Sophie Pecora chats all things music, YouTube and her *new* album (out now!)
Maybe you've seen Sophie Pecora's countless songs and videos on her YouTube channel. Maybe you've heard her music on your BFF's playlist. Or maybe you've seen her performance on America's Got Talent, where guest judge Brad Paisley gave her the Golden Buzzer. Wherever she might be though, one thing is certain: Sophie Pecora is dazzling.
At just 17 years old, Sophie is a powerhouse. She's been writing her own lyrics since she was nine, and her original song, 7th Grade, won First Place in the 2019 International Songwriting Competition in the teen category.
GL got to sit down and chat with Sophie to get all the inside deets about what inspires her, her new album (coming out soon!) and why making music matters to her.
GL: How did you get started in music?
Sophie Pecora: I started when I was about 7 years old. I really loved watching Matty B Raps on YouTube and I look up to him, I sang all of his songs. Also Justin Bieber. I actually started rapping before I started singing, and then I sang all the time. I wanted to learn how to play guitar also, so I learned guitar at 9 years old. It's been a lot of years of just having fun and singing.
GL: And you have a new album coming out soon!
SP: Just this year I finally got into the studio for the first time to professionally record my songs, so that's where my first EP is coming from. It's the beginning of a new chapter for me, so it's exciting.
GL: What inspires your music?
SP: It's really random. I just get ideas, I don't even know where they come from exactly. It might be from a TV show I watched, something going on in the world or just stories I hear. It usually doesn't start from my own experience with something because I love creating stories but I try to make it relatable for people.
GL: Your EP is called Raise the Bar. Do you feel you're raising the bar in your music?
SP: This EP is the first body of work I'm putting out so I'm raising the bar in my own music career right now. All of the songs on the EP are a collection of different stories and struggles or challenges someone went through and also how they got through it, so I hope to inspire other people to raise the bar in their own life and in their own expectations of themselves and what they think they can get through.
GL: Do you enjoy making YouTube videos? How do you think that plays into your music career in general?
SP: I started on YouTube and I just always had so much fun making videos. That's pretty much the only thing I'm doing is social media. These days that's how you do it so I share my original music and all the different songs. That's the main think I do, especially now with quarantine—there's no performances or anything going on so I'm really just on social media to share my music that way.
GL: Tell us about one of the songs off your EP that means a lot to you.
SP: I really love "Misfits." That one is the closing to the EP, and the last line of the song is "misfits have some powers that are really pretty rad," and I just love that line. I think it can sum up the whole EP. "Misfits" is about people who feel out of place and sometimes I felt like that with my music style. Because I rap and a lot of the time, rapping and singing don't go together in songs, or if they do, it's usually not a girl rapping either. There's a lot of people in the world who feel like misfits and this song is for them.
GL: What advice would you give girls who feel like they don't fit in?
SP: Don't think you have to change. Own up to yourself and just be yourself. I know that sounds super cliché, but it's so important. No matter how out of place you might feel, you are how you are for a reason. There's going to be someone else out there who feel the way you do, so you just have to trust that there are people like you out there. That's why I love writing my songs because maybe one of the listeners will think, oh, I'm not the only one experiencing that.
GL: What are your hopes for the future with your music?
SP: I'm just hoping to keep releasing songs that I really love and hope to always inspire people. I write a lot of songs about real-life situations, like things people go through in life. So I want people to listen who are going through those things and feel like they're not alone because I'm experiencing how they're feeling, and to be a positive impact on the world.
GL: When you look at the future after the pandemic, do you hope to tour and perform more?
SP: I love performing so much, I can't wait to perform again! I absolutely can't wait to go on tour and perform everywhere I go.
GL: What do you like to do when you're not making music?
SP: I really love baking. I like baking cookies, brownies and tiramisu—that's my favorite dessert. I also like hanging out watching TV shows, just all the normal stuff.
GL: Do you have YouTubers or other musicians you look up to and want to collab with?
SP: I really love Alec Benjamin's music. I love NF, he's a rapper. There's a ton I would love to collab with but Alec Benjamin and NF are always huge inspirations.
Sophie Pecora's new EP, Raise the Bar, is out now. You can stream on Spotify and Apple Music.