Local Philadelphians might recognize Sioux as a model and commercial actor. But there has always been much more to her. Born in Michigan and raised in NY, NJ and PA, Sioux Robbins is a singer songwriter. She started playing piano by ear as a young child, the fourth of five children in her family. Technically it started with her older brother showing her a simple boogie-woogie bass line on the piano at four years old. But for her it really began when she discovered the intro to My Girl ran straight across the black keys.
She found her piano lessons boring. It was much easier for her to play the songs she liked by ear. Those songs were much more interesting and fun to play than the overly simple book of songs foisted on her by her piano teacher at the time. “I was a terrible piano student and I just ended up teaching myself from the songs on the radio and from my older siblings record collections. Which were Motown, Carole King, Paul Simon, the Beatles, James Brown, Santana etc”.
The music of the 70’s formed her ears. From Carole King, Paul Simon and Crosby Stills Nash and Young, to Santana, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, the Isely Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire to the Jazz Fusion of Return to Forever, and Mahavishnu Orchestra just to name a few. She was soaking up all of it along with jazz standards and classical music.
She spent her earlier days performing in jazz clubs and cocktail lounges in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, singing jazz standards, sometimes accompanying herself on piano.
Her dark contralto to silky soprano runs the gamut of Nina Simone, and Sade, to Roberta Flack and Anita Baker. Her music is born out of the classic writing styles of Carole King and Paul Simon while it pushes forward into the now of Solange and Janelle Monae.
“This record is from a grown-ass woman’s perspective, not a teenager's, with all the complexities and entanglements that brings. I wanted it to have those 70’s influences that I love and to also bring new, fresh energy to the writing and the arrangements. The messages are all from the heart.
With It Keeps You Running, Michael McDonald is one of my songwriting icons. That song, along with being a seduction, is entirely from the heart. I wrote Relax Girl when I was going through a difficult and pivotal time in my life and needed some motivation and the arrangement is a wink and a nod to Lennon and McCartney, two more of my songwriting icons. As I Breathe was written for my high school sweetheart who died tragically in his 30’s. One night I had a dream of him and I got up and wrote that song. All the Time in The World and Gentleman Friend are… well a girl can dream can’t she… Scares Me speaks for itself. Ultimatum... What's an album without a breakup song?"
She believes it’s important to write from the perspective of a mature woman who’s been around the block a few times and isn’t trying to hide it. “I hope people who hear this music can relate to it. Most of us have complicated relationships and complicated emotions. I wanted it to feel familiar and I wanted this album to be a comfortable place to chill. It took a while to get here, but it’s the statement I wanted to make in the way I wanted to make it.”