Sirens Echo
Gig Seeker Pro

Sirens Echo


Band Hip Hop R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Sirens Echo EP Review"

Sirens Echo
self-titled ep

Young, smart and sassy, Toni Hill from Hungry Mob and Syndel Britt from Oldominion have teamed up to bring hip-hop home. The production changes from song to song, creepy to jazzy to funky to… Spanish? But the overriding theme of this EP is tragedy, self-destruction and social degradation. Far from cynical, though, the message is clear: Pick yourself up from abuse, whether inflicted by your own hand or another's.

The two styles these women display are miles apart, one sounding like a hip-hop Billie Holliday, the other more like Chuck D's little sister, but when they sing together it feels like sunshine. The album moves very slowly and contemplatively. Even though half the songs are upbeat, there's something very moody that tempers the entire production When you pick up this record, be more prepared to sway to the cello samples than bounce to the beats. I don't mean to say the "party" songs are insignificant, but they hardly measure up to the passion pulled up from the toes of these two emcees on their slower tracks. With only seven tracks in all, though, don't be surprised if you're leaning over your stereo like, "Already?" -ib
- Music Liberation Project

"Sirens Echo Feature Interview"


Belly) How about starting off with a short bio seperately and as a group.
Toni Hill) When I started off, people didn't know I could sing. I started off doing theatre and dance, in 10th grade there was a musical theatre workshop after school that I tried out for during the Summer and made it but I had to sing. I went to a performing arts school, once they found out I could sing I started doing plays like "The Wiz" and things like that. I never sang professionally until 98 when I met David Parks from Hungry Mob which is a live Hip Hop band. I joined them in 99 and from there I met alot of the people I was able to work with like Oldominion, Proz and Conz, The Lab, The Chosen, Cool Nutz, too many to name. I guess I didn't really take it seriously until then.
Syndel) I started freestyling in the yard picking weeds with my sisters really young, probably around age 12. In high school about 94 I started writing, more poems that eventually evolved into lyrics. In 96 I met the Oraclez Creed which is Sleep, Pale Soul and Onry Ozzborn. We hung out for about a year and ended up moved to Seattle with them and starting the crew Oldominion. I think 97 was the first time I recorded anything. I met everyone and started touring and doing big shows. We'd open up for everybody who came through the NW so a lot of artists knew who we were making it was easier to get shows other places and actually tour to build up fans around the country.

Belly) So how'd you and Toni come together?
Syndel) It was a random thing at the studio. I was there writing and getting ready to record and she was there, I think the boys had left and gone to a bar or something and we didn't want to go so I asked her if she wanted to write a chorus with me. We ended up the first 3 songs towards the Ep that night. All of a sudden we were doing shows and people wanted a Cd but we only had 3 songs recorded so we put some solo stuff, the 3 tracks we already had and wrote 3 more fun songs for our shows. We wrote "And All My" and "Big City" Toni already had written and "Perfect Peace" I had written. We added to those and ended up making our EP really quick, CD stomping and doing things cause people wanted something they could take it home. We didn't even have a name, it was Syndel and Toni Hill Project. The label was black and white...
Toni Hill) They were so ghetto, you could see Office Depot through the labels, it was really janksy. I couldn't pay for color, I had Kinkos. We sold those for $5 at shows and upgraded eventually when we did enough shows and sold enough little $5 "Memorabilia". (laughing) Somebody still has that CD somewhere and maybe someday if we really go famous they'll have that and you'll see it on Ebay.

Belly) Any specific memorys that maybe influenced you to become an artist?
Toni Hill) I want to tell one of Syndels cause it's funny. She was mad at Lil Kim! I thought that was funny when I heard it, I probably would've been mad too but I was never trying to rap, I was always a poet so there wasn't ever really anybody to be mad at. As for mine, I can attribute my love of music across all genres to my parents. They listened to alot of music, there was always blues or R&B or old soul or funk in the house. My brother was always really into B-Boying and poppin and locking and all that stuff. Both my brothers back in the day were in crews around here. I was a little girl and my brother would have to watch me cause my mom worked night shift so he'd take me to the Imperial Skating Rink and they'd have dance contests there. He was my babysitter so I got to see a whole underground dance thing that happenned here in Portland that is really no more but it was really cool then. He'd listen to everything from Metallica, Iron Maiden, Run DMC, he had these mix tapes all the time from NY. I'd watch them rehearse in the basement and that's when I got my first introdction to Hip Hop. I played the clarinet for 5 years and my dance were two of the things that really got me into music but I didn't know it until later in life.

