Although this did not bother the charts so much, One Night in My Life holds a special place in my heart.
I met Jhalib Millar from the band whilst hunting for appropriate Indo-fusion musicians for a track “Habbiba”. which Francis Usmar and I were producing for the legendary Bollywood composer Bappi Lahiri. He played me a couple of songs that he and Clem Alford had written with Sophiya Haque on vocals, and I was immediately struck by there charm and potential – the guys had previously been in Monsoon with Shiela Chandra, and hoped to repeat the success they had achieved with “Ever So Lonely”.
I made some good quality demos for them up at the Madhouse Studios in Luton, where they had a lovely Harrison console and some nice microphones, including an AKG C12A, which I think we used for Sophie. Instrumentation was largely from either my trusty Akai S1000 samplers, including the string arrangement which I was quite proud of. The Minimoog, coupled with the Yamaha TX216, was my “go to” for bass. The track persuaded East West Records (WEA) that I could be trusted with the reigns of production, and that led to sitting in the hot-seat for the rest of the Happiness album (described elsewhere here) on which I had been engaged as a programmer. We did some more tracking for the upgrade to master at Sam Therapy Studios, and mixed at Swanyard Studios. Tim Simenon from Bomb The Bass did a great remix, and I countered with the “BBB” mix. Do check out the video which was shot at Leighton House in London by Jack Cardiff, and the single cover by Pierre et Giles.
Following a couple of singles and an album of both band and solo material, the lead singer Sophie (as we knew her) went on to become one of the first pan-Asian V.J.s and attracted a regular audience, I was told, of a quarter of a billion souls! Tragically, she died a few years ago much too young, after a short battle with cancer, and Jhalib, the main driving force in the band was also sadly taken in a similar way.
Akasa was a London-based pop band that had moderate success in the late-1980s and early-1990s. The group was formed in 1988 under a deal with Warner Bros.
Akasa featured a very young Sophiya Haque as vocalist along with Clem Alford and Jhalib Millar. Supported by producer Martyn Phillips, Akasa served as the stepping stone to further success for Haque. The group's single "One Night in my Life" was well-received and several live performances followed at clubs in London. Akasa's style of music is represented by a healthy fusion of Western and Indian music. Other notable Akasa tracks include "Kamasutra", "The Wheel of Life" and "Himalayan Hideaway".
Haque's untimely death, at the age of 41 on 17 January 2013, renewed interest in the group's contributions to the London pop scene.