To find out more about the release, we caught up with one of the most exciting up and coming artists around for a Q&A. Red In Revenge is out 20 May 2022.
What are your feelings as you build towards the release of Red In Revenge?
I’m super anxious considering it’s my first EP/body of work that I’m putting out into the world. It’s pretty intimidating, not gonna lie. But I’m also feeling excited and proud. Proud of the music I’ve created and all the amazing people who helped me get to this point. I’m excited for the future.
How long have you been working on it?
I’ve been working on this since September 2020 honestly, which is what makes it even crazier… It’s April 2022 now!!
Can you tell us a bit about the writing process and how you approached the tracks?
I was still learning a lot about my writing style at the time of making this EP, so the writing and recording process was very all over the place. I learned that I found it most comfortable approaching a song based off of where the music took me, not where I wanted to take the song. In other words, I stopped letting my ego and what I wanted to write about get in the way. Instead, I started following where the music production and melodies were taking me, then the lyrics came easily. ‘Lonely Army’ was the first song where this happened, and it changed my creative process completely.
What themes and topics does it take on and where did you take your inspiration from?
I was writing this EP during a pandemic, so I was angry at the world. I felt like I deserved the teen years that were promised to me in coming-of-age movies and Pinterest photos. I was having a hard time mentally and it’s not like any of my hometown friends could come to Los Angeles during a global pandemic, so I felt extra isolated. Truthfully, the title ‘Red in Revenge’ is because I was writing from a place of anger; wanting revenge on everything and everyone that had let me down. That being said, angst, anxiety, depression, failed relationships, and failed friendships were common themes. But it’s not all bad, as I had artists like Avril Lavinge, Kurt Cobain, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Prodigy, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna there to empower me. ‘U Love It’, and ‘Greed’ are two of my songs which were heavily inspired by the powerful auras of females like Avril, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna. I took my frustration towards the world out with rather empowering songs because of these amazing female artists.
“If my EP were to have its own genre it would be called ‘Hyperpunk'” – Sophie Powers on her new EP Red in Revenge
How would you describe the EP sonically?
If my EP were to have its own genre it would be called “Hyperpunk” in my opinion. (Hyperpop+Punk). All production and musical choices were derivative of my other favourite genres though; punk, pop, rock, rap, hyperpop, hip-hop, and electronic music.
What were your first thoughts when you listened to the final version for the very first time?
I was literally so impressed with myself. I was like, “Damn! This is actually kinda good.”
I’m super hard on myself and am kind of a perfectionist so when I’m actually happy with something, I know it’s good.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in putting together the EP?
I was a mentally ill, 16 year old, living in another country alone for 4 months during a global pandemic. There were a LOT of challenges but the hardest challenge actually was burnout. And I mean that I would not want to take a single off day because I wanted to, A; distract myself from a scary reality, and B; music was the only thing that made me happy. I think I worked a minimum 7 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 weeks in a row. My producer and I got pretty sick often because we worked so much. And that’s definitely not healthy. I realized that after the 3 month mark. Breaking my work cycle and asking for help was the hardest part of my EP process. Even if it was only for the last month of recording.
“I actually did a freestyle of the chorus on my first try” – Sophie Powers on why she is proud of U Love It
Is there one track which particularly resonates with you on the EP or one which you are particularly proud of?
I’m really proud of ‘U Love It” because I actually did a freestyle of the chorus on my first try. Obviously the lyrics weren’t set in stone, but just knowing I was able to write such an empowering song when I wasn’t feeling powerful at all myself. I was able to put the art and the listener first, not my own ego. It really changed how I view music and art itself.
What do you want people to take away from the EP in terms of emotions and thoughts?
I want people to feel like they’re having a conversation with me while listening to my music. My songs should start new thoughts for them as if I was right there speaking the lyrics to them, because my EP is an extension of me and my emotions. Whether those emotions are sadness, anger, angst, or happiness, I’m there to experience them with the listener through my music. It sounds cliche but I want to be a friend to whoever’s listening and be someone they can tell anything to because this EP was there for me when none of my friends were. “People are complicated” and “life sucks” are things I often think. I’m a very blunt person and I think people will resonate with my honestly. Some will hopefully find it entertaining and funny too, haha.
You’ll be hitting the UK (including Manchester) for a string of dates later this year – what can your fans expect when they see you live?
They better expect me to show up in a fire outfit designed and styled by myself. And they MUST with a CAPITAL M be prepared to JUMP UP AND DOWN A LOT. (I’ve been doing jump squats just to get ready.) They should also be prepared for me to take their phone from the audience so I can take a selfie on stage, LMAO. I’m super excited!!
When will Sophie Powers perform at Manchester Academy 3?
Sophie Powers will support NOAHFINNCE at Manchester Academy 3 on 10 September 2022. The Manchester gig is one of eight UK dates she is performing:
8 September – Birmingham, Castle & Falcon
9 September – Oxford, Bullingdon
10 September – Manchester, Manchester Academy 3
11 September – Leeds, Key Club
13 September – Glasgow, Oran Mor
14 September – Nottingham, Bodega
15 September – Cardiff, The Globe
16 September – London, O2 Academy Islington