Belly) Anything besides Lil Kim Syndel?
Syndel) I have 3 sisters and growing up we'd always put on plays on video and we'd dance and sing, put on costumes and stuff. As far as rapping though when I started writing lyrics it was more a way to vent my anger in a positive way. Thats WHY I started writing but then it turned into making songs and actually being serious about it. But back to Lil Kim, it was like 96, me and my friends were in my apartment and Lil Kim came on something was horrible. I was saying to myself, "I'm better than that and she's on TV?? What is she talking about?" I was really upset, don't get me wrong, she can flow. I just wanted to be the positive side of things instead of shaking ass or whatever. That's the story about Lil Kim.

Belly) On that note, is it weird being female in Hip Hop with it's history of objectifying women?
Syndel) It's good and it's bad. The stigma people have about female MCs, they can't fathom that it's good music at first. But on the flip side, it's kind of good being the underdog and going up there and showing them what's up. It has it's plus and minuses. Sometimes people are weird if we're just chilling backstage and they don't know we're performers, they just talk to you funny. They think we're there to just watch the merch booth.
Toni Hill) I think that's really funny especially when we're with the guys (Oldominion) cause they don't know who's girlfriends and who's not. They just think we're back there... I guess groupie status or something. The most funny is when it's our show and the boys back there just hanging out, people are shocked sometimes when we're the ones headlining. That's always funny. I think the whole negative thing about women and being objectified, there's two sides to that. One is certain women put themselves in that position and if they know what they're doing they make a conscious choice. I'm sure you've heard, your parents or someone has told you it's not right and if you wear the short skirts and all that people are gonna treat you a certain way. The way I see it, there's balance to everything in the Universe so if that's how you treat yourself go for it... Now if something negative happens to you or you get treated a certain way, some of that responsibility falls on you unless no one told you or you're a little bitty girl. I think the balance comes in where you give them another option. Sirens Echo is another option. It's not the only option, I'm not saying everyone has to be Holier than Thou or pray or anything like that, but you can wear clothes and still look cute. You can wear short skirts if you feel like it, I've worn skirts but I'm grown... I don't have to say look at my skirt and look at my booty I don't have to say that. It's how I carry myself when I'm wearing those things. If I'm in a position where I'm in front of some children I'm gonna tell them something positive to build or uplift and encourage them. Alot of times the shaking some things is a distraction to cover up the fact that there's not much talent there. There's a place for Lil Kim, if there wasn't she wouldn't be making records. That's reality, sex sells, we're just offering you something else that's all.

Belly) Any funny stories from the road you can share?
Toni Hill) (Laughing) It depends on what you want to talk about.

Belly) Do you guys get male groupies?
Syndel) You know what (Laughing) We get all kinds of groupies, alot of them aren't male though. A lot of women. I've signed some chests and some things....
Toni Hill) Sometimes with the come-ons and... some stuff. We was like WOOOOW!
Syndel) Sometimes they just attack.
Toni Hill) Yeah!! I don't know what to say, I'm a heterosexual, you can do whatever you want to...That's your business, I'm not lesbian bashing at all. I have alot of freinds in the Bay that are lesbian, but don't kiss me. I don't even let boys kiss me that I don't know. If I want to kiss you then I'll kiss you but please don't Stranger Danger me to death. Everybody don't kiss Toni Hill unless I want you to.
Syndel) Two of the cutest little blonde girls that had the shortest little skirts on grabbed me from either side, posed and kissed me and someone took a picture! They had their leg up and posing and all that. I was shocked. That was in Seattle.
Toni Hill) It happenned fast. When we went to Oberlin college we got swarmed. I didn't even know what to do cause I got attacked and it wasn't like it was harrasment. I didn't know what to say, it was like " No, she's grabbing me!" I guess I'm gender bias, I wasn't used to females being that aggressive. I was thrown off, like when you're little and a boy runs by and pinches your butt and you're just shocked. Guys, of course there's gonna be the ones that will try and love you. I think most of them can look at us and tell it's not going down.
Syndel) Maybe girls get in closer cause your guards down?
Toni Hill) Girls are way more touchy feely too. There's lots of those types of creature stories.

