This is a bit of a change of pace for the site, since you are an indie pop solo artist. But in retrospect, as a live performer and as a writer, you seem to have an underlying rock edge to your personality. Where does that come from?
I was raised on classic rock. As a kid, my parents were pretty insistent that I have a catalogue of “greats” readily available to recite whenever another adult asked me what music I listen to. I'd say, “Pink Floyd” and “The Beatles.” They loved me for it.
But with that aside, I think I've always just had a kind of “spunk” to my personality, and it really comes out in the grittiness of some of my lyrics and the energy I draw from during live performances.
As an indie pop artist, who are your primary inspirations for not just music, but also style?
I should probably work on having a solid answer ready for these kinds of questions, but I just find them so hard to answer [laughs]. I’m inspired by everything! I change every single day. My mind changes, the way I see the world, the way I write music; everything. I have a lot of artists I look up to and draw ideas from, but I guess if I had to name one person I'd have to say that a lot of my lyrical inspiration comes from Ed Sheeran.
In terms of style- I suppose you mean fashion, right? I've always had a very “boho-chic” personal style. I'll actually call it “edgy bohemian.” Flowey, soft and lacy with combat boots, tight jeans and the occasional appearance of leather.
You’ve released 5 singles so far this year and are about to release another. Which do you think defines you as an artist best?
I'm going to be completely honest and transparent here; this project has been solely about finding myself as an artist and sharing the process openly with the world. Each single is a reflection of who I am- both as an artist and as a person. You'll notice that they all have their own distinct sound, with genre-bending qualities. I wanted to experiment and figure out which musical elements fit with the messages I'm trying to convey. Although “XO” is the most different from all the other singles, I think it's the one that best defines me as an artist, because I'm not afraid to take chances in music, and there's no better example of that than with this single. It's a great one to end on for that reason.
Tell us about your upcoming single “XO.” Will this be the final single of 2017?
“XO” is about being with someone who doesn't know what they want out of your relationship, and being way too invested in them to leave.
Maybe not the final single of 2017, but certainly the final single for this particular six month project.
Although you changed your stage name from Sofia Nicole to SØF a while back, many people still remember your previous artist persona. Does it bother you when anyone brings up your old work?
It doesn't necessarily bother me, because Sofia Nicole is my actual name, but it does confuse me a little when people still refer to me under that stage name. I'm still proud of the songs I wrote under that alias, and I’ve even had requests to perform some of them again at recent shows, but my style has changed a lot from what it was back then, and I want people to see how much I've grown.
What’s the primary difference between the two?
Sofia Nicole was a high schooler who saw the world as black and white and spent all of her time thinking about crushes and breakups. She was reserved, cookie-cutter and calculated in every single move. She was robotic and, quite frankly, a little boring.
SØF is just more grown up. She sees all the grey areas and realizes that life is more complicated than just A or B. She still loves writing about romance, but adult relationships are so much different than high school ones. And she's not afraid to speak her mind. She's sarcastic, confident and unapologetic and she's everything I wanted to be growing up.
What is a live SØF performance like?
A live SØF performance is, well, lit [laughs]. I love bantering with the audience, cracking jokes, running around the stage and just having a good time.
Last question - what is the best part about being SØF?
Who I am onstage versus who I am offstage is pretty contrasted. It's not that I'm a different person, but it's more so that being SØF gives me the opportunity to put on this sort of mask that I don't typically wear on a day-to-day basis. SØF is just the exaggerated version of Sofia, but more so an exaggerated version of all of my personal best qualities [laughs]. SØF is extremely confident, unapologetic and sarcastic-- three things I can have a hard time consistently being in real life. I’m much more retracted and careful with my words when I'm offstage, but it's like this energy overcomes me whenever I perform live, and it's electrifying. That's definitely the best part. I wish I could be as cool as SØF is all the time, but it's also nice to have that contrast.
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