By Nicole Hanratty
Posted December 31, 2012
Sophie Delila wants a remix, but we just want more of her beautiful voice and gorgeous melodies. Life of a Rockstar hears Sophie Delila as the voice that will ring in 2013. She has already worked with Plan B, Duffy, MIKA and performs live regularly as a member of Nouvelle Vague. We love her song “What Did I Do” is out now on Freak’N See Records and are addicted to “My Life Could Use A Remix” co-written by Don Black (Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and James Bond theme tunes).
This Paris born talent grew up with parents who were close family friends with the manager of Ray Charles and it was not unusual him and Marvin Gaye to be at her dinner table . She attended Berklee School of Music in Boston on scholarship for her early recognized talent at the age of 17.
Sophie Delila has lived in New York and London and brings her life experiences to her songs. She will be releasing her new album in 2013, “My Life Could Use A Remix” with Universal Records.
Life of a Rockstar editor Nicole Hanratty recently interviewed Sophie Delila and asked her about her colorful upbringing, inspirations and where she is headed.
NICOLE: Hi Sophie!
NICOLE: I’m so glad we got to connect. I want to ask you so many questions. I’m so fascinated by your story and your music. Maybe can you just start by telling me where you are now and what you have going on?
SOPHIE: Sure. I am currently working on some tracks and I’ve got a show in London on Wednesday, so I’ve got rehearsal tomorrow. Yeah, just keeping on doing everything, really, the studio and the live thing, which is very enjoyable, both of them.
NICOLE: Your album that’s out is “My Life Could Use a Remix,” right?
SOPHIE: It’s not out yet, though.
NICOLE: OK, it’s coming out. It’s just the first song that I’ve heard?
SOPHIE: Yeah. There’s an EP which is called “What Did I Do,” which is the single and then a couple more tracks. The album itself will be available to be released next year.
Sophie Delila “What Did I Do” on YouTube Music Videos
NICOLE: Is that what you’re recording in London now?
SOPHIE: I’m currently … yeah. I’m pretty much done with the album. I’m still trying to mix a few tracks. I’m working on a track that I’m producing for someone else at the moment. Currently I’m not working on my own tracks, that’s all.
NICOLE: I think the title is brilliant, and I’m wondering how you came up with it.
SOPHIE: Actually I didn’t come up with it alone, because this song, “My Life Could Use a Remix,” was written with Don Black, who is actually a lyricist. I always say I write a lot of my lyrics, but I thought I wanted to work with Don Black because he’s just a legendary lyricist. He’s written lyrics for Michael Jackson, for … he wrote a James Bond theme. “Diamonds Are Forever” are his lyrics, and I just thought why not work with a lyricist every once in a while, and so we got a lot of interesting ideas there. I guess by talking to me, he figured out for me that day that I needed a bit of a remix. I don’t know. I was feeling down that day.
NICOLE: You went off to school at Berklee School of Music, and …
NICOLE: .It seems like so many successful artists have come out of there. I know Karmin came out of there and Foster the People have come through there. Have you worked with people and colleagues who have come through there? I’m curious what you feel the school sort of contributes to an artist like yourself going through.
SOPHIE: Well, to answer your first question, I haven’t been working with a lot of people from Berkelee since I’m in London, since a lot of them are really into jazz, and so I’ve been doing my sort of pop singer / songwriter thing. I haven’t come across a lot of students from there. I think, yeah, if anything, the school really sort of opens your mind about music and the diversity that there is out there. For me that’s really what it did. It’s not going to teach you how to be an artist because either you are or you’re not one, (laughs) but it’s going to teach you more technical things. The singing. I did a lot of gospel, a lot of jazz there. Really the jazz thing is one of their main strengths, or at least when I was there.
NICOLE: You grew up with quite a bit of jazz in your home, did you not?
SOPHIE: Yeah. …My parents were more the blues jazz kind of thing, all the bebop things. It was not so much at home. I really learned that, learned about that, in the States. It was lots of soul and sort of blues at home.
NICOLE: Do you have memories of having Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye in your home?
SOPHIE: I was too young. Ray Charles, I do remember we used to go to his shows when I was about like eight years old. Marvin, I was literally just a baby. So apart from pictures or the recordings and things, I certainly can’t remember it from my own eyes.
NICOLE: It sounds like your parents were a great influence on you.
