SOIA – “H.I.O.P.”

Soia (c) Levi Thomas
Soia (c) Levi Thomas

It’s been apparent since the release of her debut album “Mood Swings” that SOIA and her producer have their own vision of pop. That successful example of their talent was enough to leave us wondering what could follow. And now we have the answer. It came in the form of their second release in October on the label record Breakin Music. “H.I.O.P” is a clear declaration of pop excellence.

One thing is clear after an initial listening of the release: Soia has taken a huge step forward. Her debut release had it’s qualities, but what Soia and Mez have shared with us on “H.I.O.P” (Hidden In Obvious Places) is really close to being the next big thing. Soia, who was born in Taiwan and lives in Vienna, and her producer Mez, a jazz pianist with Israeli roots, have developed a sound together that goes well beyond the boundaries of standard pop. One that unites diverse influences and expresses them in a detailed but not easily categorised form. The result is a very artistically embellished whole.


Soia’s music is diverse. You can hear jazz samples and world music sounds, fat but sophisticated hiphop beats, deep bass, experimental electronic experiments, broad and enveloping lounge sounds, elements of funk and a whole lot of soul. Soul provided by the exceptional voice of the singer wo understands how to use it to enrich her songs. The skill this duo possess that sets them apart from others is their ability to combine these diverse elements into an unmistakably individual musical language.


Cover „H.I.O.P.“
Cover „H.I.O.P.“

“H.I.O.P” is a fascinating and colourful journey through a variety of musical worlds. The opening (and title) track reveals itself to be an absorbingly beautiful collision of melancholy and elegance in the form of surprisingly deep electronic pop. The following song, “A Porcupine’s Agenda” takes us in another direction with a laid back and unconventional form of old school hiphop. “Habibi” changes course yet again, this time in a more mysterious and oriental direction. This continuous variation is maintained over the entire album.

Soia and Merz have delivered more than just interesting contrast to the standard fare. Their music has depth, is fascinating, and provides a totally new perspective on the possibilities of pop.

The album presentation will take place on the 18th of November in Café Leopold in Wien.

Michael Ternai (adapted from the German by Dave Dempsey)


Soia (Facebook)
Record Breakin‘ Music