CHINA DOLL IS FAY
Fay was always singing, dancing and started composing music when she was just 5. Her father paid £1 for a second hand piano, which barely stood upright! However, it kept the mischievous Fay occupied for many hours! Aged thirteen she performed her own compositions at the Annual School Concert – ‘Starlight’ for piano and ‘Is this the way’ singing and playing guitar.
Fay realised the emotion of her music was actually connecting to the hearts of her audience when many young girls – and teachers – were crying! She won a coveted school prize for her music.
At the age of 16 Fay met another like-minded singer Diane Cornish and formed a duo ‘EbonyGold’, singing and performing at various clubs, hospitals and schools. Both played guitar and sang Fay’s songs. Diane had an unusual sensual deep voice which complimented Fay’s high octave range.
At this time Fay’s unique voice came to the attention of a Birmingham talent scout who took her to the Chrysalis Label in London. Although they agreed she had an amazing original style – they thought there was no market for girl singers with high voices!!
By the age of twenty the two girls saved up for the opportunity demo their music in a Birmingham studio. They were very nervous but surprisingly the recording went well. The engineer loved the material and introduced the girls to a Redditch based band Dragonwyck – a hippie trippy group who had been playing the local circuit.
Fay and Diane liked their unusual original music and the range of styles and became joint lead vocalists against a backdrop of four male vocals, keyboards, zithers, acoustic guitars, and sitars. The band included Mark Wolski who played keyboards, zither, percussion and recorders.
Fay and Mark started to compose jointly and realised they were creating a unique new sound. They developed a great musical partnership and so China Doll was formed. The music flowed prolifically and other musicians joined including Bob Wilson from Steve Gibbons Band and Habens Shri a gifted Malaysian jazz drummer.
Following extensive radio play of their studio demos they worked with UB40 producer, Bob Lamb and went on to be signed by Graduate Record. Eventually, they were picked up by A& R supremo Dave Ambrose at EMI Records.
Fay’s career was on the up! Tipped to be the next big band China Doll were thrilled to be recording ‘Turkish Delight’ at Abbey Road then a cover version of the 60s classic ‘Kites’ as the follow-up single with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This was a huge production arranged by Andrew Powell who had worked with Pink Floyd and Cockney Rebel.
China Doll worked with excellent engineers such as Pete James and Hayden Bendall as well as musicians from Pink Floyd, Cockney Rebel and Pilot.
The release of ‘Turkish Delight’ went smoothly and within a week it was the third highest played single on radio in the UK – poised for a high chart position. The band were devastated when, inexplicably through political reasons the single was stopped in its tracks as it was rushing up the charts! This fragile China Doll may have been cracked but is now restored to it’s true porcelain beauty.
China Doll was born from within a Midlands based folk band, Dragonwyck when Fay and Mark Wolski began a song writing partnership that created lively pop/rock songs. A colourful blend of eastern inspired music with dynamic visual performances followed.
With a growing local fan base and radio sessions China Doll was signed by Graduate Records and released their first single also called “China Doll”! The band received brilliant reviews and bubbled just outside the top 100 charts. It also charted on the continent and this prompted Dave Ambrose, a leading A & R man, to sign China Doll on a worldwide deal to EMI. Dave was famed for signing Duran Duran and Marillion amongst other number one selling artists.
China Doll released ‘Turkish Delight’ which received extensive Radio 1 and national airplay to great reviews reaching the top 10 in EMI France.
Today China Doll have a new album in production and will tour the Kokoro Martial Dance theatrical show in 2015!