Check out our interview with Singer-Songwriter, Rapper, Poet & Influencer Sophie Pecora
At 17 years old, Sophie has been performing live and writing songs since she was 9. With her unique poetry-rap style of pop music, Sophie’s intention is to touch people’s hearts through her lyrics and share a message of hope so people don’t feel so alone.
Sophie was on America’s Got Talent (Season 14) in 2019 where country star, Brad Paisley, gave her the Golden Buzzer for her song “Misfits” – commenting, “I’d love to hear a whole album from Sophie.”
Sophie just released her second EP titled “Wildflower”. Throughout the year, Sophie has dropped a few singles including “Anxiety,” and “Overthinking.”
Follow Sophie @sophiepecora
Hi Sophie, please tell us a little about you?
I’m 17 and I love to sing, rap, play instruments, and write songs! I’ve been doing music for as long as I can remember. I believe it’s what I was put on this earth to do!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Courageous, Creative, Compassionate
How did you get started in the business?
I started singing and rapping when I was 7 because I loved Justin Bieber and MattyBRaps! I was always singing their songs and wanted to do what they were doing. I also wanted to learn instruments and started learning guitar and piano at 9 and writing my own songs. My dad made videos of me and I begged my parents to put them on YouTube. They finally did and we got consistent with it, and more and more people started following what I was doing. My first big break was when a YouTuber with millions of followers, Shane Dawson, did a Docuseries about me. Next came America’s Got Talent! I’ve also had my songs 7th Grade and Together at Home win 1st place and 2nd place teen category of ISC International Songwriting Competitions, which is such on honor to be recognized for the lyrics I write! I’m so grateful for all the opportunities to share my music and perform.
How has this changed your life?
Music is my life. Songwriting is my creative outlet and it allows me to make sense of my own thoughts and emotions. I think it’s amazing that sometimes negative feelings that I write about can turn into art that can be shared and can potentially help many people around the world when they listen. It’s hard to say how it’s changed my life because it is my life. It’s what I care about more than anything.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
Like I said before I was rapping and singing as a kid just for fun and it kept evolving as I grew older and kept learning instruments and practicing. My first video was posted online on youtube after I begged my parents for a while. After that, I had so much fun making music videos with my dad and things just kept evolving from there. I literally spend every day working on my music!
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Catchy, Cool, Poetic
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I had many influences when I started writing. MattyBRaps was a big one. He wrote raps to already existing songs so I tried to do that too. I can’t remember why I started writing my own songs, I just was so inspired by other music that I tried it out for myself. I’ve been writing songs since I was 9!
Do you play any instrument?
I play guitar (my favorite), piano, and drums!
Do you ever get nervous?
When performing, a little bit right before. I’d say it’s more of an excitement feeling than nervousness. I get nervous right before my songs release just because they mean so much to me and they are about to get released into the world for people to perceive it in their own way. It’s really not mine anymore at that point. It’s art for the world. I of course love sharing my songs though, that’s the whole point. It’s a little nerve wracking but mostly exciting!
Tell us about your new single “Wildflower?”
I love Wildflower so much. This song is meant to be a vessel of hope for anyone listening. I never really write happy songs like this one, but it’s a nice contrast to the other songs on the EP.
What’s the story behind the song?
I usually write songs about different struggles we may face in life, a lot of them surrounding mental health. Wildflower is an uplifting and hopeful song basically saying that no matter what you’re going through, it will be alright because you are strong enough to get through it. I hope this song really helps a lot of people.
And about the success of your other singles “Anxiety”, “Overthinking” and “Keeping Everything Inside?”
I’m so happy that people are loving Anxiety, Overthinking, and Keeping Everything Inside. After my first EP, I had these songs ready and I was so excited to release them because they were some of my favorite songs I had written. People often comment on the meaningful lyrics of my songs and how much they can relate, which always help with the success of songs. My producer is awesome too! I come in the studio with full songs – lyrics and melodies – and Gus knows my sound and understands what I’m going for so I think this really helps with the success too.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I’ve gotten amazing messages about how people relate to my songs and how it makes them feel like someone understands how they’re feeling. It fuels my whole soul when I read messages like that because that is the whole reason I write music. It’s for the world. It’s for the people. I hope all of my songs in the future can keep having that sort of impact.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Well, I do like to read, so there are many books I’m interested in reading, but so far, the one book I read that comes to mind is The Slight Edge. I thought it was really interesting how such a simple concept can greatly impact your life. The small, seemingly insignificant actions we take consistently really make a difference.
You are followed by so many people. How do you feel about that pressure of doing always the right thing, and encourage people to follow their dreams?
I definitely feel pressure sometimes because my music is always for the people, it’s not for myself. Because of this I greatly care about what people think about it. I know it’s generally known that you shouldn’t care what people think, but I feel like that’s part of my job. I try to remember that people are following me for me. Just me being my authentic self and sharing my music is what people followed for. So I don’t need to change anything.
