Every day is an opportunity to grow, and in the case of Sofia Stanley – that sentiment has never been more true. In a matter of months, from one single to the next, one can hear the evolution in her sound and style. A rising star that is sure to make a lasting mark on the industry, and the world, we talked with Sofia Stanley about the advantages of being Gen Z, Ms. Grande, and her take on respect.
Kendra: When did you realize there was something more to your voice and did you decide right then and there you wanted to pursue music?
Sofia Stanley: I’ve loved music and singing for as long as I can remember, I don’t think there was a specific time in my life where I was like “I wanna do this” as such, I’ve just gone with the flow and it just happened naturally! It just felt right, especially since I come from a musical family and I’ve experienced going to shows and studio sessions as a kid, I feel like that influenced me a lot when it came to wanting to pursue music. Music to me isn’t just a career or a job, it’s a lifestyle!
Kendra: Being part of Gen Z, what advantages do you feel you have over the older generations in terms of getting into music and making a career out of it?
Sofia Stanley: I feel like there isn’t a better time to make music than now! With social media and the internet, you can get yourself out to so many people with just a click of a button! Especially since Tik Tok has become so huge, all the major hits this year have become popular because of Tik Tok. People can LITERALLY have a song blow up everywhere without even leaving their house! I think everything now is so much easier than it used to be generations before, we are very lucky! But we wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for older generations, so major respect to the generations before us!
Kendra: Are there any lessons you’ve taken from millennials, Gen X, boomers in terms of the music industry that have helped guide your own?
Sofia Stanley: Ariana Grande is a HUGE influence on me. I just love her style, incredible voice, all of her music is great…I just think she’s awesome! My mum brought me to see her when I was 12, and DAMN! That girl can reach notes I didn’t even know existed! Bruno Mars is also a massive influence on me! His stage presence, his voice, and he’s an incredible songwriter! I know she’s not a Millennial, but I have seen Shania Twain live, and I can say that that was the best concert I’ve ever been to. I love how she mixes Country with Pop, also a bit of Rock in there! She’s awesome! I could go on all day about my influences but it would take years for us to get through them all, so those are the top three artists that I love and that influence me!
Kendra: You’ve dropped a couple of singles this year, and wow – talk about growth and variety. “Angel” is soft and demure, while your latest smacks listeners in the face – in a good way! “Respect” definitely showcases a more mature sound. Is that the direction your next releases will head as well?
Sofia Stanley: That’s awesome, thank you so much! Hopefully, I didn’t smack people in the face too hard haha! I’m somebody that’s into many different types of music, and I believe it’s great to be versatile! On my Spotify playlist, I have Def Leppard and Ariana Grande in the same playlist… If that doesn’t tell you that my music taste is “all over the place”, then I don’t know what does! I would say that the main genres I’m into are Pop and Contemporary R&B, but my upcoming singles and EPs have splashes of many different genres, such as Hip-Hop and Classical, to name but a few. I like to have fun and play with different types of music when in the writing process, but I still like to do it in my way / add the “Sofia Stanley” touch to it! I don’t like to make songs that all sound the same, I think it’s boring! Music is music, and it’s about exploring and trying out different sounds!
Kendra: Are you working on an EP or LP at the moment, or just focusing on single releases?
Sofia Stanley: I have an EP in the making right now, which should be ready by early next year. The main sound for this EP is Contemporary R&B, but there are a lot of other sounds that I love and that inspire me that are on this EP, such as Rock, Reggae, Classical, Hip-Hop, the list goes on! I also have singles that will be released leading up to the EP, so I’m super excited about that!
Kendra: With all that has transpired this year, how do you feel 2020 has shaped your creativity and drive moving forward?
Sofia Stanley: It’s so weird because, 2020 is by far the strangest year of not just my life, but most people’s lives. But funnily enough, this year has been my most successful and productive year. I’ve been performing and writing for many years, but I’ve only started releasing any original music since the beginning of this year. The song that I released with my mum “Sweet Sweet Smile” is different because that was just a song that we wanted to do. But I feel like lockdown and staying at home played a huge part in changing my way of thinking and looking at life. It made me realize that you should never take anything for granted, and you never know what’s around the corner!
Kendra: Usually, this is where I ask people what they have planned in the coming months but with the world in a strange place right now, plans aren’t as concrete as they typically are. You can go ahead and let us know what you have tentatively planned but can you also share a song that never fails to get you through when the world around you feels like a mess?
Sofia Stanley: My plans for the foreseeable future is to keep writing and releasing music. Due to the current situation, there are some things that we can’t do at the moment, but when everything is back to normal I look forward to things such as performing at festivals, doing my own live shows, even just meeting up with friends again! I can’t wait for that! In terms of songs that get me through tough times, I have LOADS! It would have to be either “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley because it has that exact uplifting message that we all need right now, or “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson because…it’s just such a bop!