Belly) Is DJ Beyonda still with you guys?
Syndel) Yeah, she's having health issues.
Toni Hill) We're keeping her in our prayers, she has some health issues where she might have to have some extensive surgerys and it's really scary. He family lives in Tennessee where she's from and she has some friends here and a couple friends in Montana and that's it. We hope she comes back soon cause we'd love to have her out there with us. We're thinking of putting together a show for her to help with some of the medical costs.

Belly) Is there anyone you're feeling right now musically?
Toni Hill) I like Talib and I like Kanye.
Syndel) That Jean Grae.
Toni Hill) Jean Grae, we listened to her on tour. It's hard not to shout out your own people, I got friends that make tight music but nobody knows them, they're in the same boat as I am. I heard that new De La Soul album is good. Olivia Warfield has it so I'm gonna have to get it from her.

Belly) Why do you feel there's a shortage of female MCs around here?
Toni Hill) DUDE! Let me tell you a story... We was looking for some, we searched the world over. I almost did a show cause I do documentarys sometimes on Cable access. I looked all over but I didn't see any. I looked the world over and one day I saw a little cute brown haired girl who was rapping and I didn't find out until like a year later it was J-Kron. I found out it was her because me and Syndel wanted to do an all female showcase but the problem was, we didn't have any females. Then we thought about having females in all types of music. Scrape up enough to do a showcase and maybe some more will come out of the woodwork. Cool Nutz ended up doing an all Hip Hop showcase for Poh Hop last year and that was the first time I seen any of those girls, I had no idea where they came from. I was in shock, I was like "How come when I was looking for yall!!" we went to Seattle even and the only ones we could find was Piece of Soul and Kylia. Maybe the females are intimidated.
Syndel) Maybe they're still in the closet trying to get better... I guess if you don't have a good influence around you it is intimidating.
Toni Hill) I've always been a tomboy so I'm not scared of boys. I'm used to being the underdog and being in there with the boys. I know I gotta come with it a little more cause the boys will oust you quick. Maybe they came to the show and got treated gnarly so they got scared. I don't really know. Girls where are you?? I want some girls to get into it. Alot of people wouldn't want any competition, I want some company, I want to sit down and watch some women perform instead of always being THE one.
Syndel) I heard in Olympia, they have a night every Thursday where only girls are allowed to spin and freestyle showing each other new stuff. I heard there's like 20 girls there now, I don't know who they are though.

Belly) In your guys expert opininons what's one thing anyone can do to improve the PDX Hip Hop community?
Toni Hill) Unify. Everybody got a click, their own posse, their own friends, own night and everybodys own night is the same damn night... Tuesday. Can anybody just come to one spot on Tuesday so we can just rock it together? You got your 50 people, you got 13 and you ain't got nobody over there... If we could combine efforts we could really be like Voltron and have it goin on. Unify is my thing.
Syndel) I don't want to say mine...
Toni Hill) Stop rappin!
Syndel) Yeah, there's a lot of Hip Hop. It's almost like there are no promoters that care about putting on a good show anymore. Everyone just decides I'm gonna be a promoter, my friends in a group and they can rap, they'll do it for free. I don't know what happenned, one day I woke up and there was just bad rappin going on. Keep it OK at least. I think the people who cared about putting on the good shows and bringing outside people in and finding good opening acts instead of putting these people on cause they're my friends and it's all about self instead of a good show. Everyone wants to be the man and if people would just realize their strong points it would be so much better.
Toni Hill) Maybe your shouldn't be performing, you should be making flyers or in charge of the street team. You can still be a part of Hip Hop but you don't have to rap. That's not for everybody.

