|Published: 2008-04-17 by Kristofer Kebbon
Sophia Somajo always knew that she’d get involved in music, anything else was out of the question. Yet it was only by chance that she started to write for other musicians – by happy chance, that is, at least for artists like Vincent and Danny Saucedo, whose singles Miss Blue and If Only You have both gone gold.
With a self-produced solo album under her belt, and a portfolio of songs written for the Backstreet Boys, Darin, Vincent and others, 23-year old Sophia Somajo is already an experienced songwriter. She’s been active in the industry since she was 15, and has been able to make a living from music for the past three or four years. But she really sees herself as an artist in her own right, and has always had her focus on her own music – never on writing for others.
“It was never my intention to write for others. But after a few years in the recording industry I noticed that it was something I could do, and that it could bring in some money. I watched how others went about it and thought, ‘Is that all there is to it? I can do that!’ And it wasn’t so hard. But I don’t take it that seriously, I just think it’s fun.”
When Sophia writes for others, she gets involved in the whole process – such as selecting the artist for a particular song. She gets most out of knowing who she’s writing for before she starts, as it helps her work out what will work and what won’t.
“Writing music for other people is completely different from writing it for yourself. I’ve got a completely different emotional thing going on when I write for myself, and I don’t reckon I’ll ever be able to let those songs go – the separation anxiety would be too much! But it’s great fun writing for others. You can be very playful, and it’s fun, you know, to do something that’s totally crazy. It’s almost like playacting.”
Apart from being a songwriter and an artist, Sophia can now add the title of producer to her CV after having produced her own debut album single-handedly.
“I started to produce myself because I’d had a picture, or rather a sound, clear in my head. But since I didn’t know the proper terms, I’d always found it hard to explain exactly what I wanted. So it was easier to do it all myself. I started off sitting there ‘pretending’ and eventually found that I could actually do it. One day I’d like to produce more for others.”
What advice would you give to new songwriters hoping to get their music out?
“To keep going and not give in. And not to make such a big thing of it. You shouldn’t take it too seriously. There are so many published songwriters out there that take song writing far too seriously and end up blocked. Try to be productive instead, keep writing a lot and be happy if something works!”