‘I love it when my tune comes on in a rave and I could be stood in the middle of the floor and no one knows it’s me singing on the track. Witnessing people singing the lyrics to a track I wrote is an amazing feeling,’ declares Sophia, the lady behind the sweet vocals on infectious funky house track I’m Right Here.
The uplifting song is still receiving heavy rotation in clubland and has given Sophia the perfect stepping stone needed to establish herself as a talented songstress in the UK music scene. ‘I wanted the track to be inspirational and for people who listen to it to realise that there is someone there for them’ continues the warm singer. ‘A lot of the music out there, and even the music I listen to, can be very hard, I feel I bring a lighter and softer side to it with the music I make,’ she says when asked about her contribution to the overly populated music scene.
Starting off singing in school talent shows, Sophia has been singing from as far back as she can remember, but she began to take it more seriously in the last six years. The pretty singer-songwriter says her musical influences came from listening to the reggae records her mum used to play while cooking the Sunday dinner. Soul legends such as Al Green, Anita Baker and Arethra Franklin were also heavy influences on the young singer. ‘I used to listen to a lot of different artists as I was growing up and they all offered some kind of inspiration to me. I even find people like Britney Spears an inspiration, although I may not love her music. When someone from a genre of music you may not usually listen to manages to make you listen to it, I find that is an inspiration. It makes you respect that person more as an artist.’
Universal, uplifting soul
Describing her music as universal, uplifting and soulful, Sophia is adamant about not being pigeon-holed into one particular genre. ‘When I’m songwriting, I try not to follow the conventional woman-hate-man, relationships- and-heartbreak formulas. I don’t think music should just be black and white, so I try to break away from this,’ she says. Working full-time, being a dedicated and loving mother and trying to stay focused on her music career, Sophia knows that anything worth having is worth working hard for. ‘When I get home from work, I sort out my son and with the little time that may be left, I concentrate on my music by doing some writing and singing. It’s not easy doing my music while trying to be a good mother to my son, but it’s something you learn to make time for when you’re passionate about what you do,’ she says.
Choosing to turn every negative into a positive, Sophia seems to be quite the optimist. ‘It’s really motivational to overcome negativity,’ says the singer about unsupportive people. Keeping her head high, Sophia’s future plans include more recording with producers from different genres and making more great original music for people to dance and feel good to.
Career high: Making my mum proud is really important for me also. My mum listens to radio religiously and when she hears my song come on, she calls me and gets all excited. It makes me happy that it makes her happy.
Career low: When it came to potentially getting signed by a major label, my chances were ruined when they found out I had a child. They turned the fact that I had a child into a negative thing and that really hurt. I found it very unprofessional and discriminative.
Motto: ‘Only God can judge me’ and ‘Treat every opportunity like it’s your last.’
Words of advice: Stay positive. Be thick-skinned and remain grounded at all times.
Words by Lynnike Redway