Allison Chanic, also known as the Queen of Heartache, who is an avante-garde electronic musician. Allison has a background in classic instruments, such as the piano and violin, and in 1996 switched to the means of computerised music, which allowed her to blend in her sound of classic instruments with electronic sounds. She has also been the front figure and lead singer of Swedish/French electronic band “Amphex” since their debut in 2007 and today for the underground electronic experimental band Sam Darko and Klim Roos.
Born 1976 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Came to Sweden late year of 1979. Escaping civil war and poverty in San Salvador, she grew up in a small community north of Stockholm, Sweden.
In the early years of her childhood, a close friend to the family witness her creative persona and her mother were told to encouraging her creativity with pencils and papers. “This child has a lot to express” her mother were told. She kept her daughter within the realm of art to this day.
She was clearly standing out from the heterosexual norms and typical Swedish norms. As an outsider she claimed here space and always had a coy way of expressing her feelings and ideas. Her social life mostly included like-minded and outsiders. Her connection with the gay community became rapidly a safe enviroment for her to explore and experiment with her own gender. As she was born genderless, she never liked the idea of being labeled as transgendered, cross-dresser or bi-sexual. She found her own comfort in being “just a sexual being”. Today’s studies categorize this phenomen as the third sex.
Her close relation towards nature and the universe became her fundation, even though she got deeply influenced by the 80’s fashion, music and art. By frequently following news-media her curiosity for sound and visuals came with MTV’s video charts. This had a huge impact on her. Idols such as Neneh Cherry, Carola, Robyn, Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Samantha Fox, Sandra, KLF, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Sex Gang Children, Alien Sex Fiend, The Sisters of Mercy, The Nephelims, In Slaughter Natives, Dead Can Dance, Swans, Lambchop, Suicide, Ministry, Mr. Fingers, Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim, EPMD, Altern 8, Massive Attack, Björk, Tricky, Portishead and The Cure opened her hunger for electronic sounds. Her search for a new sound kept her mind open, any genre were of interest.
In 1986 her life changed forever, she heard Mr. Fingers (Larry Heard) track “Can You Feel It?”. The birth of acid-house-music from Chicago, influenced her new lifestyle and she rapidly found comfort in becoming a shape-shifter, from androgyn styles to gloomy goth styles to be completely dressed in black. Her black dress code will change when the world is a better place.
In 1989, Maurice (Maurice Joshua) who with his number one billboard chart hit “This Is Acid (A New Dance Craze)” pushed the idea of starting producing her own music. She was at the time listening to UK Underground music and the techno genre awoke the interest for syntesizers. Roland’s TB-303 Bass Line came to change her way of making sounds later on. Korg, OP1, Casio and Ableton surley developed her universe.
The music scene in Sweden didn’t satisfy her cravings for new sounds, even though she was inspired by Stina Nordenstam’s way of producing. The electronic-pop scene offered Neneh Cherry’s vinyl “Raw Like Sushi” (1989) which were frequently played. During this period the Swedish Radio aired music shows presented by Calle Dernulf among many others, which became the link and the introduction to Andreas Tilliander’s album “Ljud” in 2001. But, it’s under his moniker as Mokira she came to fall in love with his diversed sound. Close to Andreas Tilliander’s work she came across Håkan Lidbo's work, which later on became her main influence in creating beats and rhythms.
At age of fifteen she left the country side for a bigger city and entered art school. Following years with studies of multi-media, photography and art, she landed eventually at a multi-media school. A late evening while editing for a radio show about her father, she came to produce her very first techno piece. At this time she had only practiced her musical skills within the classical teachings of a violin and a piano.
After college she entered a three year art study, a preparation for the university level but she changed her field and switched into film studies, a master degree. There, she established her own platform and started producing art-movies, short-movies and music productions. With a sample based music and influenced by the contemporary pop-music she invented her very own sound. Her production of demo cassettes were released on her label and were handmade strictly limited art-editions. She slowly gathered a small fan base in Stockholm. But, in 2007 her music career switched rapidly when she presented her work on My Space. The day after her account were official, she got a message by Kenji Siratori and his admire of her work led into a collaborative project. Later in 2008 they released together an Amphex album "Metempsychosis" on her label.
From 2007 to 2009 she had over 120 collaborations with known and unknown artists globally. Her inquries of remixes and have others co-producing grew steady as she became the face of Motoko Ishii, and together with Amphex, they spread her voice across the Atlantic. America embraced her underground music immediately and she established herself as "The Queen of Heartache" because of the melancholic atmosphere and the dreamy out put. Fans globally spread her music by mouth. Her music were used for break ups, divorces and soothing the broken hearted for years to come. Fans writing her, being told that her music helped them through life. A fan gave her the title as "The Queen of Heartache" and she found the title fitting her persona perfectly, to its day it’s what she is. “No one will ever love me, but, I will always love you."
Gradually she found herself in the spotlight eventhough she never really liked the attention. Her voice grew stronger and she decided to carry on the message, “Always Love”. With her deep persona and open mind, her message put the hearts of the fans on fire, a desire to do good. With her great affinity for nature, animals and the universe, her vegan approach awoke her followers to become a better person. A stand up for a nonviolence lifestyle, no more hate. Still, her love continues to cast light on dark corners.
With support and encuragments from global and Swedish producers and artists, she survived the Swedish climate. The undying support from her close friend is surely a factor of why she managed to stay underground and yet conquering the world. Even today, she honors past collaborators by lifting unknow artists into the spotlight. “It’s my resposibillity to give back what I got in return from my past collaborations and co-workers. Always support those who needs it the most."
From 2012 to 2014 she clamied a lot of media attention. Radio shows from Spain, Sweden and Portugal introduced the broader mass to her work. With several public performances at different festivals and events, she were introcuded to the Swedish market. In 2014 her first vinyl release on Bedouin Records lifted her from the underground scene. With reviews from labels, magazines and distributors her Ep “Painlessly In Love” finished her 15 year long project about a complicated break up. Her ongoing projects surely won’t be anything less, Natique, will be her final episode before she ends a 22 year long career as The Qeen of Heartache.
In 2015, she visited a small exhibition at The Science Museum in London. Oramics to Electronica, including Daphne Oram’s work from the 1950’s to today’s electronic music. A long awaited recognition to one of the most important sound artists and deeply missed icons, for Allison Chanic this came to be the final destination in search for a validation. "Female artists in the electronic world, urged equality now and then. This exhibition finally validates my and Daphne’s work. It validates all female artists within the electronic scene. I finally can see, why I’m doing this, we were born to this."
Webdesign by Motoko Allison Chanic. Made with Hype 3.0.2. Photos by TCSP. All content published with permission. Official website of Allison Chanic.