Sioen during a performance in 2007
|Birth name||Frederik Sioen|
|Born|| (1979-07-14) 14 July 1979
|Instruments||Flute, guitar, piano|
|Labels||Universal Records, WEA|
As a child, Sioen studied classical music and flute at Ghent Academy. Whilst there, he also learnt African percussion with Chris Joris and later flamenco percussion (Cajon). In the early 1990s he went to the Don Boscocollege in Zwijnaarde.
At age sixteen, he auditioned to a Ghent rock group "Medium". Soon he started writing his own songs, first on guitar, but later on piano. The instrument gave him more opportunities to develop his own style, "percussion with nuts", as he called it. Under the recommendation of good friend and, later manager, Tom De Clercq, he took his first solo demo "S" in September 2000.
Together with Tom De Clercq, Sioen founded vzw Keremos, a Vzw (or association without lucrative purpose) which still supports young talent (with groups like Absynthe Minded, Jerboa, Trixie Whitley, Roadburg, Steak Number Eight). Through the band Ghalia Benali & Timnaa, who were under the Keremos association, Sioen contacted violinist Renaud Ghilbert. After a session backstage in Hamburg, they decided to work on a project together. After many experiments with an additional guitarist, with extra strings, with backing vocalists, a fixed band was formed with Jacob Nachtergaele on drums and Jesse Vrielinck. Pieter-Jan De Smet (PJDS) produced their debut album 'See You Naked' which was released in March 2003. "Cruisin", the first single from the album, immediately topped the charts in Belgium. After more and more performances at larger festivals in 2003, Sioen received an offer to write the soundtrack for the film Team Spirit II. The accompanying second single "Another Ballad" was equally successful.
At the start of 2004, in support of the 3rd single "Boom!", Sioen invited some special guests to the Ancienne Belgique for "Sioen says Boom!": Marie Daulne (Zap Mama), Gabriel Rios and Flip Kowlier, extra strings, an additional keyboardist Peter Lesage and 3 backing vocalists (the sisters Gysels, now also Arsenal and Zita Swoon). Sioen went on to play at Rock Werchter, Francofolies, Ghent Festivals, Dour Festival, Lokerse Feesten, Martkrock Leuven and Dranouter Festival. It became the biggest live breakthrough for Sioen, and he was praised for his strong live reputation. The newspaper De Morgen placed Sioen at the top 10 performances of Rock Werchter that year and "Sioen says Boom!" was repeated for 20,000 people in Dranouter's big tent with Toots Thielemans as a special act. In 2004, Sioen played 130 performances at festivals and theaters, and the year was also the year of international trips. The album "See You Naked" was released in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Jawel, South Korea, where Cruisin became a top 10 hit and Sioen became Breaking New Artist.
In addition to a nomination for Best Song for "Cruisin", Sioen won Best Newcomer at ZAMU 2003, and was nominated as Best Composer for his Team Track II soundtrack at the Joseph Plateau Awards. In addition, he received a gold record for the first time, for the more than 25,000 sold copies of "See You Naked". The pressure to live up to this success was very present at the recording of "Ease Your Mind", Sioen's second full album, which was recorded with his backing band; Jeroen Baert on violin, Laurens Smagghe on drums, David Bratzlavsky on guitar and Matthias Debusschere on bass. Behind the buttons of the Caribbean Studio (Brussels) was producer Denis Moulin, son of Marc Moulin, and for the mix Eric Sarafin flew from the United States, who was also involved with Ben Harper's records. On the last track of the Sleeping Beat album, Thielemans once again surprised with his participation. The appearance of 'Ease Your Mind' on April 4, 2005, translated into "Ceci N'est Pas Un Film". From theKopergietery, a small theater in Ghent, was broadcast to various cinemas at home and abroad. Eventually more than 5,000 people would have seen the live concert. Later that year there was also a DVD of the concert and an additional documentary that was premiered at the renowned Gent Film Festival. The big festivals followed, a second time Rock Werchter and the Lokerse Festivals as a premiere of Patti Smith. Sioen also played more and more abroad and a release in Germany was awarded a sold-out room in Berlin. The album would also be released in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria. At A Glance, the second single of the record, was accompanied by an animation clip that was included in the selection worldwide at international animation festivals.
After a sold-out acoustic theater tour "In No One's Interest" (March 2006) with Jeroen Baert (violin) and Laurens Smagghe (drums), the adventure continued to Beijing, China, where Sioen was invited to the city festival. With Baert and Smagghe, and now Fritz Sundermann on guitar and Sjang Coenen on bass, Sioen eventually appeared to have found his permanent formation. 2006 became the year of '0110: Concerts for tolerance against racism' and together with Tom Barman (dEUS) and Arno as pacemakers and a team of hundreds of volunteers, concerts were held on October 1 in Brussels, Antwerp, Charleroi and Ghent (where Sioen hosted) by many different artists: Clouseau, Helmut Lotti, Will Tura, DEUS , Gorki, Arno, Flip Kowlier, Gabriel Rios. The performances took over 55,000 people and despite the bad weather, the day was in unseen solidarity. In 2006, Sioen also received a golden record for "Ease Your Mind".
Sioen and Sowetto
In November 2007, Sioen drew up an invitation to Oxfam's "One Day For Another World" action to the Soweto township in South Africa to collaborate with local musicians. He met live legend Pops Mohamed (cora, kalimbe, bira) and Khaya Mahlangu (saxophonist for, among others, Hugh Masekela) and together with Stella Khumalo (backing vocalist for, among others, Miriam Makeba) he organized an audition in the heart of Soweto, from which 4 gorgeous backing vocalists were selected.
During the Ghent Festivals 2008, he brought the musicians to Belgium and the performance that broke out of melody and energy became a spontaneous success and the talk of the town. De Standaard wrote: "We always have sympathy for someone who gives a new repertoire a fire baptism to the public. Sioen also managed to shine! We saw him after one number of wide smiling backrests, relieved that something had fallen in the fold." Calling Up Soweto "might be a CD and tour after the festivities. That would be nice: we do not get three concerted songs and another half a dozen with potential."
And so it happened. Supported by the enthusiasm of the audience, Sioen co-founded with Gentenaars Laurens Smagghe (Sioen's solid drummer), Mirko Banovic (bass at Arno and Arsenal) and Frederik Segers (guitarist members of Marvelas) to Johannesburg to join the South- African musicians to record the "Calling Up Soweto" record. And this in the legendary studios where Paul Simon's record "Graceland" was recorded.
Sioen and Binti
Sioen is regularly accompanied by Binti, six singing sisters from Ghent, since early 2012.
They performed a live performance of "Blackout" at Studio Brussels and on March 23, 2012, Binti played in the premiere at the CD performance of the album "Sioen" in the Ghent forwards. They also provided the backing vocals during the main program of the evening. Het Nieuwsblad wrote: "That Sioen has many faces came true again in a series of songs that the six sisters of Binti could bring along. The jacket went out, but the message on his T-shirt 'Heal the world "Everything was quietly prepared. The microstatic could have experienced it more than once."
- See You Naked (2003)
- Team Spirit II (2003)
- Ease Your Mind (2005)
- A Potion (2007)
- Calling Up Soweto (2009)
- Sioen. (2013)
- Man Mountain (2015)
- Cruisin’ (2003)
- Another Ballad (2003)
- Boom! (2004)
- Ease Your Mind (2005)
- At A Glance (2005)
- No Conspiracy At All (2007)
- Ready For Your Love (High) (2007)
- I Need A Drug (2007)
- Automatic (2009)
- Come On (11+1) (2009)
- Ceci n'est pas un film (2005)