His music has consisted largely of disco music, but has also contained sometimes groundbreaking social commentary.
He co-founded the synth pop group Bronski Beat in 1984, who proceeded to have a number of hits in the British charts Their biggest hit "Smalltown Boy" which reached No 3, was written about persecution of a gay youth in a provincial town, which at the time was groundbreaking.
He left Bronski Beat in 1985 and formed The Communards with classically trained pianist Richard Coles, who also proceeded to have a number of hits. Including a cover version of Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me this Way" which spent weeks at No 1 in the charts, and became the biggest selling UK single of 1986.
The Communards split in 1988 and Somerville launched his solo career. He had several solo hits 1988-1991. But after releasing his 1991 album "Run From Love" Somerville left the limelight and was absent from recording for a number of years.
He returned in 1995 with an LP "Dare to Love", another album "Manage the Damage" was released in 1999, and "Root Beer" a year later.
Somerville also has an acting career, appearing in Sally Potter's 1992 film of Virginia Woolf's "Orlando", in Isaac Julien's 1998 "Looking for Langston", and in the "Girltown" episode of the cult science fiction television series Lexx.