Sophie Dorsten on her stunning new single and hopes for what ‘Tomorrow’ may bring

Written by: Charlotte Bredael

18 year old singer-songwriter Sophie Dorsten has been performing around the Phoenix area and beyond since she was just 9 years old, turning heads with her uniquely stunning voice that is powerful beyond her years. Once she turned 13, she began releasing singles and has since worked with top producers to release her new single ‘Tomorrow’, which features vulnerable lyrics exploring the uncertain and exciting times that await beyond her recent graduation.

With a clear drive and passion for music, Sophie has built her career from the ground up, letting nothing get in the way of pursing her dream. To find out more about her journey and hopes for the future, I sat down with Sophie to chat all things music, writing and more which you can read all about below.

Let’s start at the beginning, I’d love to learn more about you and your musical journey. What inspired you to start making music and who have been your biggest influences?

My name is Sophie and I’m an 18 year old from Phoenix, Arizona. I have been performing around the valley here since I was 9. In the beginning I was in a band with my brothers called “Sophie and the Boyz” in which I sang and played bass guitar. After several years the band broke up and I picked up the acoustic guitar and taught myself as I started writing songs. Some of my biggest influences back then were Adele, James Bay, and Vance Joy.

Your new single ‘Tomorrow’ is absolutely stunning, what inspired you to write the track and what was the recording process like for you?

I wrote my single “Tomorrow” at the beginning of my senior year when I realised that I would be graduating soon and was overwhelmed at what would happen after high school. It was released in May of 2020 and seems to be relevant in a different way right now with the unknown of what tomorrow brings in this crazy time. I went to Nashville to record it with Jordan Lake at Sound Kitchen Studios – it was an awesome experience. My older brother recorded electric guitar on it with me. I walked in to the studio and my producer had it all planned out with the other musicians; we recorded it in a couple of takes. I’ve recorded several EPs and singles since I was 13 and this one song was the coolest experience so far.

Many songwriters have a specific set up/mindset that they like to be in in order to be their best creative self. When do you find that inspiration for a track comes to you and do you have a special place or mood that you prefer to be in while writing?

I prefer to write alone and imagine myself in a beautiful place; I need calmness to be in the right mindset.

What is your favourite song to cover and why?

My favourite cover to sing is “Fireworks” by First Aid Kit. I love the dynamics of it; I tend to make covers a little bit of my own when I perform them.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would you choose and why?

I would love to collaborate with Billie Eilish because I like her songwriting and the meanings behind her songs.

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects that you’ve been working on recently?

Currently I’m working on a music video for my song “Tomorrow.” My original plans for the video were changed with Covid-19 so I am creating it myself now. I am also writing several songs right now and hope to record them soon.

What is your ultimate goal for your music career within the next 10 years?

My career goal is to go all the way with my music; whatever that may mean these days. I would love to share my songs with the world.

Do you have any recommendations for other up-and-coming artists that you think we should all be listening to?

A local band I enjoy and would recommend checking out is Jane N The Jungle.

You can listen to Sophie’s beautiful new single ‘Tomorrow’ on Spotify below as well as her many previously released tracks that date back to 2016. Make sure to follow her on social media to be the first to be notified when her music video is released and to stay in the loop with upcoming projects, I’m sure this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from Sophie!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiedorstenmusic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SophieDorsten

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sophiedorstenmusic/

Upcoming artist Anya Gupta on the rise of TikTok, quarantine creations and the importance of LGBTQ+ music

Written by: Charlotte Bredael

Upcoming singer-songwriter Anya Gupta’s music features stunning, gentle vocals, relatable lyrics and catchy hooks giving her tracks an addictive quality comparable to artists like Mal Blum, Girl In Red and Phoebe Bridgers.

She’s one of the many young artists who have utilised their time during quarantine to focus solely on music, away from the distractions of school and all else life throws their way. Having recently experienced a spike in Spotify streams after gaining popularity on TikTok, Anya has found a community of like-minded people who relate to her music and hopes that her tracks can become a safe-haven for the LGBTQ+ community. She is now learning how to produce her own tracks in anticipation for her latest single ‘Way To Love’ that she’s planning to release in September.

