Country Next: Sophia Scott
We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with Sophia Scott.
Sophia Scott; Photo by Alex Berger
With distinctive vocals and a fresh sound that is unlike anyone artist in country music, Sophia Scott is ready to have her shining moment. Having hailed from Colorado, the spunky singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist spent her early years learning how to write and play various instruments while developing an eclectic taste in music ranging from country and pop to grunge and R&B.
Armed with talent and a fresh country sound, Scott ventured off to California to continue pursuing her dreams but found herself making frequent trips to Nashville to work with some of the city’s top writers and musicians. After honing her craft in Los Angeles for six years, she officially moved to Nashville and began releasing singles that saw her surpassing over 50 million streams independently.
In 2021, Scott signed a deal with EMPIRE Nashville. The following year, she landed a Global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music and Ross Golan‘s Unknown Music Publishing. Now, Scott is introducing herself to fans with her eagerly anticipated debut EP entitled, One Of These Days, which features tracks such as the deeply personal “Side Effects,” the heartfelt ode to first love, “Sweetheart,” and current catchy single, “More Me.”
“This body of work is my heart. I am so proud of it and thrilled to finally share this piece of me. Putting my experiences into songs is my way to navigate things and has been the best form of therapy for me. I hope that my lyrics offer hope to those who can relate,” Scott shared in a recent press release. “I hope my songs empower you to also put on your favorite outfit and hit the dance floor.”
Scott, who has opened for artists like The Jonas Brothers and Kelsea Ballerini, caught up with Country Now to talk about her journey to Nashville, new EP, and more.
Read on to learn more about Sophia Scott in this exclusive Q&A below.
What led you to pursue a career in music?
I grew up in Colorado, and while I did not grow up in the South, there was a strong connection to country music, just being on the Front Range. There is a lot of cowboy culture in Colorado, and where I grew up was basically on a farm with horses and goats and pigs. That environment steered me in that direction. Also, as a writer and a listener, I was drawn to the country lyric and the storytelling aspects. So, I think that, within my music, although production-wise it steers a little pop, I always try to stay very true to the country lyric and storytelling aspects of that. My mom grew up playing piano, and she also taught me piano. So that’s how I fell into music, and as young as I can remember, I was writing music. I was also in a girl band that ran from third to sixth grade. We were called The Candy Girls. We convinced ourselves that we were the next Spice Girls.
Was it easy to branch out solo after being in a girl group?
Yes. We were so young at the time. I don’t think the other girls wanted it the way I did. I directed the group. I wrote the songs, and my dad paid for our studio time. He drove the force because I think he knew how much I loved it. Then the other girls just fell out of it, and I carried on my passions in choir and plays. I also continued writing music.
What artists have shaped you to come up with your own sound of country music, which I’ve read in your bio as a mixture of country and grunge?
To answer that question, it was all driven by my influences. I grew up listening to The Chicks, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, and Johnny Cash. My mom was listening to Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Sheryl Crow, and Whitney Houston – more of those soul-pop singers. I also sang in church, and I love to sing runs and riffs and do that fun stuff. So my voice is very soulful naturally. So Mariah Carey was a huge influence on me. If you take the pop-soul aspects from those people and mix that with lyrical-driven country songs from the other artists I mentioned, that’s where I came to be this country/soul artist. As for the grunge aspect, I listened to so much music growing up. My dad listened to The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and Nirvana. So all of those influences steered me into the direction I am now – country, soul, grunge, and pop.
You spent six years in LA before moving to Nashville. Do you split time between both states?
I signed a co-publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music and Ross Golan‘s Unknown Music Publishing in Nashville. Since I’ve lived in LA for so long, many of my collaborators are here. I like writing pop and rap for other artists too. It lets me let loose that other side. But after living here for so long, being a country artist in LA was difficult because I was traveling back and forth so often between Nashville and LA. Every time I was in Nashville, a force was pulling me to move there, and people were telling me to move there. After some time, I realized, for so many reasons, that it made sense to move there, and I regret not moving there sooner.
How has the publishing deal been for you so far?
So, I moved to Nashville in October of 2019, at the beginning of the pandemic. So, things were winding down, and it was not ideal for me. But, it wasn’t ideal for anyone. However, after spending so much time in Nashville before moving there, I felt like I was already getting my feet on the ground. Now that I’ve been there for three years, I think the changes and progress that I’ve made in such a short amount of time compared to being in LA are incomparable. I feel like I’m meant to be in Nashville. The close community of songwriters and the country music community in general is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. It’s so wonderful. It’s been so great. But, I was sort of being courted by Warner Chappell amidst the pandemic. We were songwriting on Zoom, which was interesting, and now being able to do it in person, I mean there are no country writers in LA like there are in Nashville. It’s been very cool. I’m so lucky to have signed this deal. So there’s a lot of great things to come, which I’m very excited about.
