After leaving school at 16 years of age, Shovell found his first job far away from the field of music. He worked as a plumber for a number of years, playing music as a hobby.
During the late 1980's the European house and dance scene exploded, as after-hours clubs opened up all across the continent and in England. Shovell was asked to play at a London club called the Monkey Drum, which was to be his first professional musical gig. Shovell would play his bongos and congas over whatever the DJ was spinning at the time. According to Shovell, the result was much like instrumental "rapping."
In 1990 Shovell recorded a cover of the Gap Band's "Outstanding" with a musician named Kenny Thomas. The song was a hit all over Europe, and broke into the top 10 in the UK. Needless to say, Shovell was no longer interested in being a plumber.
After freelancing as a recording and club percussionist, Shovell joined the band Natural Life. After over two years of touring they were signed by the Disney-owned label Hollywood Records, but the band broke up only a year later. Immediately after, Shovell joined the band M People. He is hard at work with the band, recording another album and planning a world tour.