Sybil Lynch, 57, is known for her hits including “The Love I Lost”, “My Love is Guaranteed”, “Don’t Make Me Over”, “Walk On By” and “When I’m Good And Ready”.
Her music spans over 35 years and she is still one of the world’s most loved musicians today.
The American R&B and pop singer-songwriter sat down with IOL Entertainment in Cape Town ahead of her “Soul Sisters” concert at the Grand Arena in GrandWest on Saturday.
Sybil has become a household name since her music soared from the 1980s to the 1990s. She also proudly states the history of music running in her family, referencing her cousin Maxine Jones, a former member of En Vogue.
“I’m so happy to be back in Cape Town, I feel like I’m home. Cape Town has always felt like home. I always said that If ever I should live anywhere outside the United States, it would be in Cape Town,” she said.
She also shared her desire to collaborate with South Africa’s Grammy award-winning DJ Black Coffee.
“His music rocks my world, I’d love to co-write with him one day. There is something really amazing about him, both him and Lizzo, but he’s got a unique spin to his music.”
While Sybil has no children of her own, she says she is a real family girl.
She shared: “I might not have my own children, but I have a lot of nieces and nephews who I take as my own and who I am very proud of.
“They encourage me to continue to be as positive as I can even in the midst of changing times.”
Fans will be surprised to learn that Sybil has had a day job in higher education for 20 years.
She laughed: “Many people don’t know this about me, but I have spent a long part of my career in education and don’t perform on these big stages back at home.
“The running joke with the deans are that I have over 200 children, referring to my students.
“When I started singing, I had one degree and then later went on to get my Master’s and then my doctorate.
“When I decided to go into singing, my father was not having it; he saw a lot of negative in it, but it wasn’t until I bought my first home that he came by.”
She continued: “I’m also really happy that I had something to fall back on because when the music industry changed, I had education.
“Words have always been my friend, my safe place and then ironically music, and then I combined the two loves and it just kinda worked out.”
Sybil says her mom’s side of the family were the music people.
“It was my mother’s family who would always just gather to sing while we have a barbecue (braai). I would then always join in by making up songs, as a child.”
Sybil cites the influence of her parents in introducing her to the classics.
She admitted: “I would never have known who Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye or Aretha Franklin were if not for my parents.
“I feel as if I am now in that stage where the kids are listening to the songs because we as the older generation are listening to it.”
She says Cape Town also serves as a special place because of how her music resonates with the people.
“The minute the music hits, I don't have to sing a word because the audience would sing it for me and so I never take it for granted.”
She drew attention to the fact that she will soon be celebrating a milestone in the industry.
“This October will see me celebrate 35 years in the industry. I always joke that I'm getting old now and when I get up in the morning, bones creak,” she laughed.
Sybil added: “When I go back home, I will take up my new role as the director of our foundation at the college.”
Sybil recently bagged two awards for education this year, including the President’s Leadership Award (college award) and the Martin Luther King jr Service Leadership Award, presented from the Multicultural and Inclusion Committee at the college she works.
Sybil will perform alongside a 12-piece band and other local acts, including Andrea Fortuin, Claire Phillips, Amy Jones, Mady Abrahams and Vuvu Kumalo.
Tickets range from R250 to R395 via Computicket.