I sat down with Anya to discuss all things music, social media and inspiration. With a clear passion for what she does, Anya’s confidence and interesting outlook lead to an insightful look into what it’s like to be a young person entering the industry, which you can read all about below.

Let’s start at the very beginning, what originally inspired you to start making music and who have been your biggest influences.

That would probably be Twenty One Pilots for me, I started listening to their music when I was in middle school, like 7th grade. I used to write a lot of poetry back then and I realised that a lot of their songs are like if you were to mash up six-seven poems together and create a song, so the first song I created was kind of like that. I never ended up releasing it but that’s what started my little music career. And then there were artists like Dodie, I’d watched a lot of her videos and I really liked how she would write songs about mental health, sexuality and life experiences, so I started writing songs about the things I saw and experienced. 

I’d love to know more about you in general, are you aiming to pursue music as a full time career and what else do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m hoping to pursue music as a full time career, I know the music industry is quite brutal and it’s a lot about talent but it’s also about luck, if I do get the chance to pursue music as a full time career I’m definitely going to. I spend a lot of my free time writing and producing around being at school but since we’ve been in quarantine I’ve been learning how to mix, master and create songs, as well as how to properly record things to make it sound good. I went into quarantine with six unfinished songs and I was able finish them all by having the time to use my creative process for something good.

You have an impressive following on TikTok which seems to be a very popular platform for up and coming musicians at the moment. Do you feel that having easy access to wider audience has and will continue to benefit you in your musical journey?

Definitely, I started using TikTok during quarantine and my first video got around 700 views, I’ve never had that many on YouTube or Instagram. When I started I had 200 monthly listeners on Spotify and now I have over 4000 so it’s definitely helping a lot. I got 200K on a video that I didn’t expect to do well at all and I gained around 3000 followers so it’s really helping me and I’m definitely going to continue to use it.

What is your favourite song of yours to perform and your favourite song to cover, and why?

My song ‘Heart Of Gold’ was the one that a lot of people started listening to, mostly because it’s really upbeat and one of my happier songs. It’s the most fun to play because it’s a very simple song, it only consists of four chords and every time I get to perform it I’m able to jump around without messing up any of the guitar. My favourite songs to cover are honestly anything by Billie Eilish but I cover a lot of different songs that I love.

It’s great to see a smaller LGBTQ+ musician beginning to gain recognition, as well as LGBTQ+ relationships slowly becoming normalised in music. Do you feel that the industry has progressed over the past few years when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation and how do you aim to use your music to express your own identity?

Representation is definitely growing because now there are artists like Girl In Red and King princess who are specific to helping the women love women community and normalising LGBTQ+ relationships and I love that. There’s also Dodie who is openly bisexual and writes about men and women, she’s happy with it and it’s music that is relatable to her audience. I’m hoping to do the same thing, being open with the fact that it’s okay to be figuring things out. A lot of the songs that I’m about to release are about just figuring out who you are and I think a lot of people can relate to that. Maybe they’re scared of how their family are going to feel or they don’t understand themselves so my goal is to be that reassurance that it’s okay to figure it out and to create music that people can relate back to if they feel a little lost.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would you choose and why?

I’ve been listening to Dodie for like six years so I think she would be really cool to collaborate with, I relate to her music a lot. Also Billie Eilish, I feel like every single song she creates is so unique and it’s always a different sound. She’s one of the biggest artists in the world right now but I started listening to her when she released her first song ‘Ocean Eyes’ so that would be really cool.

Do you have any exciting projects that you’ve been working on recently?

Before quarantine there was one song called ‘Way To Love’ that I was really struggling to write and I think it took me like 2 days to figure it all out, I’m hoping to release it around September time. I’m very excited about it, I think it’s going to be another ‘Heart Of Gold’ and that people will really be able to relate to it. It definitely shows how confident I’ve grown in my sexuality, I’ve been reluctant to release music that has she/her pronouns before and even though they’re not in the song, it’s definitely more evident and I’m really happy with how it’s turning out.

