At just 16 years old, Sophie Powers is the unfiltered and uncompromising voice of a new generation. She understands the unique pressures of modern girlhood and uses her experience to write unfiltered, devil-may-care anthems about the ups and downs of being yourself. One minute she’s confident and cool, with the sneering attitude of a punk rock frontwoman, and the next she’s vulnerable and raw, channeling the loneliness of contemporary life in a stirring ballad. Combining the crunchy sound of punk with today’s hip-hop and pop, Powers is the sound of the future.
Tell us about the genesis of your project. How did you get to where you are now?
In September 2020, I left my home (Toronto) and moved to LA for 4 months to record music every day. While I was in LA, I had endured over 200 days of complete lockdowns and I was mentally exhausted. I channelled my emotions into my songwriting, discovered my sound more, and recorded an EP. The common themes were anxiety, depression, relationships and overall my “teen angst” as a weird adult would say… but overall 1 Thing really tied into the anxiety and relationship side of those themes listed.
How would you describe the highs and lows of being an artist?
Sometimes the highs and the lows are the same thing. The stuff that makes you tired like crunch time before a release and long photoshoots can turn out to be the most rewarding. Being an artist, I also experience emotional highs and lows. I’m a very emotional person, and writing about my high and low emotions helps me stabilize them, and stabilize myself.
What’s a musical guilty pleasure of yours?
At least once a week I google “Lil peep type beat” or “L7 x Britney spears type beat”, just production that is somewhat similar to my music and I freestyle over the beats for hours on end. I literally will be in my bed doing this from 2-6 pm on a Sunday doing this, and not even realize until my mom walks in. I can just sing whatever I want over hundreds of beats, it’s like my secret musical obsession.
What are some sources of inspiration for you?
I’m very inspired by a large variety of artists. Some of them being The Descendants, Avril Lavinge, Nirvana, Blink-182, Machine Gun Kelly, Sleeping with Sirens and L7.
Who’s your favorite artist today?
I look up to many strong female artists. A female artist today I look up to could be Willow Smith. Her recent song has been on repeat off my phone for days.
Tell us about your latest track and how it came about
I had just gotten off the phone with my mom after having a small anxiety attack and I felt extremely calm. I realized if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t have been able to cope with my anxiety at all, and she’s really kept me afloat. I feel like everyone has one thing that keeps them afloat. And I decided to write about my 1 thing that kept me afloat during the chorus and what that moment of clarity feels like because of them. During the verses however, the lyrics and production feel much more scattered-the same way I feel during a panic/anxiety attack, not after.
What are some things you do to keep your demons away?
Music literally is my outlet for anxiety. Whether it’s writing my emotions into lyrics and melodies or listening to music/producing, music and the arts in general are a huge contributor towards dealing with my anxiety. Dealing with creative block-wise, I watch anime or movies. Right away I’ll get inspiration from the way things are drawn, or the setting of the film.
What inspires your aesthetics?
Some of the things I get inspiration from are J/Harajuku-fashion, 2000s mall goth style, the anime Nana, Minecraft, 2000s/90s grunge magazine archives, Twilight, and female rockstars like Blondie or Gwen Stefani. I pull inspiration from the things I am drawn to and have grown up around a lot. For example with Minecraft, I played (still do) soooo much Minecraft everyday after school growing up. I loved the music and pixelized world so much that I wanted to make it my own, and my logos (some of) are pixelated. I even have arcade like sound effects heard in Minecraft in a lot of my songs.
What is the most embarrassing memory of your career so far ?
The most embarrassing memory of my career was probably at the recording studio in LA when I was recording my ep. It was dinner and I was bringing pasta into the studio when I fell down 2 flights of stairs and got tomato pasta sauce everywhere in front of my producer and co-writer. So. Embarrassing.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
That other people’s actions towards you are a reflection of themselves, not a reflection of you. This advice helped me accept online hate and meanness much easier. Knowing it wasn’t always my fault if someone disliked me was a big turning point for me.
Where do you think the music and entertainment industry is headed after this past year?
I think you’re going to hear more and more guitars, and dance style music. People want to get out after being cooped up during covid. You can already see this happening with a lot of new pop music and indie music. The BPM feels fast and there’s a sort of rock revival bubble building up ready to burst.