Sian Evans’ family have a long musical history. Her mother was a singer and Sian herself began singing from an early age. Her grandfather was a composer and conducted for male voice choirs and by her teenage years she was following in his footsteps providing vocals for numerous jazz and r&b bands, as well as immersing herself in the music of female singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell. A hip-hop enthusiast from an early age, it was perhaps inevitable that the young Sian would be caught up in the energy of the fledgling dance scene. Sian had her first encounter with drum & bass courtesy of the seminal Roughneck Ting parties. She had left home at 16 and moved to Cardiff to escape, living in squats and friends’ houses while working several jobs at once and travelling to parties and festivals all over the country.
Having moved through the free party scene, Sian found her musical tastes radically altered by a change in her personal life. At the height of the rave scene, in 1991, she gave birth to her son, and was forced to reassess her priorities.
With a strong foundation in her mother’s collection of Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell LPs, Sian began applying her combined tastes to a variety of dance music and funk/jazz projects, before retreating up a Welsh mountain to raise her little boy in a teepee.
For the next four years, Sian and her son split their time between environmental protests like Newbury and working at summer festivals. It was all she needed to give her a taste for living outdoors and so in 1996, Sian moved into a tepee on a traveller’s site in the Brechfa Forest for nine months. At night, after her son went to bed, Sian passed the time by writing songs. Despite being brought up writing poetry and listening to Welsh folk music and Joni Mitchell, it was the first time Sian had felt moved to create music. Realising her future lay with these songs – in fact, most of them went on to form the tracks on Kosheen’s debut album, ‘Resist’ – she soon moved back to Bristol to find someone to play them with.