By Emily Wagner
Sophia Scott is one of the strong female voices making their way through the country music business.
The Colorado native is not shy when it comes to expressing herself through her music and it’s what makes her music stand out and be completely authentic an unapologetic. From the ever relatable “Drink Too Much Wine” to the heartbroken “She Ain’t Me” Scott manages to incorporate a fresh new genre blend; like the lyrics of 90’s country with a contemporary feel.
Sophia talked with us all about her musical inspirations, where she get’s her songs from, and how she feels as a female in a predominantly male genre in our interview below.
Where did your love of music start? When did you realize you could make it a career?
“My earliest memories of falling in love with music are from watching Disney movies. I was constantly singing every song from The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Hercules. I had all the soundtracks on tape players and listened to them every night.”
“I started my first band in fourth grade called the “Candy Girls!” We recorded a two song “EP” (if you can call it that.) So I guess that’s when I took my first shot at making it happen, but the real answer is that I always knew I wanted to be a singer and would never give up on making it a career.”
Coming from Colorado or anywhere else that isn’t south of the Mason Dixon line, what perspective do you think you bring to today’s country music?
“I think I bring a unique perspective to country music because I still have things to say and a story to tell, but it’s a bit different than what a lot of other country musicians are singing about because of my upbringing and where I’m from. I think that people who might not normally listen to country still like my stuff because it goes a bit against the grain of the typical country narrative and the production leans a little more pop/R&B.”
Your music has a real honesty to it, something I think we find a lot more of in female artists. Do you ever feel the pressure to commercialize your music rather than sticking to your honesty?
“Definitely. I remember when I was getting ready to release “Drink Too Much Wine” and was so excited about it. It was probably a week before the release day and someone told me the song would never be put on a country playlist, much less anywhere else because I say the F word and talk about smoking weed. I called my mom super upset and she even agreed that it would probably be too jarring for people to digest but that at the end of the day it was up to me to decide.”
“I ended up making the choice to leave the song the way it was because the concept is quite literally about being authentic to myself. It didn’t get on any country playlists, but it did get on New Music Friday and found its own audience. I’m thankful for that, and it’s still one of my favorite songs that I’ve written.”
“I think being dishonest or censoring myself would just be pointless for me and for my listeners.”
The whole reason I’m choosing this career is to reach people that want to hear and relate to real shit.
“When I look at the artists and bands who have inspired me, they are the ones who tested the limits and took risks even when they were told nobody would get behind it.”
Would you say there is any certain artist or band that you draw influence from?
“There are many artists and bands that I draw influence from but I grew up listening to a lot of Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow. I specifically remember the first time I heard the Jagged Little Pill album because it was like I had just found my own personal bible. Speaking of honesty in lyrics, those two wrote the book on being unapologetically honest and I think that’s why people love them. Life can be hard, and music gives you something to relate to, and provides an outlet that makes you feel less alone. I try to emulate that same mentality and write about what’s real, because god knows somewhere someone else is probably going through the same thing.”
There is a lot of talk about women within the industry, and the lack of airplay they receive. Is that discouraging as you try to navigate this crazy business?
“It is sometimes, can’t lie, but mostly I try to use it for my benefit. It excites me and lights me up inside to think about being a part of changing that norm. It’s been a long time coming and I am thankful to be in the girl gang that is breaking through that glass ceiling. There are so many bad ass female country musicians using their voices to make this happen. I love to see more awareness building around this issue.”
What’s next? New music or a new album?
“New music for sure. The world is a crazy place right now, and so a lot of my plans have changed as I navigate this new format we are living in. I am absolutely going to release a body of work at some point, just not sure when exactly. Until then I’ll continue putting out singles.”
Fast Money Questions
Dream Collab: Justin Timberlake, might be Freddy Mercury if he was still alive
First concert: Spice Girls
Song you wish you’d written: “Heart of the Matter” by Don Henley
An up and coming artist we should all know about: I’m obsessed with Katie Pruitt. Her voice, her lyrics, her story – girls got it all and I just know she’s going to be massive. Her music feels timeless.
If you could listen to one artist the rest of your life it would be: Ugh so hard!!! I’m going to say Sheryl Crow. But if it was a band it would be Fleetwood Mac.