In a world of pretentious people and false realities, it’s refreshing to meet somebody who knows who they are and can fearlessly express what they believe in. That’s exactly what Sophie Pecora embodies as an 18 year-old artist. Her form of self-expression is through her music, a unique amalgamation of rap delivery and poetry-style songwriting, with subjects that explore the truthful spectrum of emotions she feels as a teenager. And that’s not even the most intriguing part about Sophie; she also happens to be a Golden Buzzer recipient on the globally renowned, sought-after talent show, America’s Got Talent, where guest judge, Brad Paisley was just as blown away by her creativity and talent as we are.
As she continues learning, exploring and growing, Sophie says, “I graduated high school in June and live in Los Angeles now with my family. I’m writing a lot of songs. My goal is to write 100 songs this year and I’m halfway there. I have my driver’s permit and have been practicing driving. Driving in Los Angeles is a little scary though! I was just in the studio recording 5 new songs, and they’re almost ready for release. I’ve been releasing a song every 5 weeks or so.”
“For me, through my music, helping people not feel so alone seems like a great thing to pursue because I know how certain songs that other people write help me – it’s such a comforting and magical feeling and I feel so validated.”
Her sonically-sound ear had developed as a child, and she continues fine-tuning it through consistent practice and pushing herself outside her comfort zone. This development followed through with years of training herself in the music realm and gaining a deep understanding into the reins of the music world. “I’ve always enjoyed rapping, singing and playing instruments for as long as I can remember. I started rapping first at 7 years old, then got into songwriting and playing the guitar at 9, then piano and drums followed. I feel like I naturally ended up in the music world. It feels like the music path was chosen a long time ago because I literally worked on music daily for as long as my memory can go.”
Sophie’s lyrical understanding is not stereotypical, it comes from a different tangent. Her style of lyricism gives her the scope to develop songs that really mean something, and allow her to leave the strongest impression, as opposed to superficial-level songwriting. This gives her the opportunity to fully feel, explore and convey her emotions authentically, how they are. Some would say the development of her capabilities runs in the family. While reflecting on how her upbringing impacted her music, Sophie says, “My parents have always been encouraging and supportive. They saw my interest in music, and always encouraged me to keep going and doing what I love. My parents are big supporters of creative expression, and always allowed plenty of space and time for me and my brother growing up. Sometimes we’d feel bored, but not for long, because my parents simply encouraged us to play. My mom is a writer too and writes about deep subjects in lyrical style poems. When I was young, I would read my mom’s poems. I didn’t understand them back then, but loved them so much – the way they sounded – I could tell they were meaningful.” You can almost tell that Sophie’s natural style of writing has roots embedded within her. But that’s not her only source of inspiration. As a young artist who’s still carving her own path, she also derives inspiration from the artistry she listens to and remarks, “ My main artist inspirations are Alec Benjamin because of his descriptive storytelling about meaningful subjects. NF is another big inspiration of mine. He inspires me in my rapping and he also writes about important and meaningful subjects. He’s good at being vulnerable and truthful, which his listeners connect to, and I strive for that as well. Currently, I’m loving Conan Gray’s music as well! I’m influenced by many other artists, I always appreciate good songwriting.”
The natural specificity of her music arises from the freedom she gives herself in her creative zone. She doesn’t constraint herself from any creative concepts, which allows her to develop the songs from a basic idea into a vivid arc. “I sit alone in my music room and start playing my guitar or piano, but usually my guitar. I think of a chord progression and then write the song, the melody and lyrics, based on that chord progression. I record a voice memo and start freestyling lyrics and melodies so I can re-listen and build on whatever I like. Sometimes I start with a subject in mind for a song, and sometimes I don’t. Basically it feels like I’m playing around – like I’m in a flow – when I create my songs. Even when I’m not in the ideal creative zone, I can still write – it just tends to be a slower process, and I find that I don’t like what I’m coming up with as easily, but this doesn’t stop me from continuing. I eventually get back into a flow. My main focus is to daily sit alone in my music room and just write something.” This tendency has given her the opportunity to create a plethora of songs over the past year, some of which she selected to publish in her EP, ‘To Save the World’.
Her newly-released EP, as with most of her music, harnesses relatability, which allows listeners to find a connection with her music. The all-too-relatable amalgamation of emotions that we feel as teenagers is exactly what Sophie conveys and her listeners resonate with. “For this EP, I was thinking about all the songs I write and that I get so many messages every day from people telling me how much my songs help them. They say that they feel like I’m putting into words exactly how they are feeling, and it makes them feel so much better. For me, through my music, helping people not feel so alone seems like a great thing to pursue because I know how certain songs that other people write help me – it’s such a comforting and magical feeling and I feel so validated. I feel like there are not enough songs like that being written, so I happily write, and I’ll gladly be a voice for others. I think of my music as “turning feelings into art” and my hope is that when people listen to my songs, they feel understood and not so alone. This EP tracklist is no exception.” That is the backbone of how she represents herself otherwise too. “I don’t really think about being authentic. I don’t know anything else but to be myself. I’ve been supported by being who I am over the years, so maybe this is why I have the confidence to be myself. I also love music so much, it helps me be myself – listening to it, writing songs, performing – all of it inspires me.” A quality that one can definitely aspire to imbibe, especially with the widespread false representation of reality on social media. With her innate ability for natural songwriting and self-awareness, it’s easy for listeners to find traces of themselves in her music.
“I want to know that I contributed positively to people’s daily lives. When people listen to my music, I hope they’re comforted by my songs and the things I’m writing about and feel understood and not so alone.”
Her music career, although just kicked off, will definitely change the face of the music industry. With soft-spoken moments of internal introspection, Sophie’s striking and meaningful music is set to make an impact on those who come across it. “I want to know that I contributed positively to people’s daily lives. When people listen to my music, I hope they’re comforted by my songs and the things I’m writing about and feel understood and not so alone. I hope my songs will live on forever because I write about the natural human experience of life and feelings, so I feel it’ll always be relatable. This would be an amazing legacy to leave for the people who live long after I’m gone.” And it will live on.
Her truthful confessionals and stripped-back lyricism will always grant universal appeal, and her pleasantly charming aura will always shine with authenticity. With soundscapes that allow space for her unique artistry to shine, Sophie’s music will undoubtedly be timeless, and in the future, perhaps even trendy. We’ll have to watch out for that. But for now, she’s opened her musical career chapter and wants us to join her for the ride.