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Sio named latest Spotify EQUAL Africa artist 

Music streaming service Spotify has named South African singer Sio as the latest artist to join its EQUAL Africa programme which aims to spotlight female artists across the continent.

Sio joins a growing list of influential female artists featured in the programme, including Ayra Starr, Aṣa, Gyakie, Somi, DBN Gogo and Soraia Ramos.

The Equal campaign seeks to shine a spotlight on female artists and podcast creators globally. It is part of the streaming platform’s Equal Hub(link is external), which was launched in commemoration of International Women’s Day to extend the company’s global commitment to fostering gender equality in the music industry and supporting female artists.

Through the initiative, the artists are given the tools needed to advance their careers and close the gender gap in the industry, including exposure to global listeners and offline support to bolster their careers.

“Sio is a breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to the EQUAL programme,” Spotify’s head of music for sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu, said. “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.” 

Sio is widely known for telling contemplative, difficult and sweet stories through various artistic expressions, including music, poetry, performance, design and interpretation. Her unique ability to segue between genres such as dance, house and electro set her apart from other artists in a new era of music. 

Sio said: “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. 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.”

Born Siobhan King, Sio was inspired by artists such as Brenda Fassie, Sade, Boyz II Men, Kenny G, and The Bee Gees. Her name is synonymous across house, electronic, alternative and soul music circles. She has worked with a number of top producers, including Charles Webster, Ralf Gum, Jullian Gomes, Fka Mash and Dwson, among others.

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