You said it took you two days to figure out the logistics of the song, do you have a specific place or mindset that you like to be in to get into that creative zone?

I don’t have a specific place, it depends on how I’m feeling. There’s this bench near where I live that’s shaded by a tree so I’ll take my guitar there and I’ll write there. Sometimes you just need different scenery but since we were in quarantine I mainly just do it in my room and I get most of my inspiration at night so it’s normally like 3am. Sometimes I’ll use my diary entries to see how I was feeling and then I’ll find a way to articulate it into lyrics. I have this cute little yellow journal that’s like my lucky journal so I’ll write in that or I’ll use voice memos if I think of something cool so I can just record it and then come back to it later.

What is your ultimate dream goal for your music career within the next 10 years?

I want to play more shows, I’ve definitely gained the confidence to do that but my ultimate goal is just to make a career out of doing what I love to do and to inspire other people to be confident in themselves. I reached out to an artist for advice recently and he kept saying ‘make stuff that makes you feel things’, it’s such a simple phrase but it shows that if you make music that’s authentic and true to yourself, there’s always going to be someone else who will relate to it. I just want to make some people happy and I think I’m doing that at the moment so I want to gain a bigger audience so I can continue to do that for more people.

You can find all of Anya’s previous tracks on Spotify and Apple Music via the links below and make sure to give her a follow on social media to be the first to know when her new single ‘Way To Love’ is released. We can guarantee this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from her.

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/anya-gupta/1434780958

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj-7zRKSs8jnfaVRmJX9L0Q

Instagram: @anya4204

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@anyagmusic?source=h5_m (@anyagmusic) 

The Impersonators Bring Back Vintage-Pop with True Flair

Back with their forthcoming single ‘Sad Cafe’ out on March 22nd, The Impersonators are a two man project comprising of Tom Tikka and Antti Autio (lyricist) that flawlessly provide the depth of a full band. A treat for the fans of R.E.M, The Go-Betweens and Matthew Sweet, their previous releases ‘Broken Snow’ and ‘Burning Blue’ offer an abundance of sonic textures and ‘vintage’ pop rock sounds and their forthcoming track looks to be their best release yet.

Having grown in the States and being previously signed to Sony/BMG with Carmen Gray, one of Finland’s biggest-ever rock bands, Tom Tikka injects Finnish elements into his sound. ‘Burning Blue’ elicits this fusion in the intro’s accordion, with a tune that is essentially Scandinavian. Their forthcoming track ‘Sad Cafe’ also follows suit with the chorus melody. When writing the melody Tom drew influence from classic “schlager” tunes – tunes that were labelled by Benny Anderson of ABBA as “Pan European music”.

The inspiration behind ‘Sad Cafe’ was fueled by the universal hardships of relationships and the illusions we come under when ‘in love’ and The Impersonators accompany this perfectly with their trademark alt-pop melodies, honing in on the late 70’s sound of The Eagles – a track to watch for all cross-generation music lovers!

 Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-impersonators  

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNxEq8p5waRWe1Gp7DBAzCg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImpersonatorsBand/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/1mpersonators 

Hypnotherapist and Folk Music Innovator Elyssa Vulpes Promotes Self-Reflection and Spiritual Awareness in her Debut Album ‘Holding On, Letting Go’

Folk singer-songwriter Elyssa Vulpes releases her debut album ‘Holding On, Letting Go’ – an inspirational collective with lead tracks like Front Line and Charlene that exhibit genre cross-over and combines acoustic guitar and upbeat folk melodies with elements of indie-pop and Americana resulting in a modern take on traditional folk.

Inspired by the shamanic concepts of reaching altered states of consciousness, Elyssa searched for a modern equivalent – leading to her occupation as a professional hypnotherapist. The folk artist’s concentration on the psychology of self healing radiates through her music and allows a spiritual depth to her sound that isn’t commonly found.

