Sophia Bastian Talks Career Start & Songwriting

Berry Behrendt
Sophia Bastian

Inspired by classic jazz artist Billie Holiday and soul pioneer Ray Charles, singer/songwriter Sophia Bastian combines smoky vocals with modern, youthful lyrics to deliver something both old and new, fresh but well-practiced.

Bastian loves songwriting and puts effort and thought into constructing her tracks. "It is the most delicate part of the process, being able to tap into the flow," she says. "It's not like pushing a button. I usually go through a rough patch of life and then work it out musically for myself." It's this dedication to her work that drew music executive Michael "Blue" Williams to become her adviser/guide. "Sophia is a pure artist," he says. "It's exciting to watch when an artist comes to you with a vision and you see it, and to see her be able to do it, it makes you believe."

“I started in classical ballet. I started in ballet so young, I felt like it was my second life coming into music," Bastian says of her career start. "I just really came into becoming a singer; I ended up going to jazz school for a little bit, and that’s how I kind of ended up being a singer."

Bastian's vintage vocals and bluesy instrumentals have made her a hit at small New York venues including Rockwood Music Hall, and at bigger events like the Roots Jam Sessions. This past year has been an especially momentous one for the singer: MTV and the BBC picked up her music video for "Juvenile Blues," sparking demand for a tour, and several airlines' radio stations added her tunes to their playlists. "I am feeling incredibly lucky," Bastian says. "My goal is to find management and a label that will support me and keep trucking the way I have. I'm not going to slow down."