song called "Sound Of The Underground". However, they never released it. When the song was played to Girls Aloud they decided to record it as their debut single, released in 2002. Orchid's voices were retained in the background and they are credited as backing singers.
After Orchid split, Giselle concentrated on writing her own songs. While she was working in the Xenomania house she met Niara Scarlett. They quickly became friends and co-writers. "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", explained Giselle.
In 2004 Giselle and Niara were launched under the band name Mania. Their one debut single "Looking For A Place" was released in August of that year, serving as an appetizer for the album Do You Know Your Daughter's On The Roof?. Giselle said that the title was about her and a childhood friend: "We were about four; he was in my dad's suit and I was in my mum's evening gown and heels. And I was just waltzing up on this high roof and mucking round and, of course, it's well-dangerous. And the next door neighbour - typical curtain twitcher - came and said, haughtily, 'Do you know your daughter's on the roof?'".
"Looking For A Place" only peaked at #29 in the charts, and they were dropped by their label. The album was never released but a sampler was issued to promote it.
After Mania disbanded, both Niara and Giselle have continued working within the music industry with Giselle writing for artists under the Xenomania umbrella.
21st Century Girl
Dazed & Confused
I Had a Dream
I Know What You Did
I Think I Love You
Open Your Mind
Something About You
This Ain't How
Whose Been Lovin' You