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The New Locals: Sophiya

The Melbourne MC on her new single 'Rosie', her upcoming EP and recording freestyles as self-care.

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In 2018, Melbourne artist Sophiya uploaded a song to Triple J Unearthed and unknowingly burst onto the scene. The first song she’d ever made, ‘White Ivory’, caught the attention of tastemakers and new fans, kickstarting her musical journey. Sophiya has since been developing her sound as an artist and producer, making her return with a fierce new single ‘Rosie’.

Teaming up with Melbourne’s Hamley for co-production and Sydney’s Dopam!ne for engineering duties, ‘Rosie’ was inspired by a time where things were going round and round with no end in sight, Sophiya says “Rosie was originally a one-take freestyle I recorded right after a heated argument. I realised that you can’t convince everyone to believe in you.” We caught up with Sophiya to chat ‘Rosie’, coming up in the Melbourne scene and what the future holds for her.

Can you tell us about yourself and how you got into making music?
Growing up, I was super introverted and spent a lot of time on my laptop. I discovered a program called Mixcraft and started making bootleg house remixes. I would make megamixes and burn them on CD’s to take to house parties. I later DJ’d at a few house parties, but once high school was over I made the decision to study to become a filmmaker.

I fell in love with film and graphic design at university, however, I would always find myself procrastinating, writing rhymes and singing over Youtube beats instead of completing assessments. I eventually dropped out after my second year and began working full time in men’s streetwear. A couple of years later, I realised that music was my passion and all the other creative aspects like film, design and fashion were just facets of my art.

Fast forward to 2017, I set up my own home studio and worked tirelessly as a self-taught producer, until I released my first ever debut single ‘White Ivory’ in late 2018.

Growing up, what type of music did you listen to? Do you remember the first album you bought?
Growing up I listened to a mix of Pop/R&B and Hip-Hop. I also went through a phase of House/EDM music as well. When I was a kid, my mum used to take my sister and me to Sanity every weekend to pick out new CDs to add to our collection. The first album I probably bought was Destiny’s Child’s The Writing’s On The Wall

You recently put out ‘Rosie’. Could you talk us through how that song came together? Rosie’ was originally a one-take freestyle I recorded after a heated argument in late 2018. I rewrote about 30% of the lyrics later, but the majority of the flow was kept from the original take. I didn’t want to change too much because I knew that I had captured a raw energy I’d never heard on any of my songs before.

At the time, I was reading about the great bubonic plague which fascinated me. I must have subconsciously freestyled about it, referencing the nursery rhyme “Ring around the Rosie.” To me, ‘Rosie’ refers to a vicious cycle that inevitably took me to a dark place of having to prove myself to others. 

Who would you one day love to collaborate with?
One day, I would love to collaborate with Drake, he has been a massive inspiration for too long! 

What’s taking up too much of your time at the moment and what would you like to be doing more off?
Right now, I can truthfully say nothing is consuming me except my music. Considering the times ahead, I can finally see the light toward releasing my upcoming project!

What have you been watching/reading lately?
I suck at reading because I have a short attention span! Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of freestyle rapping videos in preparation for an exciting opportunity, airing on Youtube in the next couple months!

What’s your favourite song of 2020 so far?
‘Wake Up’ by Kash Doll

What’s it like coming up as an artist in Melbourne? What makes it different?
I think Melbourne has a lot to offer regarding live shows and opportunities. Melbourne artists also grow up very multicultural, so I think they draw creative influence from all over the world. As a queer, female artist with a Greek background, representing diversity within more than one community is an important part of my identity. 

Who are some up-and-coming artists from your city we should check out?
Pania, Kaspar Kaos, Buddy Ryan & Francois

Can we expect more new music anytime soon?
Hell yes! I’m currently working on releasing my first EP very soon, as well new music which will roll out toward the end of the year. Stay tuned!

For more from Sophiya follow her here, and check out her new single ‘Rosie’ below.

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