Often categorised as a folk artist, Elyssa concentrates more on the lyrical content of the songs and enforces that she wants to be free to fit the music to the message rather than try and squeeze it into a marketable genre box. Her aim to write songs that speak to the soul and touch people in a non-superficial way is led by her emphasis on dealing with negative and uncomfortable emotions and her method of avoiding the notion that we must repress these emotions and instead promoting expression of these emotions through art, coupling this with reflection.

Drawing from her Italian roots with her love for melody and storytelling but also celebrating the Celtic folk influences of her new home in Edinburgh, Elyssa’s music evokes cultural variances that make her sound unique and offer the listener a feeling of empowerment, accompanied with the contentment that folk music often elicits.

Click on the links below to listen more:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/elyssa

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elyssavulpes

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyFN-8QTsLgu38Bk71kd0iw

Website: https://www.elyssavulpes.com/

 

 

2Nice Interview!

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1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

  • 2Nice singer/rapper from London I started my musical career at the tender age of 12. Working at local recording studios and was schooled by my Father, As well as UK Reggae legends. My main inspirations at the time was my older brother and local artist & community sound systems.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

  • I grew up listening to Super Cat, Notorious B.I.G,Bob Marley, Wu-Tang Clan,Dennis Brown, Black Uhuru, Jay-Z , Nas,Fugeess to name a few. I think listening to such a broad span of artists from such a young age helped with my song writing as a singer/rapper plus staying versatile concering different generes. Also a performer having such a diverse background keeps topped up with ideas if i’ve got to play live with a live band or with a DJ.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

  • I’ve been playing & writing my own songs for over 20 years now.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

  • Just some of the festivals 2NICE will be at this summer 2015 Glastonbury, Boomtown & One Love to name a few.

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

  • My favourite moment in my music was in 2009 picking up UK Unsigned Best Reggae Act Award Winner. It happend at a time where a took a positive turn music was getting a great reception both in Europe and the Carribean.

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?

All This Noise Q&A with James

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1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

  • From a very early age. Assorted rock compilation albums featuring the likes of Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple and Motörhead are the first things I remember making me want to pick up a guitar.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

  • I went through a phase in my early teens of mainly listening to classic stuff from the sixties and seventies like The Kinks, The Who, Beatles, Bowie etc. I think at some level they’ve all really influenced how I go about writing lyrics and vocal melodies. Radiohead are who really turned me onto modern alternative music. They really influenced my guitar playing and pushed me towards listening to a lot more electronic music.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

  • Oh ages. From about 13 years old I started getting at least a vague idea of how to play the guitar.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

  • Playing a small impromptu gig with one of my old bands at a small and crazy Greek bar on Latimer road. We were first on but other acts included Snow Patrol, The Magic Numbers and Ed Harcourt.

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?

ToyFace Interview

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When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

Tamsyn:

  • I was 13 when I bought my first proper record, which was Live Through This by Hole. I bought it whilst I was spending a couple of weeks at a friends house whilst my mum was away. We’d never heard anything like it before and I remember us just hanging out of her window feeling euphoric listening to Courtney Love singing ‘And the sky was made of amethysts…’ and shrieking looking up at the sky and down into the street.

James:

  • I first properly became interested in music at school when I met some like minded friends who were up for playing music together. We listened to all sorts of music to begin with, from psychedelic 60’s stuff to Grunge, hip-hop and funk and everything else in between. I had piano lessons since I was young which was extremely useful. I was able to apply my knowledge of classical piano to the jams that we were having which made everything quite experimental and exciting. 

 Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

James:

  • I grew up listening to everything, some of it was terrible! But the music that stayed with me is very important to me. Bands like Nirvana, The Fall and Joy Division. Since I was very young I’ve listened to the big 60’s stars like Hendrix, Nina Simone and James Brown. Massive Attack have always been a huge influence too, as it seems that you can’t escape it here in Bristol, their influence is everywhere and its amazing to witness that.

Tamsyn:

  • It might sound weird, but I can’t see a definite link between much of what I grew up listening to and how it impacts me now. I’ve always enjoyed music, I started paying more attention to it as a teenager, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I started making music, and even now at 29 years old after singing for the last seven or eight years, is it that I really am starting to feel a bit more like a musician who is really paying attention to the separate elements that make up a song.