Belly) What's the importance of spots like Thorn City Improv to Portland?
Syndel) That's the kind of spot that keeps it together. Somewhere you can go to see some goood ass musicians and some good rappers. You can even participate, musicians come around and it keeps getting bigger and bigger and everyone knows if you want to go down and have a good time or network that ther'll be heads there. If there were nights like that throughout the week it'd be dope. That's the kind of thing we need like back in the day we did the Tonic Lounge with "Nightcrawlers" we had local acts coming in from all genres gangsta, experimental, some hard Hip Hop, whatever as well as headlining acts too. It's a good thing to have a spot where you don't have to be this way or come like this, you can just come down and enjoy good music and be around a circle of artists.

Belly) "Psalms of the Sirens" has been released independently now for a minute, you're getting wider distribution aren't you?
Syndel)Yeah the official release date is December 15th. We're going through Burnside. This is our first official release as Sirens Echo. We'll be touring that till the end of November and alot of December... Around 20 dates.
Belly) Any more music coming out?
Syndel) Our solo albums should be done any month now. Toni has 2 actually, one's more trip hop and one's more R&B. Mine's just more angry rap. Those should be out in a few months too. Our new, new project is about half done, the other half should be done in January or February. That album should be good, it keeps getting better and better.

Belly) Can we get the back story on a couple tracks... How about Gypsy Cab?
Toni Hill) I went to NY a while back and stayed with a girlfriend of mine in Spanish Harlem. We'd taken a couple of trains and got to Brooklyn or somewhere and there were these guys trying to love us and this one in particular, (Who was really beautiful though), I don't live in NY and it was dark and we were trying to get home and he's trying to talk to me and stuff. Finally I just said it would take 3 trains and a gypsy cab to come see you and all his boys started laughing and that's where it came from. We started walking down the street singing "Three trains and a gypsy cab to see me boo." and laughing hysterically. Several years later she came into town and couldn't believe I made it into a song.

Belly) How about "Gone be with You"
Syndel) That's about the media we soak in. The TV programming and the BS on the radio we hear over and over and over. Basically the media.

Belly) Like us.
Syndel) Corporate media, you know the radio where you hear the bad bad songs over and over again and all of a sudden you're singing them and you don't know why. The TV programs that try to get you to buy stuff you don't need.

Belly) How was the national tour you did a while back?
Syndel) It was good, it was the first time we did a national tour as Sirens Echo with Oldomininon headlining. It was good to see the cities we know we have fans where 100+ people came out to support and it was nice seeing that across the nation and being able to meet new people. It was fun, it was long, but it was definitley worth it.
Belly) Are there any favorite cities you went to?
Syndel) Yeah, definitley Austin cause we have a lot of fans there. Phoenix was fun cause our boys threw the show and they have a nice house with a pool and they'd BBQ for us. We had a chance there to party and write songs. That was a good one.
Toni Hill) Montana, evertime we go to Montana you'd swear we were somebody. We sign hats and CDs, people dance on speakers and hand you nice treats. Lots of things go on in Montana, you don't know go on in Montana. I don't know what happenned, we've been up there by ourselves but ever since we opened for Wu Tang there I don't know if they though we were part of Wu Tand or what but people are like we'd rather see you than Wu Tang. I'm like what?? I'm trying to sell you something CD stomped and you're tellin me you'd rather see me?? Portland, Maine was cool too Florida was fun.

Edaddy) Were there any bad cities?
Belly) Portland?
Syndel) You know what's kind of emberassing? We did a show in Minneapolis. It was so weird cause they didn't promote shit and it was an early show so the only people who came were our friends that we invited that live there from Atmosphere and I Self from Micronauts. Bishops' Mom and Dad and Sister came cause they had a family reunion or something in the area.

Belly) Who was the worst driver?
Syndel) (Gasping)
Toni Hill) Ha! He's probably gonna kill us...
Syndel) Yep.
Toni Hill) The tour manager.

Belly) Scooter?
Toni Hill) (singing) Yoooou said iiiiitttt! He's not dangerous as much as he is preoccupied with gadgets and widgets and GPS programming. He doesn't want to listen to humans, we had this thing where we called the GPS his bitch. If the GPS says turn right we turn right, if Toni Hill says turn right we just keep going straight. We started talking to him in the GPS voice. If GPS voice says we need to go to the bathroom, it could possibly happen cause GPS voice said so. He doesn't stop, I would have to be giving birth for him to stop. He's a drive-a-holic. We were always there on time which was cool but it had it's drawbacks.

