Interview: Sophie Pecora
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My first musical inspirations were MattyBRaps and Justin Bieber. I loved them and sang all of their songs. I remember watching videos of them doing concerts and just thought that looked like so much fun. If I had not gotten into music, I think I would still be doing something creative like being a writer of some sort. Before I wrote songs I wrote fictional stories and I loved doing that.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like listening to music and also watching TV shows and movies. These both influence my creativity a lot because I get ideas from the stories I watch. Sometimes I’m inspired by a character’s experience in a movie to write a song about it. I also am inspired by listening to other music. There are so many styles out there and new ideas are being done every day. As I discover new artists, I develop my style more and more by taking inspiration from other artists.
How long has music been your career?
I’ve been doing music - singing, rapping, and playing instruments, since I was a young kid but I guess I wasn’t doing it as a career yet. It was a hobby. Over time, as I practiced and improved and got new opportunities, I realized how this could be a career. I guess it evolved naturally into a career, and I'm so grateful because I love what I do.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in Danville, California. It is a very nice town with nice people and I think feeling comfortable and safe where I lived allowed me to be free and creative. There were also places in my town where I took music lessons and learned guitar when I was 9. I also did some of my first performances around the area and that got me practicing being on stage. I performed at a local fair when I was 10 and 11. I did some singing competitions and dance competitions. I also did my own concert when I was 11 at our local theatre. There were dance studios around so we were able to have backup dancers for the concert and I was able to learn some choreography and stage presence. All this just made me want to do more and more. I love it so much.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
It’s hard to choose one best show, but I really enjoyed doing my performance at the San Ramon City Center recently, which is near where I live. It was the first performance in over a year because of Covid and it was awesome to sing live again. I even got to meet some fans that came out to watch. I sang a bunch of my songs, many that I never sang live before because I wrote them all in the past year. I performed for around an hour but it went by pretty fast, so I was having fun. I don’t think I have a “worst show”. Every time I perform it usually goes pretty well and even if it’s not my best performance, I never regret it because it’s all good for gaining experience.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I only performed here once when I was on America’s Got Talent, but I loved the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It was amazing to be on that stage and sing for so many people. I only sang one song and I kept thinking how awesome it would be to do a whole show in a place like that. I’d like to perform at one of those music festivals like Lollapalooza or Coachella. It seems fun to do a show outside and the energy at music festivals is awesome. I’d love to perform nearly everywhere, though. I just love it.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I would love to perform with Alec Benjamin, NF, Eminem, James Arthur, and Ed Sheeran. So many others come to mind also but those are some of my favorites at the moment. It would be amazing to perform with any of them. They have all inspired me and my music greatly in different ways.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Practice, practice, practice. Focus on the craft. It takes time and commitment to learn music so don’t get discouraged if you think you’re “bad” or you’re not where you want to be yet. Have fun during the process!
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Don’t worry so much. Just enjoy the process and trust that everything will work out.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
This is such a hard question. All of my songs mean a lot to me. My song Misfits is really close to me because it talks about some of my feelings as an introvert and when I felt like I didn’t belong. It also turned into an anthem for the misfits of the world just saying to embrace your differences and your uniqueness is your gift. I think it’s very powerful and inspiring and it’s still one of my favorite songs of mine.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I love playing Eminem songs, especially Godzilla. That one has a very fast rap in it and it’s so fun to do. It’s also fun seeing the audience’s reaction. I also love playing my song Overthinking because it has rap verses and I love rapping. It is also catchy and high energy and I always have a good time with that one. A lot of people request me to sing 7th Grade and Misfits. Maybe it’s because I performed those on America’s Got Talent. I enjoy singing those as well.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
My creative process lately is to sit down and write songs for at least 20 minutes every day. This almost always turns into more than 20 minutes. I just set myself an amount of time that I can focus on writing. For a long time I felt like I had writer’s block, but that was mainly because I wasn’t giving myself the space and time to get in the right headspace for creativity. I think just showing up and writing something, even if it’s not good, gets me into a creative space and gets ideas flowing. Inspiration for my songs comes from my thoughts when I’m stressed out about something and thinking about it a lot. I also get inspired by listening to other artist's music or watching videos and hearing what other people are experiencing.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I love to write about topics that aren’t talked about very much in songs. I write a lot about mental health topics and everyday things that we may struggle with as humans. I hope to let people know that they’re never alone in what they are feeling or thinking. I want to inspire people to have hope and find peace with their feelings because they know that it’s okay to feel that way.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
I pretty much go with the flow, so haven't experienced many disagreements, but I also haven't collaborated very much. It's one of my goals to collaborate more with other artists - both singing and songwriting.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Well of course I want to be a singer-songwriter for a long time. I also want to do more live performances and get into dancing again. I love hip hop dancing. I also want to be a songwriter for other artists. Many artists also write for other people like Ed Sheeran, Charlie Puth, Ryan Tedder, and more. This seems fun and good to expand my horizons and experience different styles of music that I wouldn’t write for myself. I have been writing a lot of new songs lately that I am so excited about! I have one new song coming November 3rd, called Pretty People. This one means a lot to me because it talks about the struggles I have had being on social media and comparing myself and my life to others. I’m really excited about it because I think that a lot of people can relate to it and hopefully people will feel comfort knowing they’re not the only ones struggling with this.