Sofya Wang on authenticity, empowerment and alpacas

Sofya Wang is an indie-pop artist, first gen Chinese American vocalist and active member of the LGBTQ+ community. Trained pianist and cellist, Sofya taught herself songwriting at the age of 17 and music production.  As an openly gay woman herself, her videos, music and visuals aim to empower individuals to stay true and become their authentic selves regardless of culture, expectation, and social pressures. Sofya has managed to sell out at The Roxy with Olivia O’Brien in LA and open for Phantogram at SXSW last year. Despite her busy schedule, Sofya has always made time to have fun as she believes life is too short to be serious all the time!  Her fun and bubbly attitude oozes through her visuals and tone of her music.

From a young age Sofya had an appreciation for classical music, being introduced to the piano and cello, her fondness for music grew and she began experimenting with to create her own unique sound which eventually blossomed into singing. Sofya recalled,’I only used to sing in the shower’ but one sudden day she thought, ‘let me try and sing outside the shower’. Sofya lets out a light laugh which really encapsulates her fun bubbly personality reminding me of the pink settings and candy floss captured in her, ‘Boys aside’ video. Sofya believes, ‘everything is an instrument, even your voice even if you can’t sing’. This is where I took a minute to reflect on my awful shower voice and somehow I felt empowered when she said,’ some instruments have nicer tones than others however music is to be felt not just heard’. ‘I don’t even know I’m feeling something until I’m feeling it’. Sofya describes her songwriting process similar to how she feels the sounds and melodies in music. ‘Found love’ was created,’ the words just flowed and I was able to direct and create the set design from that, as well as using Pinterest. Pinterest helps my creative mind create real-life visuals which I’m free to explore and bring to life in my videos!’  

Sofya and I spoke about barriers in the LGBTQ+ community and the music scene as an artist and as a gay artist. ‘I’m still breaking through. It’s easy in the beginning and you don’t think about the barriers. It’s the middle that gets messy and I’ve had to learn along the way’. Sofya expressed some of the difficulties she has encountered along the way,’ it’s difficult with music platforms such as Spotify, it seems all LGBQT+ artists are banded together even if we create different sounds. I am happy to be a part of and be acknowledged as part of the LGBTQ+ community but I want my music to speak for itself. Artists are multifaceted’. ‘It’s getting past being branded as an LGBTQ+ artist and just being seen as an artist. Like Young MA said ‘I’m a rapper 1st of all’’.

Sofya’s music aims to unify people as well as empower individuals to embrace their authenticity and live their truth while enjoying life!. Something I personally believe in, especially for 2019!. ‘ I like to make things and people can interpret it for themselves. For example, Boys aside is funny and flirty. It’s fun! Sometimes everyone is too serious. Just chill!’.  

Her attitude oozes calm sugary music and she partly puts this down to a life changing event which occurred in high school. ‘I remember being in a cabin with no heating or hot water but it was so fun!. It was hard but it gave me a different outlook on life and humanity. There were 100 students on campus 6 weeks at a time. It was secluded and I was stuck with these people’. Reminiscing on this event taught her a valuable life lesson. ‘Persevere in life, especially in tough environments, hard times show you the important things. I reminded myself that things could be worse’. Sofya stated ‘living life on the edge and embracing new challenges has also taught me to take risks! And value life’.

Sofya believes, “life is full of feelings and emotions, sharing that with everybody if I feel something and allowing someone else to connect, resonate and relate is so important to me! Especially if it can help someone in their life, help them find a bridge to share their pain as well as happiness”. As our conversation came to an end I asked Sofya to share a funny story with me, “I brought 2 alpacas home once. My grandma was like, what is that! They were like pets to me”. Sofya will be releasing a new collection of music this year so keep an eye on this rising talent!

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