Your success is defined by your perception and everyone has a different definition of success. It is important for me to recognize the strides I’ve made even if I’m still working towards my own definition of success, because that definition is constantly evolving.
As part of my series featuring the rising stars in the music industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sophie Rose. Sophie is an artist, songwriter and producer from Calabasas, CA. At 19 years old, Sophie has written over 600 songs and is currently signed to a publishing joint venture between Prescription Songs and hit songwriter Ester Dean, star of NBC’s Songland. Sophie began writing songs at age 9 and signed her publishing deal at age 14. Sophie has collaborated with hit writers, producers and artists across all genres, including gnash, Anitta, XYLØ, Waterparks, kenzie, and many more. In addition to writing songs for other artists, Sophie is an artist in her own right. Sophie’s songs have reached the top 5 on Billboard charts, top 40 at dance radio, and have been streamed over 20 million times. Sophie recently finished a North American tour supporting Nina Nesbitt ahead of the release of her self-written and self-produced debut EP Spring on April 19th. Sophie’s songs have been placed on the UglyDolls movie soundtrack, in TV shows such as Empire, Catfish, and Guidance, and have been used in commercials for MasterCard, Samsung, and more. Sophie is also using her talents to help others by supporting charitable causes including ACT Today! Autism Care and Treatment and Girls Rock Santa Barbara.
Thank you so much for joining us Sophie! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have loved music for as long as I can remember, and once I started homeschooling when I was 10 I started to spend all of my free time writing. I don’t think it was even a conscious decision that I wanted music to be my career path, it was just something I was always passionate about and working on.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
One of the most interesting stories from my career in music so far is how I secured my support slot on Nina Nesbitt’s North American tour earlier this year. I first found Nina because Taylor Swift added her song “The Best You Had” to her favorite songs playlist along with my first single “Two Young Lovers” back in 2017. I posted a cover of “The Best You Had” on my Instagram in December 2018, and Nina saw it and liked it, so I direct messaged her and tweeted at her asking her to keep me in mind as an opener for her tour. About a month later, I was asked to join the tour, which was incredible.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I have a new single coming out September 20th called “Break Up With Myself” that I’m really excited about, and I’m working on finishing an album that I can’t wait for people to hear. I am also still writing for other artists and have some exciting news on that front coming soon!
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I think most people who work in the music industry are pretty interesting. One of the most interesting people I know is Ester Dean, my publisher. She is a prolific songwriter and has taught me so much about music, on the creative and business side. I also met a lot of interesting people on tour and loved interacting with Nina’s fans.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Taylor Swift and Carole King are two of my biggest inspirations. TayIor inspires me to have the same impact with my music that her music has on her fans. Seeing how devoted her fans are is so amazing. Carole’s success as a songwriter and recording artist is incredibly inspiring. Writing has always been my favorite part of making music, and I’d like to achieve success as a songwriter as well as an artist. Fun fact: Kenny Loggins once called me the hip-hop Carole King, which I think is pretty cool.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I co-wrote a song called “Firefly” to empower children with autism, which has been used as a theme song for ACT and Firefly Autism. I am involved with Girls Rock Santa Barbara, which is an amazing organization that empowers girls through music. It is also really gratifying when people reach out to let me know my music has helped them through a hard time. If I can help people with my music, that is the greatest feeling.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
This is not very original, but I think it’s important to be kind. Be kind to other people, animals, our planet — just be kind. Kindness can go a long way, and especially now I think it’s important for people to unite for the greater good.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I think it is important to take breaks. I’m guilty of burning out once in a while because I tend to push myself too hard, which a lot of people in this industry do, especially creatives.
I am also trying to be nicer to myself and be happy with where I am in the moment instead of constantly focusing on the next thing.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- First, trust your instincts. I started in this industry when I was very young, and I was constantly being critiqued or watching what others were doing. It took me a while to realize that every person is on their own path and only you know what’s best for you.
- Second, listen. When I was first starting out, all I wanted was to get noticed by industry professionals or creatives I looked up to. I started to realize how beneficial it was to ask questions and learn from someone rather than focusing on pitching myself.
- Third, it’s okay to say no. It is still hard for me to turn down potential opportunities, but it really is better to work smarter and focus on your goals than to accept every opportunity and end up spreading yourself too thin. This will lead to lower quality work and eventually, burn out.
- Fourth, you will never be 100% sure of yourself or what you’re doing. The music industry is so unpredictable, and it is easy to feel out of control. The only thing I am ever sure of is how a song makes me feel, and I have to just go from there.
- Fifth, your success is defined by your perception and everyone has a different definition of success. It is important for me to recognize the strides I’ve made even if I’m still working towards my own definition of success, because that definition is constantly evolving.
We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them :-)
Wow that’s tough! I think I would have to go back to my biggest inspirations, Taylor Swift or Carole King. It would be pretty awesome to have a chance to talk with either of them about their journeys.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
All of my social media is @sophierosemusic !
Thank you for these great insights. This was very inspiring!