Sisterhood in music
1. a relationship rooted in music
Every sisterhood is a constellation of all the light that sisters emit to the world. Like stars, up on the big blue canvas in the sky, when sisters shine together their light brings things to life, it guides and it reminds us that sticking together is the only way out of our darkness. 4IAM is a constellation that emits light through the vocals of its six stars: Doli, Grace, Annie, Giselle, Nokwanda and PHX. Music is what binds them and without it, 4IAM is without their collective voice and the glue of their expression.
To describe 4IAM as a girl band and nothing more is to reduce their creative expression to just that, a group of girls who sing. This is a relationship rooted in music. It is a sisterhood and like many others, it follows in the footsteps of older sisterhoods. Sisterhoods like TLC, Destiny’s Child and Spice Girls inspire 4IAM to be a part of a musical revolution or start one.
The girls born between 1998 and 2002 grew up listening to Brenda Fassie’s My black president, Mgarimbe’s Sister Bettina, Alicia Keys’ Girl on fire and Beyonce’s Who run the world. The music that they have brought with them to the sisterhood of 4IAM reflects the eras within society where liberation was attained through the appointment of Nelson Mandela, a time when the music industry saw women conquering and messages in songs that women should run this world. From this, they feel it is their duty to use their voices and sound to narrate, raise awareness and reflect on social issues as well as significant times.
We had the honour of talking to 4IAM and feeling like a part of the sisterhood. We were allowed access into their little space in this big world. We learned from this sisterhood that there is a musical genre known as T-pop. The girls describe it as a local fusion of Afro-pop, Gqom and Amapiano together with international sounds of Hip-hop, Pop and R&B. For us, their sound is a mirror of the diversity that the constellation emits. The girls are from different backgrounds and thus carry different experiences and perceptions (of the world). Everyone has a story to tell and through this fusion of sound, they become a chorus accompanied by verses of a song written for every woman in our society. In our conversation with 4IAM, we heard the voices in this chorus singing ‘because we are women, we will write about the things we know. We will tell the stories of our sisters, our mothers and even our own. We are a collective voice for women‘.
In addition to being a voice, they are a representation of the women we coexist with in our world. Seeing Doli with bantu knots and Giselle with dreadlocks, hearing that Nokwanda and PHX are inspired by women like Willow Smith and Brenda Fassie who inspire other women and knowing that Grace and Annie wish that every woman accepts herself for who she is proves this. We would love to see this sisterhood in music videos and other forms of media because they are a constellation that makes women who are invisible and hardly seen in these spaces visible. When we see them and their sisterhood, we see the sisterhoods we are a part of in our homes and communities.
In the next year, 4IAM would love to host national live shows, give back to their communities and use their soon-to-be released EP to attain all their aspirations.
4IAM also wishes to pass down something. They would like you to know that ‘attitude matters more than talent. The music industry demands discipline and hard work and if you ever want to be in a girlband, make sure you’re a
Be a part of the sisterhood and get to know them here: https://www.instagram.com/4iam.hitchat/