Born and raised in Ennerdale, Sió (Sióbhan Lulama King) uses music to express herself and get lost from the world. A King from birth and Twilight child, Sió has now adapted to telling her story through the art of music and poetry.
On the eve of October 10th, she had a listening session at Dassler’s corner, one of Braamfontain’s hidden gems and after a night of Jin Gin cocktails, we got a chance to have a quick chat.
Although we were interrupted by a frenzy of fans asking for pictures, she gave us a bit of herself:
How do we pronounce your full name?
My first name is Irish, it’s Shevon. I don’t blame you for saying, Siobhaan but if you’re going to butcher my name, rather you call me Sio, instead of having my name sound like an ointment. (laughs)
What does it mean?
Siobhan means “God is gracious” in some language, don’t remember which one. In another, it means to admire. Lulama means blessing in Xhosa and to overcome or to heal in Zulu.
It sounds like you come from a blended family, please tell me about your family tree:
I’m quite blended. my mom is coloured from an Indian family. Grandparents are British somewhere and my dads’ side is strictly Zulu.
You say you use music to get lost from the world. Are you running away from something?
Yes, there’s a lot that is happening in the world. We see so much in the news and society. I feel like I’m over sensitised so much that I just need an escape. Over and above, I’m not a good orator, I trip over my “uhms and ahhs”, music is the best way to say the things I cannot say. I write better than I speak that’s where I express myself best – its the place where I can be myself without any judgement.
Why use dark imagery to convey your message?
I’m in pain! So much has happened. September was the worst month we went through as a country: black on black violence, gender-based violence, the killing of Uyinene Mrwetyana. It is all too much!
Why call the album ‘sbtxts’? As if you’re holding back, but the song titles and the music is quite candid:
It’s an exploration of things unsaid. People communicate immensely with their body language, tone of voice, movement and facial expression.
I wrote the poem “sbtxts’ 2 years ago. It’s about how I felt being a woman, watching men exploit that and be exploited in every space. Anywhere I went, no matter what I did, I was always subject to the male gaze and judgement.
You’re a fan of underground artists; whos your top 5?
Me, John Rakai, Zoe Modiga, Seba Kaapstad and Fka Mash. I’ll add Muzi to the list.
Lwazi: That wraps our time together, thank you for talking to us.
Sio: Thank you for coming.