Sophie Faith: Places To Make Music
Rounding off a stand-out year with her eagerly anticipated The Right Side Of Wrong EP, soul artist Sophie Faith discusses how changing environments impact her sound.
Sophie Faith’s latest EP The Right Side Of Wrong focuses on the challenges she dealt with during the pandemic, a time when she had left her label and was living on her own, all while battling mental health issues.
In collaboration with some of the UK’s most gifted musicians, Stormzy, Swindle, Lydia Kitto (Jungle), Matt Zara and Kwaye to name a few, the EP was started at Faith’s home which became her place of work for the first time.
In her interview with Pirate, the London-based singer-songwriter discusses the impact of place on sound, her latest project and plans for the new year.
The pandemic was a lowlight for most artists, but during that time you recorded some music. What was that like?
I recorded and started a lot of my music at home which was new to me. Previously my home was my sanctuary where I didn’t really do music.
Over lockdown I moved in with some really talented musicians, some of which are on the project, and that definitely changed my work rate and inspired my creativity.
Following a project through to its end is challenging. Mixing my home environment with where I created meant balancing personal, business and creative relationships, but I was really lucky to have these people around me pushing me to my EP’s completion.
How much do you feel that recording environments affect the feel of your music?
100% they do. I’m so sensitive to the light, energy and the people around me. I need to feel safe where I create. If I don’t feel safe I can close off and find it difficult to write. When I can open up I feel it’s almost magical, and there are certain producer relationships that allow me to do this.
Are there any benefits to home recording compared to a professional recording studio?
My voice is in a different place when I’m in the comfort of my home. I wrote things at the time that I never thought would end up on my debut EP but it just happened.
It also made me learn new skills which are always useful like setting up Ableton projects and recording myself, whereas before I’d always needed an enabler if I wanted to record music.
Where was the new EP recorded?
It was a mixture of places. The beginning of it was written and created at home but a large part of it was solidified on a residential retreat to a studio in Essex where all of us made music morning, noon and night.
We also have a studio close to my home called The Carpet Shop where we spent countless summer days building on the project. Love to Linden as we sacrificed many sunny days working on this music.
Away from technicals, what is the new EP about in terms of themes, ideas and feelings you want it to evoke?
I’m a multi-faceted human, with multi-faceted emotions. I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t gone through hardship in the last couple of years and in my own way, the EP is like diary entries of the different feelings and emotions I was going through.
I was questioning whether I was right or whether I was wrong, if I want to be a mother, and whether my career path will stop me from achieving other goals in life.
I want people to listen to and explore their feelings, and ask themselves whether they feel anything relative.
What does the new EP sound like musically?
It’s a mixture of some real soul, blues riffs, jazz, gospel, hip-hop influenced drums, and I personally feel it’s timeless in sound.
I’m inspired by different eras of music and I wanted to create something that would last and stand the test of time.
It’s constructed around live instrumentation and it explores all avenues of soul.
Who are your big influences for this record?
I’ve been getting deeper into my 70s soul, people like Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder but also soulful artists now like Jazmine Sullivan, Yebba, Gaida, Sinead Harnett and Cleo Sol.
Finally, what’s on the agenda for 2023?
Watch this space in 2023, there’s new music I’m really excited about and more live shows including an intimate meet and greet where I'll be selling The Right Side of Wrong on vinyl. Follow my socials to find out where you can get yours.