 How long have you been playing/writing?

James:

  • Since I started playing piano so 18 years. 

Tamsyn:

  • I’ve been writing since I was a child, but it wasn’t until I was about 21 that I started actually turning what I was writing into songs. I’ve been making music for about seven or eight years.

How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

Tamsyn:

  • I play live sporadically. I gig quite a bit last year with a couple of different guitarists who learned songs I’d written on guitar or stuff I’ve written with James. It gave me some more freedom to keep doing shows even if James was busy with other bands that he’s in.
  • Now that we’ve just made a record though, we are pretty on it with doing shows together as a whole band. Our album launch in Bristol is at a place called the old malt house and its this Friday, April 24. Then we have another London album launch on May 17 at a place called the magic garden in Battersea. We are also playing as a band at Farm Fest, and as a trio at Shambala, boomtown fair, how the light gets in Festival and Bestival.
  • https://www.facebook.com/events/932021910152289/
  • https://www.facebook.com/events/364344263752624/


James:

  • Usually about 3 times a week. I am a self employed musician and performing live is what I make most my money doing.

What has been your favourite moment in music?

Tamsyn:

  • Today was pretty good! we’ve got a really great new bass player and we were in the rehearsal room arranging a new song together. It’s a really bonkers intense song, both lyrically and musically. I felt like I was kind of prowling around the room and then I pause and just watch the guys just smashing out these nuts and rhythms and melodies and James is just hammering the keys so fast. It’s those moments that as someone who feels like they only just qualify as a musician, just kind of blow your mind and make you feel super privileged to be able to be there amongst it all. I think we all felt it though, the room just felt like it was shaking and we were all just kind of buzzing and exhausted at the end as if we’ve been doing am kind of chaotic jazz workout. Working on new material when it’s going well is basically just the best feeling ever.

James:

  • I studied music at Leeds University, and they had a competition for young composers. The prize was getting one of your compositions scored for a 40 piece orchestra. I submitted a piano piece, and it got chosen to be scored. I’ll never forget watching the orchestra; it was amazing to hear 15 violins playing lines that I had only heard through playing it myself on the piano in my bedroom!  

Where is the best place to find you online?

Aubrey Whitfield Interview

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1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

  •  I can’t explain it but I could just write music from an early age without any guidance or instrumental ability. I’d constantly make up little songs or jingles and get my brother and cousins to sing different parts. Then when I was 11 I got a Casio keyboard for Christmas and my dad taught me a few chords. By that evening I had written my first proper song and performed it to my mum and nan. I then got the bug and wrote around 500 songs between the age of 11 and 19.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

  •  My parents always had 60s and 70s music playing when I was growing up. I remember Queen being played a lot. It was a very musical household. My songwriting has always been influenced by songs rather than artists. So when I heard ‘Roll With It’ by Oasis on Top of the Pops I remember picking up my guitar right away and wanting to write a song like that.  That’s still my songwriting process now. When I heard ‘Love Me Like You Do’ by Ellie Goulding I went straight to my guitar to write a song. It’s quite an inspiring process for me.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

  •  I have been writing songs since I was 11, so that’s about 24 years now. I learnt to play the keyboard when I was 11 and then the guitar when I was 15. I also dabbled with the saxophone and cello in my late teens.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

  • Playing live for any artist in this modern music era is so important to build a fanbase. So I’m trying to get out and perform live as often as I can – I aim for an open-mic night per month and a pre-booked gig per month. I would love to do much more! I’m playing at The Bedford in Balham, South London on Monday 18 May. I’m really looking forward to that one as it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to play given the calibre of musicians who have performed there before they were famous.

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

  • In 2012 I signed a publishing deal with Broken Music Publishing. I did a couple of dance remixes for an American artist called Electron Love Theory. I think getting an email from the publishing company saying that my remix (so my first ever release) had been playlisted on over 60 dance radio stations and clubs worldwide was a stand out moment for me.

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?