Your new EP is called One Of These Days. Can you tell me about that project?
If I go song-by-song, it’s been in the works for over three years because some of the songs I have been holding onto are a lot older. But up until this point, I have only ever released singles. So, this is my first official project. What I feel like is – although it’s not an actual introduction because I have been releasing music – it feels like an introduction to me as a full person and as a story. It’s a front-to-back, personal project of my life. So, I’m excited to have everybody hear it. There are six songs, and I think there is a little something for everyone. There are sad ballads, which is mostly what I’ve released so far, such as “More Me,” which is my newest single. It’s a fun windows-down female anthem.
How did you go about choosing the songs for the project?
It was so tough because I’ve been holding onto many of them for so long. I have written so much music in between that time. When you sit with a song for so long, it sort of changes in your mind, I guess. But, with all of these songs, I think what was most important to me was to choose what made sense as a story. I leaned into the most personal songs and ones I felt like could fit together as one project.
Can you tell me the inspiration behind the title track?
I wrote ‘One of These Days’ with two people who have become my close friends and collaborators. But that was the first session that we ever had together, and up until that point, I struggled to be completely vulnerable in my songwriting. I had talked about breakups and more surface-level topics, but this was the first time I felt like I dove into a more traumatic experience that had happened to me throughout my childhood. For me, I think that song became a reminder that through any hardship or traumatic experience in my life, there will always be growth and strength on the other side, whether it is about my childhood or my love life or my career. There is something nice about knowing that, hopefully, one day, it’s all going to make sense, and whatever started me from this point to that point is what got me here because it’s all about the journey. That’s basically what that song represents. That’s also why I decided to make the title track the name of the EP because I felt like every song on the EP can fit into that storyline.
You also made your official TV debut on The Kelly Clarkson Show with“One Of These Days.”
Yes! That was an incredible experience. I’ve been a Kelly Clarkson fan since I can remember. I pitched that song to her when we wrote it. I didn’t necessarily want to, though, because it is so personal for me. but I was like, ‘If Kelly Clarkson wants it, we will make it work.’ She ended up not taking it, but she remembered it when we were going in and telling her what song I would be singing for my performance. So it was a cool moment. It was nice that she remembered me and she recognized the song. I remember it was like three-and-a-half years ago that it happened. She was like, ‘I feel like she needs to keep the song because it’s so personal. I don’t think anyone else can sing it.’ And that was cool because going on her show was a full-circle moment.
A more light-hearted song on the EP is called “Leather Skirt.” Can you tell me about that one?
So I wrote that song one night after watching the movie Charlie’s Angels. I had also been listening to the band Cake. I was getting so fired up after watching that movie. I am always inspired whenever there’s a female badass movie where they’re not only hot and attractive but also taking the world by storm by being so empowering. So, I was like, I know that girls feel amped-up after watching that movie. I also knew I was going into the studio the next day. So I was like, ‘I want to write a song that makes women feel the way I feel after watching that movie.’ But, as I said, I had been listening to Cake, you know, that ‘Short Skirt/Leather Jacket’ song, and I was like, ‘What about a leather skirt?’ It’s like this timeless article of clothing that I feel my grandma or my mother can wear. There’s one for anyone at any age.’ I feel like when you step into it, you step into your confidence and feel great about yourself.
Do you have a personal favorite track on the EP?
I’d say, ‘One of These Days’ because I held onto it for the longest. I decided to name the EP after it because it’s the most dear to my heart. But, the one that I would say is my second favorite is ‘Side Effects.’ Initially, that song was not on the EP because I released it as a single last year. But it is one where the topic is about mental health and addiction – something that I’ve become very passionate about. Some people I am close with have been through that. So, I released that song last year pretty soon after I wrote it. I feel like all of the emotions were so fresh, and I feel like what I was saying was cutting through, for whatever reason. I posted it on TikTok, and the response has been overwhelming in just hearing other people’s stories about it and realizing how important that topic is. So after a lot of thought, we ended up taking out one of the songs that initially was meant to be on the EP and switching it out with ‘Side Effects.’ As I said, this project is so personal, so I felt like it was important for that song to be on there.
How does this EP help prepare you for the next phase of your career?
I feel like I’m already onto the next era in my chapter because we have been working on this for so long. And while all of that has been happening, I’ve been writing the next project. I think it’s going to be – well, I can hint at it, I guess. It’s a little more ‘90s country nostalgic vibes. I would say maybe a little more fun and flirty. It’s more of my fun side. There are some personal songs that I will end up putting on the next project, but I want them to be reminiscent of Shania.
What’s next for you?
I have a few shows in Nashville coming up. I will be playing a few different stages during The CMA [Music Festival.] The goal is that once this EP is out and running, we’re, hopefully, going to hop on a little tour. Those dates are still to come, but be sure to keep an eye out.
Fans can follow Sophia Scott on Instagram.
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