As Sophia Foy (’17) walks home, her eyes are peeled, looking for inspiration and hoping to not miss something that could be the subject of her next song.
“I pick up inspiration from just things in my daily life around me,” Foy said, ranging from things she has observed to other people’s life experiences. “I take in as much as I can of an experience or my surroundings, because you never know, it could turn into something cool.”
From the age of eight, Foy has been walking around her house singing tunes. Yet she never thought her voice was that good until her mother convinced her otherwise and encouraged her to pursue further training for her voice.
The big push came from attending arts camp Interlochen this past summer, where she took intensive songwriting lessons. “[My teacher] thought that I had potential, and so after that camp I really took [songwriting] seriously because I wrote a lot of songs then, and it was something I was really passionate about,” Foy said.
From her first song, Foy has seen herself grow drastically in the quality of her writing as well as an artist as a whole. “I love the creative part of it and being able to go through the process of becoming an artist,” Foy said. “I like seeing myself grow because I remember when I first wrote a song it was really crap, and I just wasn’t very good and I didn’t have much confidence.”
Although Foy has written many songs about young love and crushes, she hopes to move away from those topics. “I don’t really like writing about that kind of stuff. I want to write social songs, [about] political issues, or topics that really matter to me,” Foy said.
Balancing both her academics and her singing pursuits has proved to be somewhat difficult for Foy. After a long day at school, Foy has to manage homework, athletics, as well as practicing. “I have to force myself to practice, even though I love doing it,” Foy said. “It’s just really hard because it’s a lot to do in a day, but I want to get better.”
The way that artists publicise their music has changed drastically since the rise of the internet, something that Foy finds as both wonderful and difficult. “You can connect to your fans really easily and you can respond to them and make sure they buy your stuff.”
However, gaining publicity without a strong social media presence is very difficult. “Now a days you need to have a stellar social media following before you release anything, and [record companies] want to see that. So right now I’m building up [my] social media [presence],” Foy said.
Creating such a large social media presence is difficult due to the sheer scale of the internet. “There’s just so much content online that I feel like it almost gets lost in social media,” Foy said. “It’s really hard to make sure your videos and your stuff gets seen.’
Foy does not like posting on social media because she has found that it detracts from the music the artist is producing. “If it was up to me, I would just be songwriting and just doing my thing, releasing songs,” Foy said. “But now I have to promote [my music] and post everyday and do vines and all that stuff, and it takes away from the creative aspect of songwriting.”
(Video produced by Gabe Perez and Alberto Orive)
Although Foy is dedicated to her academics, she is thinking about her future in the music industry. “My plan is to start getting managers, promoters, that kind of stuff, so if everything goes well by the time I graduate I might defer for a year and concentrate on my music,” Foy said. “But my plan is to have a set plan of what I’m going to do until I graduate.”
That plan consists of performing as much as she can and attending open mics. “I’m concentrating a lot on being a good performer and gigging, and then also creating more content for social media and that kind of stuff,” Foy said. “I’m trying to get as many [gigs and open mics as] I can to get the most experience possible.”
At the end of the day, Foy wants to get her name out there. “I want to be an artist who is relevant through years, who is looked up to and who has many albums that [are] successful,” she said. “I want to be a good singer/songwriter and be known for that.”