Having first burst onto our screens and into the hearts of Australians in 2020 via a powerful run of performances as a finalist on The Voice, Siala delivers her true music debut with a new EP, Drowned Surface.
With maturity and demeanour beyond her years, Siala’s charisma and bubbly personality are infectious.
Bold yet softly-spoken, she’s handled her sudden time in the limelight with what appears to be ease; never straying from what is true to her heart, carrying authenticity in spades.
“You’re a person of colour, or you’re gay; I’m so many of these things but I’ve just felt so myself for my whole life. I’ve never second-guessed myself. And I’ve never thought I’m different from those other people.”
An inspiration to other marginalized youth, it would be remiss to focus on her identity and story of triumph over adversity, by downplaying her talent. Of which she has plenty. All of which is on full display across the 6 tracks of Drowned Surface – an early contender for Aus project of the year.
The Nerve-produced EP begins with the previously released ‘Blackout’, a poised and powerful introduction to Siala that sets the tone for more of the hypnotic melodies and exciting flows that follow on ‘Black Coffee’. Keeping it in the No.One Network family, both singles are accompanied by music videos directed by Kyel Golly.
Drowned Surface heads, for a moment, into a jazzier, R&B-focused sound with ‘Release’. A quiet champion among a stacked tracklist, the track begins to develop her vocal versatility and showcases the strength of her distinct presence. Enriched further with the EP’s second single ‘Bleeding / Focus Interlude’, Siala’s mesmeric raps and sustained ad-libs sing over the track’s reggaeton and the afro-influenced first portion.
Siala channels her vulnerability into confidence in this coming-of-age story, thematically touching on her experiences and navigating through this pain with six anthemic singles. The Drowned Surface EP concludes with ‘Ecstasy’ – a personal favourite of hers for its live potential – and ‘Blood On My Lips’, a slow-building and moody ballad featuring Nerve that’s easily a project standout for Siala’s chilling vocals alone.
“I ended up moving in with him (Nerve) for like three months. We just made the [EP] in literally a month and it felt so nice. Both of our minds just bounced off each other with ideas so it was really good.”
To celebrate the EP’s release, Siala will be heading on her first national tour later this month through till June with a total of five shows across Brisbane, Noosa, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. While Siala’s Drowned Surface EP will inevitably be on everyone’s AOTY lists in December, it might not even be her only full-length release this year.
“I’m working on my next project with good people who are very out of the box. It’s good to be surrounded by people who really see your vision and wanna just get real weird on shit.”
Check out our interview with Matthew Craig and Siala below, and let us know what you what you thought of her Drowned Surface EP in the comments. Be sure to check out our segment of AUD’$ Rapid Fire below where Siala talks about her dream collaboration, holiday destination, and her favourite way to smoke up.
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