London-based indie-folk artist Sophia Alexa graces our interview today with her ethereal sounds and the profound inspiration behind her latest single, "Stones." This heartfelt track delves into the weight of negative thoughts and worries that burden us daily, urging us to shed these metaphorical "stones" and carry only the weightless reminder of the love others have for us. Sophia's music beautifully marries the inanimate heaviness of her stories with a dreamy, ethereal quality, elevated by her heavenly vocals.
In our conversation, Sophia shares the touching backstory of "Stones," inspired by a heartwarming exchange with her father. His gesture of gifting her a single stone, representing the love of family and friends, sparked the creation of this emotionally resonant song. Sophia's artistry thrives on exploring her deepest insecurities and vulnerabilities, transforming them into poetic words and melodies. This candid exploration of loneliness, self-criticism, and wide-eyed dreams is a theme that runs through her new EP, of which "Stones" and her previous single, "Hall Pass," are the first glimpses.
Sophia Alexa's musical journey is a testament to the power of self-discovery and the profound connection she forges with her listeners through her honest indie-folk anthems. With each track, she delves deeper into her emotions, offering words that resonate with others experiencing similar struggles. Her music is a safe haven for expression and understanding, a space where she has truly found her unique voice.
1. Your latest single, "Stones," delves into the weight of negative thoughts and worries we carry with us daily. Can you share more about the inspiration behind this track and the message you hope to convey to your listeners?
I had been feeling so overwhelmed by negative thoughts and worries, and my dad noticed how much pressure I was putting on myself. He said I put so many stones in my pocket that weighed me down, so he gave me a small stone to keep in my wallet and told me to let the rest go. The stone was supposed to remind me of the few things that really matter in life. I think I wanted the song just to feel relatable but also hopeful in a way.
2. The song "Stones" is inspired by an exchange between you and your dad. Can you tell us more about that moment and how it influenced your perspective on the burdens you carry?
The moment my dad talked to me, he kind of helped me put things into perspective and focus on what really mattered to me. I think it’s easy to get so caught up in other people's perceptions and actions and just let your worries get carried away, especially being quite a sensitive person. It’s just a grounding memory I can kind of come back to when I feel overwhelmed to remind myself what truly matters.
3. "Stones" juxtaposes a heartfelt and sentimental story with a light and dreamy musical quality. How did you approach blending these contrasting elements in the song, and what do you want listeners to take away from this sonic experience?
I always love a sad lyric song that has a drivey, upbeat feel. It’s not until you listen to the lyrics that you notice how deep and heartfelt it really is. I think listeners can experience a more light sonic track and hopefully, at the same time, relate to the lyrics.
4. Your music often explores deep insecurities and vulnerabilities. How does songwriting help you process these emotions, and what motivates you to share them with your audience?
I don’t really have many other modes of processing insecurities or emotions, so when they come up, my guitar is usually the first thing I gravitate towards. It doesn’t really solve how I feel, but it’s a way to understand it. Also, nothing feels more comforting than when someone messages me about a lyric or song I’ve written and how much it relates to them.
5. "Stones" follows your previous emotionally charged single "Hall Pass." Can you give us insight into the themes and emotions explored in "Hall Pass" and how it connects with your latest release?
‘Hall Pass’ explores the fear of getting close to someone and being seen as you really are, which is a stone and insecurity I struggle with constantly. 'Stones' kind of is all the emotions and worries I carry around, and 'Hall Pass' is just capturing one of those moments.
6. You mentioned that your music is a way for you to put into words what others may be going through as well. Can you elaborate on the role of music in connecting with your audience and creating a sense of shared experience?
I feel like the shared experience comes in whenever I get messages from people who tell me their stories or how they have struggled in the same way. It just gives me more motivation to continue being honest and not shy away from sharing too much because that's what people like to hear!
7. Your upcoming EP addresses themes like loneliness, fear of missing out, self-criticism, and the fear of cynicism ruining dreams. Can you provide a glimpse into how these themes are explored in your music and what listeners can expect from the EP?
I have another song called ‘Losing by a Landslide’, which is all about isolation and fear of missing out and another called ‘Fight or Flight’, which is a story about growing pains and figuring out where your place is. The rest of the EP is lyrical storytelling, going more into fears and insecurities but still keeping with the light, folky sound.
8. You've mentioned that music has been a constant throughout your life, especially during times of change and isolation. How has your journey from California to Amsterdam and eventually London influenced your music and your sense of belonging?
I’ve found more of a sense of belonging in people versus places! Everywhere I’ve moved has greatly impacted me, but there’s always been a constant with family and close friends throughout. You learn to just gravitate towards them. The people in my life have influenced my music taste, which has influenced the music I write.
9. As you continue to evolve as an artist, what unique qualities or elements do you feel you bring to your music that set you apart from others in the indie-folk genre?
I like to think I have a unique storytelling aspect to my songs, and still love more pop-based melodies. I don’t ever want to put myself too much into a category of only being folk or indie, I’d like to be able to continue taking inspiration from all types of music and not limit myself.
10. Finally, what are your aspirations as an artist moving forward, and how do you hope your music will resonate with your audience and the world at large?
I hope my music continues to resonate with people moving forward and connects to a wider audience. I just want to be able to continue writing and doing what I love :)