I’ve had people who follow me say that I inspired them and I’m the reason they started writing songs or playing instruments, which is amazing to me. I don’t feel pressure when encouraging people to follow their dreams, because they are inspired just by me being me and doing what I do. I am grateful I can make such an impact on people when I am just doing what I love.
Now talking about Instagram, can you share some tips for keeping your account interesting?
When I’m posting music, I like to do different types of songs. Sometimes I do covers, other times I do original songs. I also rap in some videos and sing on others so that keeps it dynamic. I also post dance videos every now and then! When I post photos I like to do ones that show personality and just something fun and light.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
To always be grateful for everything you have while still striving for more. Gratitude is everything.
How would your best friend describe you?
Hmmm… I’m not sure, maybe kind, funny, and joyful? I’d have to ask!
What’s next for Sophie Pecora in 2021?
My second EP releases on Aug. 18th! I’m currently working on my 3rd and it’s first single will be released toward the end of this year. I’m also planning to do more performances now that things are opening back up! I did my first performance in over a year recently! That was very fun. It was great to see real people and live reactions to my music since I’m so used to just being online and reading comments. It’s the first time I experienced people singing along to my songs! I’m also always writing more songs. I just love songwriting. I have some new songs I’ve written lately that I’m excited about!
What is your favorite healthy food?
I like broccoli. With it cooked to the point where it’s soft and loaded with butter and salt and some cheese. So I’m not sure if it’s healthy at that point anymore lol.
And your favorite cheat food?
I love tiramisu!!!
How would you explain your fashion style?
I’m not really sure, it changes frequently. I like pretty colorful things usually, and I like unique prints that you don’t see all the time. I also love sneakers! Fun fact: I haven’t worn a dress since I was 8 years old 🙂
What is your own definition of happiness?
Having lots of gratitude and being content with every aspect of your life. And content doesn’t mean you have to be happy with it, because some things are hard and there’s always something to work on. But just being content and accepting what is, and trusting that everything will fall into place. Falling in love with the journey of life. And of course having close friends and family means so much to me.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
It’s hard to choose just one person because I’m inspired by so many people! At the moment, Ryan Tedder comes to mind. Meeting and talking with him would be very interesting! He’s an incredible songwriter and I feel like I could learn a lot from him. I’m curious what he would think of my songs and if he has any insight to share.
Best advice ever given?
Enjoy the process.
Do you support any charity?
I support a local charity called Teen Esteem in Danville, CA, and any charity that supports mental health. I believe it’s so important to have strong mental health because everyone in this life has a purpose, and unless we feel good mentally, we aren’t able to share that purpose and shine in this world, and that is sad. It’s sad not only for the person struggling mentally, but everyone around them. The world is a wonderful place when people are able to share the best parts of themselves with others, and I don’t believe we can do this if we don’t feel good within ourselves.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I see myself still writing and releasing songs. I want to learn how to produce my own music and perhaps other people’s music. I’d also like to help write songs for other people and write with other artists or writers. I’d like to do concerts and do more dancing and maybe incorporate that into my performances too. I’m also open to any more opportunities that I haven’t thought of yet. There’s so many great things that I could get into in the future. I’m not supposed to know all about it yet! All I know now is I just want to make music that inspires and provides hope and love to the world.
As far as myself and personal life, I’d just like to have a close circle of friends and family around me. I’d like to travel and see new places and meet new people. I want to have an active lifestyle, whether that’s dancing, running, biking, etc. It’s fun to be active and out in the world. I’ve always loved hip hop dancing but throughout the years my music has taken over as my main focus. I’d love to get back into dance.
Favorite song? Why?
I don’t really have a favorite song, it changes every week because I fall in love with songs and then listen to them on repeat too many times, then I find a new song. Generally my favorite songs are ones that are lyrical and have a good meaning or tell a story. When I listen to music I always focus on the lyrics. Currently, I’m really enjoying an older song by James Blunt called You’re Beautiful. It’s such a nice song and relaxing to listen to.
What do you think of Social Media?
I have a love hate relationship with Social media. It is so good for my music and being able to reach people all around the world, but it can very easily be toxic for mental health. Numbers of views and likes really can affect me negatively and make me forget my core purpose with my music. It’s not about the views, it’s about the impact. And of course I want to reach a greater audience because that means I can make an impact on more people, but it’s easy to get sucked into focusing on the numbers when it’s about the people behind each view and how the music makes them feel. I try and remind myself of this whenever I feel bad about what’s happening on social media. The platforms are what they are – what’s important is not to take it too seriously. Social media is entertainment and not real life.
Where we can follow you?
Book: Wonder (I don’t have a favorite book, but this book came to mind. I read it when I was younger and remember liking it a lot!)
Quote: “Focus on what you can control”
Movie: Planet of the Apes (I don’t have a favorite movie, but I saw this one recently and really liked it!)
Tv Series: Friends
Favorite Food: Any kind of pasta
Travel Destination: Italy or Germany
Sports Team: I don’t watch sports!