Belly) Anything else to say?
Syndel) Coming soon
Toni Hill) Shout out to all my friends as soon as I get on friendster. We have US distribution and we're trying to get European and Canadian distribution so look out for us there as well.

Catch Sirens Echo on tour November 28th through December 18th opening for Vast Aire on select dates and pick up the new album "Psalms of the Sirens" right here or December 9th at a store near you. coming soon. Read the album review here..

"CD Release Party Preview"

(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) It's always exciting when a local hiphop artist releases an album because it doesn't happen nearly as often as it should. And what happens even less is when local female hiphop artists release an album, and when it's as confident, catchy, and clever as Sirens Echo's new Psalms of the Sirens. Siren's Echo is Syndel and Toni Hill, two ladies from the Oldominion crew who, as evidenced by the new CD, are ready to move on into their own world, should they be so inclined. Whether rocking out on the supremely catchy, guitar-driven party track "Keep It Movin'," or slowing things down for the beautifully-chorused "Perfect Peace," or getting all jazzy on the saxaphone-fueled "Hands Together, Siren's Echo shows an impressive mastery over different musical styles, their gorgeous melody hooks very nearly upstaging their solid rapping skills. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS
- The Portland Mercury

"NW Females MC's Sirens Echo Drop Skillz"

NW Female MCs, Sirens Echo, Drop Skillz

I've been picking my brain for days trying to figure out who Sirens Echo remind me of. The Portland female hip hop duo of Syndell and Toni Hill lay down raps, soulful melodies and spoken word tirades with crisp, calculated and seductive precision.

They're so good at what they do comparing their lyrical prowess to a male MC's in hopes of qualifying their gender and ability is pointless. Their confidence and skill as MCs, as well as the circles they run in (both hold memberships with the Oldominion crew) testify to their greatness.

Their production team, which includes Northwest beat makers Pale Soul, Mr. Hill, Mako and The Chosen, mold a very distinct, clean sound unencumbered by the intentional lo-fi rasp that weighs down a lot of underground hip hop acts. That's not to say that the music of Sirens Echo is uplifting or fluffy. Put simply, female MCs at large don't really buy into a lot of the gender roles and dynamics you see played out in a lot of popular music, and Sirens Echo is no exception.

As I continued to plow through their new album, Psalms of the Siren, for the sixth or seventh time, I realized the amalgamation of sound my musical memory was trying to scratch at.

First the combined sound, or aesthetic of San Francisco's Naked Music artists came to mind. In terms of the downtempo, broken beat side of things they definitely share that chic, soulful, jazzy sound. And where Naked Music lacks serious lyrical content, Sirens Echo attacks and conquers.

But that still wasn't close enough. Then I remembered the Austrian nu-jazz collective Jazzanova and their remix of Ursula Rucker's "Circe." Syndell and Hill's vocals, especially on songs such as "And All My…" and "Big City" reminded me of Rucker's strong yet sensual lyrical persona. At the same time, on songs such as "Gone Be With You," Syndell and Hill get grimy enough to throw down with the hardest of MCs
- Eugene Weekly


2003-Self Titled EP
2004-Sirens Echo "Psalms Of The Sirens"
2006-Sirens Echo "Follow The Sounds" DVD


Feeling a bit camera shy


Sirens Echo is made up of Syndel of Oldominion and Toni Hill of Hungry Mob. Blending sultry vocals with hardhitting hip-hop lyrics, Sirens Echo brings a new mix of hip-hop to the NW scene. Having worked with industry heavyweights The Roots, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, The Perceptionists, Lyrics Born, E-40, Amanda Perez, Wu-Tan Clan, and More, Sirens Echo have proven that belong on stage and in the studio with this caliber of aritst.

Sirens Echo have been laying the groundword for the release of their debut album "Psalms Of The Sirens" which is now in stores. Hard at work on the follow up, Sirens Echo next album will features production from Bosko, Jumbo of The Lifesavas, Smoke, Pale Soul, Pete Miser, and more.

This will be one of the most dynamic and creative releases to come from the NW