In the spotlight – Sophie Dorsten

In the spotlight – Sophie Dorsten

Sophie Dorsten (USA) is our Cool Top 20 sweetheart; she’s always supportive of other artists. She’s also the girl with the incredible powerful voice of an angel, and she has star potential. At just 18 years old, Sophie is a singer-songwriter talented beyond her years. Since the age of 13 Sophie has released several EP’s and singles. Time to learn a little more about Sophie.

When were you first introduced to music?

“My parents always have music playing from Frank Sinatra to sounds of the 70s, Madonna, Boston and Rush, to Bob Marley and on and on. So I’ve always been listening to some pretty awesome music in a wide variety of genres. We would sing along and dance to it all the time since I can remember.”

What kind of music do you like to listen to these days?

“I love indie music – indie folk and indie pop. My favourite artists are From Indian Lakes, Billie Eilish and Hippo Campus. Adele was my favourite when I was young. I really love her strong dynamic vocals and that is where I got my vocal style I would say, but I’m loving this chill indie vibe when I listen to music on my own.”

What song represents your sound best?

“There is an artist I found recently and I am really enjoying, Eleni Drake. I fell in love with her song ‘Peaches‘ – it’s so beautiful and I feel like it represents my sound and vibe perfectly – where I want to be anyway.”

Is there anyone you would like to be compared to?

“I would love to be compared to her, but also Adele and a little of Billie Eilish.”

If you could open a show for any artist who would it be?

“The ultimate artist that would be sick to open for is Billie Eilish and of course Hippo Campus, Briston Maroney, Billie Marten, or Eleni Drake.”

When did you start singing?

“My mom has showed me videos of me singing along to the Disney princess movies when I was about 2 – I started my vibrato then also. It was funny to hear! I joined the school choir in 4th grade and really fell in love with it.”

You were also in a band with your brothers.

“Yes, a couple of years later, when I was 9, I joined my brothers in our family band – it was through a little music school. My older brother Alex played guitar, and my younger brother Joe played the drums, while I sang and played bass guitar. We were called “Sophie & the Boyz” – with a “z”. 

You must come from a musical family then?

“Actually, my parents are not musical, but they are great groupies and have become great roadies and of course managers when needed. ”

When did you start playing guitar and writing songs?

“Our little family band broke up after several years and I picked up the acoustic guitar and basically taught myself, which is also when I started writing songs. I continued choir to my freshman year of high school, but I was performing around Phoenix more as a solo artist and wanted to focus on that, so I quit the choir. I did have a vocal coach as well during those early years.”

The first song we heard from Sophie was ‘Phasin‘, which was a #1 hit in our Cool 20 chart. Even though that’s only a couple of months ago, Sophie has gained popularity since and she’s back to working with one of her brothers. Their song ‘Babydoll‘ is currently in our Cool 20 chart.

“I have to say that I truly appreciate what you do for musicians – I have met so many amazing peeps all because you put ‘Phasin’ on your playlist many months ago. The connections I made are so awesome – thank you!”

Thank you for your kind words, Sophie!

The songs ‘Babydoll’ and ‘Sea Salt‘ are a collaboration between Sophie and her brother Alex. How is it to work with your brother?

“It’s so great working with Alex, we have so much fun writing and recording. He has such cool ideas for the music. ”

Does he play in your band too?

“Yes, he plays in the band with me, he plays lead guitar. Maybe one day I’ll convince him to do backup vocals too!”  

Can we expect you to release more songs with Alex?

“Oh yes, we talk all the time about new song ideas. He is a senior in college at GCU and is busy with the end of the semester so hopefully in January we can start working again on something.”

Album cover Sea Salt

We can find your song ‘Sea Salt’ in the new submissions list. I’m expecting it to enter the chart in the next few weeks. What’s the story behind ‘Sea Salt’?

“The story behind ‘Sea Salt’ is more of my emotions lately. I graduated high school in June and most of my friends have moved away for college. I’m left at home wondering where life is going to take me next. It’s an eerie feeling of being stuck in between chapters of life. The pre-chorus “Please don’t go, listen close” is holding on to the past, and wanting to stay there, not being ready to move on. In the chorus I talk about how the only thing I need to do is move on and accept that that part of my life is over. I can’t do anything about it except to move on. It’s an emotional song for me.”

I noticed your TikTok video of how you made the album cover for ‘Sea Salt’. That was brilliant.

“I do my own artwork. I made the artwork for both ‘Babydoll’ and ‘Sea Salt’. For ‘Sea Salt’ I got the inspiration from a picture of someone creating a diorama and editing themselves into it. I really wanted to do that for my album cover. I made the diorama to where I imagined myself in the song, where it took place. I wanted to edit myself and my brother into it but decided to stick with my handmade clay figurines. It took a while to make, but it was so worth it. “

Is art one of your hobbies? 

“Yes, art is my hobby and I love working on various projects when I’m not doing music. It relaxes me and helps clears my mind. My current fave is oil painting – I taught myself over the summer and love how I can layer and change it.”

Your music seems to have changed over the years. Your early work appears to have more of a country sound.

“Nothing against country, but I never meant my early work to sound that way. My producer loved country and I feel it took some of that on without me even realizing. I have a natural break in my voice and even that came across that way unintentionally.”

Your 2020 songs have a more folky sound. The songs with your brother Alex are more pop orientated. Is that the direction you want to go in the future? 

“I am currently experimenting with my music. I enjoy the pop, but I also want to stay with some of the folk. So maybe a mix of the two. I love my ballads, but I am trying to work them in to something more of an indie pop.”

What do you enjoy most as a musician?

“I enjoy the writing and the fulfillment I get when I’m done writing a song, and it sounds perfect. I just get so excited. I also love being on stage and performing songs from my heart for the audience.”

Do you enjoy the process of creating?

“I love the process of creating. I feel that I am learning every day, and I only want to get better and better at songwriting.”

What are your goals for 2021? 

“My goal for 2021 is to write and release more songs. It seems that I might not be able to get back to shows for a while, but when they do come back, I want to do as many as I can. Prior to COVID-19 I would perform about 2-3 shows a week, so I would love to get back in that groove. Maybe even travel to the UK – I’ve met lots of amazing peeps from around the world on Twitter and would love to actually meet them – and play with them!! I should also mention that I have a couple of collaborations planned as well – one is in the works with 3Mind Blight – it’s coming along – we are both so busy, but so excited how it’s turning out. We’re planning for a February release!”

Can we expect a full length album? 

“For now, I don’t plan to do a full length album. I’m more focused on releasing singles, and having fun releasing different genres. Maybe a “greatest hits”. ;-)”

Last, but not least. What’s your favourite song in the Cool 20?

“That’s such a hard question – I love so many peeps on those lists!! Honestly, the latest number 1, Umbrellabirds ‘Rhododendrons‘ is probably my current fave! It’s chill and so beautiful and much like the other indie music I mentioned earlier. I love it! But I have to shout out my peeps – Ditsea Yella and The Jobs on the Top 20. They are so supportive of others and of course make amazing music. I also love the Unknown Brothers. I could keep shouting out – but they know who they are!”

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