Growing up in Pasadena, CA singer-songwriter Sophia Center has always been observant of human nature. Naming artists such as Gracie Abrams, Joni Mitchell, and Lizzy McAlpine as pivotal inspirations, Sophia aspires to tell stories through music that are relatable. Her songwriting articulates the sentiments of a generation shaped by a pandemic, often conveying personal challenges through familiar scenarios. Her debut single “just a sec”, released in 2022, was followed by four more singles in 2023: “I Should've Known”, “Cycle”, “Mrs. Right”, and “Child.” Her most recent single “Spinning” was released this past month along with a music video.  

What's the meaning behind Sophia Center or is that your real name?
Sophia Center is my real name!

Previous musical projects? How'd you first get into music?
I grew up in a house that loved music, and specifically a dad who writes songs for fun. Songwriting is such a natural way for me to process the world and my emotions, so I think I would’ve found it no matter what, but growing up in that environment and watching my dad play his songs expedited the process. I wrote my first real song when I was 10, fell in love with everything about the process, and never stopped.

First concert that you ever went to? (Locally and National acts)
My first concert was Sabrina Carpenter when I was 13, so I’m a true day one. She’s still one of my favorite artists to this day and having her as my first concert makes it even better.

What's your writing process like?
Most often it starts with lyrics, with the melody following pretty close behind. I prefer to have my guitar in hand while writing, but strangely ideas come a lot when I’m driving, so the beginnings of songs usually live as a very rough voice memo until I’m able to sit down and really work on it. Also, more songs than not are based on made-up stories, and I’m a very visual person, so I like to picture the music video or movie scene while writing.

What other artists or songs inspire your music? (Please talk about
the artists you've chosen on your Spotify Playlist that you've given to us)

 I remember being stuck in traffic with my dad and listening to “America” by Simon & Garfunkel. He kept pausing the song and dissecting every lyric, explaining why it was genius. Before that, I had never really listened to that song, or any song, that closely, but completely fell in love with the style of storytelling in “America”. It’s forever my goal to write a song even an ounce like that song. I also really love lyrics that feel like someone’s diary entry. I think Lizzy McAlpine, Gracie Abrams, and Boy Genius do such a beautiful job at that, which is why they were necessary for my top 10 playlist.

What's the live experience like and your philosophy on playing live? Do you think the music live should be identical to the recorded version or should it be its own thing?
I absolutely love playing live, it’s one of my favorite things about being an artist. In any other scenario I tend to avoid excessive attention, but when going into a show all bets are off and it’s just about having fun and connecting with the audience. While I think songs that sound identical to the recorded version can be fun, I love it when the live versions have a twist to it. I love the surprise of it as a fan, and even more A lot of times I discover something new about one of my songs during rehearsal with the band, and it adds a whole new dimension to it. It adds an element of surprise for the audience and makes it extra fun as the performer. 

Have you toured? What has the touring experience been, best shows? Worst shows?
I have not toured yet but have plans to very soon! My favorite show so far would be when I played at The Mint in LA. It was my first time playing live with a full band, a lot of my family and friends came out to support me, and it was so much fun. My worst show might have to be a middle school battle of the bands where I played an entire song with my guitar capo on the wrong fret, so it sounded pretty awful. On top of that, our 6th-grade band “ASK” was announced as “ASS” as we walked out on stage, so it was quite a mess from the start.

What's up next?
I have a few more singles lined up for release this year, followed by my first EP, which I’m so incredibly excited about! I also have a lot more shows coming up, the soonest one being at the Moroccan Lounge in LA on March 19th. Any updates are usually posted on my Instagram, so definitely go check it out!


Leave a comment