Through EQUAL, a cross-section of female artists in Africa are given the tools needed to advance their careers and close the gender gap in the music industry. Artists featured in Spotify’s EQUAL Africa programme are exposed to a global listenership, and are also provided with off-platform support and tools to bolster their careers.
“Sio is a breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to the EQUAL programme,” says Spotify’s head of music for sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu.
“Sio’s effortless contribution to several genres has put her in a class of great contemporary African artists actively creating on the continent today. It is our hope that other young women creators see this as proof that their talents can and will be recognised and supported,” she adds.
31-year-old Siobhan King, better known by her stage name “Sio,” was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a storyteller through music, poems, performance space, design, and interpretation. Her adaptable voice and distinct ability to switch between musical styles such as Dance, Deep House, and Electro distinguish her as a spectacular artist in a new era of music.
The genre-fluid and award-winning multihyphenate tells deep, dark, difficult and sweet stories through many mediums. Sio grew up listening to artists like Sade, Boyz II Men, Kenny G, The Bee Gees, and South Africa’s own Brenda Fassie. Her music is inspired by these artists, and is influenced by her life experiences, literature and the world around her.
“As a female artist, it’s difficult to carve your own path in a world where that path has already been dictated to you. To be nonconforming and true to yourself is an act of rebellion. I’ve learned that that is the only way to navigate the male-dominated world, especially the music world – to be a woman as defined by me,”explains Sio, reflecting on her career and the difficulties she’s faced as a female singer breaking the mould.
Sio has made hits with a slew of acclaimed producers including Charles Webster, Ralf Gum, Jullian Gomes, Fka Mash and Dwson, to name a few. Affectionately dubbed the ‘career builder’ by fellow long-time collaborator, Kid Fonque, her collaborations have catapulted many musical names. Her voice and words are highly sought after in House, Electronic, Alternative and Soul music circles.
“I’ve taken it upon myself to challenge the ways women are marginalised in the music industry. That’s why I am honoured to be an Ambassador of EQUAL. I am excited about the spotlight it gives me and my music, as well as the many doors and opportunities it will afford me,” she concludes.