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NEW NOISE: SOFIA LAFUENTE

Dropping her soul-stirring debut single “Here Again” today, the singer-songwriter gets candid on the production process.

Sofia Lafuente
Sofia Lafuente

After years of steadily working on her songwriting ability and vocal range, singer-songwriter Sofia Lafuente is making her debut with haunting single “Here Again”. Born from the tipping point in a relationship, the single boasts the newcomer’s vocal prowess, as she effortlessly glides over the soul-stirring production before erupting into a crescendo of atmospheric bass and powerful rhythms. Bringing the track to life with an emotive video, Sofia captures the drama and moodiness of the single and turns it in something ghostly yet feminine.

“’Here Again’ is the darkest of the songs in my mind both sonically and thematically,” Sofia reveals. “Working with Alex E on the production we wanted to create textures and moments in the song where it really felt like you were going through some sort of epic emotional energy. I wanted to capture the highs and lows that relationships can bring and how they can really push you to be confronted with bigger questions like what’s important to you, what you need and who you are. These are all pretty existential questions and we wanted the drama of the production to reflect this.”

Finding solace in music having moved across Europe at an early age, Sofia picked up a guitar and started pouring out all her pent-up emotions into atmospheric head-turning pop. With her debut single setting the tone for the singer, we caught up with the newcomer talking about her developing her sound, musical inspirations and how she fell in love with music after having surgery.

Check out the interview below…

How have you been during this uncertain time?
I’ve been doing ok as I’m sure most would say. Definitely have had a lot of moments of ups and downs but I think knowing that I was going to release music has really allowed me to focus on a goal to work towards which has been very helpful in all this. I feel very lucky to be working on something creative amidst all the chaos.

How has it impacted your music and creativity?
As I haven’t been able to go to sessions in person I’ve been working a lot over Zoom and writing by myself. After spending the last few years collaborating a lot it was definitely nice to strip everything back to basics and just write to a piano or a guitar like I did when I first started. It comes and goes in waves though because finding inspiration at a time you’re not doing too much can be hard, so the topics become a bit more existential.

How did being born in the United States and raised across Europe influence you sonically?
I grew up with a mixed cultural background so I was exposed to a lot of classic American and British music growing up The Beatles, U2 etc. My mom’s Spanish so I also grew up with a lot of Spanish music around me which I think has definitely influenced the way I write melodies. What I’ve realised is that whatever the music, the stories and the way the production enhances them was what I gravitated towards. My dad listened to a lot of PJ Harvey, Nirvana and Fleetwood Mac so sonically I think I’ve been very influenced by a lot of artists from the 80s and 90s. I love the sonic landscapes they had during that time.

Who were your musical heroes?
Stevie Nicks. I loved her stories, the mystery around her and the visuals she creates. I love how she explores a lot of aspects of womanhood and relationships through this mystical feminine lens. She really seems to explore this idea of power there being power in vulnerability. She is a badass. I also loved Shakira, Lana Del Rey, The Civil Wars and a healthy does of Taylor Swift.

How would you describe your genre?
I usually explain it as cinematic alt-pop. I think that genre right now though is such a mix of things. Depending on the song I could be completely inspired by an 80s bright synth-pop or a completely stripped folk melody but what I always try to capture with the producers I work with, is this sense of a song being a movie moment.

Congratulations on your debut song “Here Again” which explores the tipping point of a relationship – what was it inspired by?
Thank you! Most of my songs are completely autobiographical but this was more conceptual. When I got to the session that day I wanted to explore this feeling of loneliness within a relationship, this point where you’ve given all you think you can give and you just want to know your partner will do the same. When Claudia (Kane) and I were developing the story we wanted to give this apocalyptic feel to the song because that’s honestly how relationships can feel sometimes when you’re not sure you are on the same page as your partner.

The music video is super dark, melancholic and gritty – what did you want to evoke with it?
When I write a song, I immediately start getting visuals play out in my mind. Colours, a specific time of day or type of weather… so when it came to creating the video I made a lot of mood boards to show my director (Alex Butcher) what the song looked like in my head. We threw some ideas around and then of course had to figure out what we could to logistically because of lockdowns etc, so in the end, we decided on this really gritty location and a darker colour platter to evoke the sense of loneliness you can feel during the ‘tipping point’ of a relationship.

“Here Again” is your debut but you’ve worked as a songwriter for years – what made you decide you were ready to step out on your own?
I think it had gotten to the point where I had so many songs that I felt too close to give to anyone else, that I realised I just needed to jump and release them myself. Truly I have always wanted to be an artist but I got thrown into the world of songwriting and that gave me such a wonderful opportunity to grow and meet amazing collaborators, that I think I became a bit of a perfectionist when it came to releasing my own project. I wanted to make sure that it was 100% a reflection of who I am as a person. Lockdown made me realize I was finally ready.

Your love of music came young, and you fell in love with songwriting after a surgery at the age of 13 – could you tell us how music then became a haven and escape for you?
I started writing music when I had to be homeschooled for a while after having back surgery. I was mid puberty, a glorious time to be walking around in a back brace, so I think it was just a combination of needing an outlet and loneliness that caused me to put all my feelings down on paper. Since then it just became my form of therapy. There’s something about melody that frees some part of your brain so that you can just flow with your feelings until you are processing in reel time. That’s the magic of writing for me.

How does it feel releasing new music when most of the world is in lockdown/everything feels so uncertain – what do you hope your music will bring?
Honestly, it has been such a long journey, and I was certainly quite precious about releasing my own music after being a songwriter for so long, that I think lockdown actually showed me there is no such thing as a perfect time. I know I’ve been listening to music to help me through this year more than any year so if my music can bring a little escapism and catharsis at a time when we all need it, that is all I can ask for.

What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Now that I’m stepping out with my own music I definitely want to continue releasing songs. I’m looking forward to working towards releasing a project and building a little cult as I’ve always said to my management. I have no set plans but post lockdowns I’ve definitely gotten better at not trying to control the way things pan out. All I know is that I have a lot of music that I love that I want to share with the world.

NEW NOISE: SOFIA LAFUENTE

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