SOPHIE: Yes, they are. I’m very lucky. I’ve had a very sort of stable education, I would say, and a great amount of love. That you can’t forget that. I’ve been very lucky to have the parents that I have, and I’m very grateful to them all the time. They have taught me lots. Yeah, they’re a great influence, it’s true, certainly.
NICOLE: It says you love Stevie Wonder. Are there other artists that you listened to growing up that you feel really shaped the type of music you sing today?
SOPHIE: There’s a lot, and we’ve all got our phases. From my parents, obviously the Beatles, and Marvin and Aretha as well. Those are like the classics, and there was a bit of Brazilian music as well from my parents. Then I really got into soul music, as in more modern soul music like Maxwell, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, all that. Of course I was a huge, and I’m still a huge fan of D’Angelo, I think, of course. I guess they really influenced me vocally.
NICOLE: That actually sort of leads into my next question, is who are you listening to today?
SOPHIE: I love what people like The Weekend and Frank Ocean are doing, because I think this is very reminiscent of people like Maxwell or music Soul Asylum or these people with the more sort of hip‑hop lyrics. Vocally they remind me a bit of them and I think it’s a good sort of current version of like a music, what they are listening to.
SOPHIE: Plan B. I listen a lot to Muse as well.
NICOLE: I love them.
SOPHIE: Yeah, they’re really brilliant. Who else is in there. I listen to most everything, but there’s also Miike Snow, whom I love. Yeah. There’s too many.
NICOLE: I always ask this question. If you had to pick a song title, any song, to describe your personality, what would it be?
SOPHIE: We just spoke about Muse, so I could say “Madness,” [laughter] but probably not. I don’t know, there’s so many. Hold on, hold on. “Madness” is the first one that came to mind.
NICOLE: I like it, and I love that song.
SOPHIE: Yeah, so I guess let’s go with that.
NICOLE: In one of your lyrics it says, “A little less madness and a little more truth,” so I think it’s apropos that you take “Madness” as the song title.
SOPHIE: I didn’t even think about it. [laughs] I just say it as a joke. I may be mad in a good way, not in a bad way. My life is not boring.
NICOLE: I think that song is so beautiful and it’s such an amazing love song that it brings a whole new meaning to the word. It’s a great song about being caught up in love and emotion and life, really.
SOPHIE: It’s like passionate, yeah. It is the song title, it’s not just the words. That’s true, sorry. [laughter] Let’s remember it’s about the song.
NICOLE: Did you want to talk a bit about what sort of inspired the song “What Did I Do?” It’s an interesting subject matter because I think it’s something people don’t talk about much, but I’ve certainly experienced it in my life. I’ve had best friends sort of go away and it’s somewhat unexplained or you have a falling out, and it’s not something you hear people talk about so much. Can you maybe talk a little bit about what happened in your situation and what you were bringing light to?
SOPHIE: Sure. No, I think it’s just a song … yeah, it’s about … I don’t burn bridges with people. I don’t really fall out unless something really happens. …Thankfully it has not really happened, because completely in that situation, I don’t think anything specific happened. I think it’s just the course of things, just people changing and changing their lives or their situation. I don’t know, maybe at some point in your life, you want to clean up who’s around you, and it wasn’t hard to understand, especially because it was someone who was … who’s not close to me geographically. They’re quite far away, so it was quite easy for them to just not reply to me.
I never came to them and said, “Why aren’t you speaking to me anymore?” I just would call his phone every now and then, and they could just have not said anything and just disappeared in a way, but they chose to write to me about a million reasons why [laughs] they wouldn’t want to be my friend, and I didn’t really understand. It’s a bit complicated, I guess. Not … I mean on their side. Me, I still have trouble understanding…I don’t know. Friendship is hard to maintain with long distance. It’s like any relationship. There are people that live far from you and then you might not speak or write to them for a year, but then when you see them again or when you sort of write to them again, it’s like nothing has changed. There are friends like that, but it’s quite rare.
NICOLE: Those are definitely the special people in your life that you can always be connected with even if you’re not in constant communication.
SOPHIE: Yeah, exactly. I guess some people need more, and probably that person needed more.
NICOLE: It says that you have sung with Plan B and you opened for Lionel Richie, and you’ve done some great things. Is there someone you’d really hope to work with in the future?
SOPHIE: There are so many. I was talking to that with someone recently and they were saying names like Massive Attack…Bruno Mars, all sorts of people. They’re like, “Oh, you’re very diverse in your choices,” and yes, I guess I am. [laughter] I don’t know, there’s just certain artists that attract you. It’s not a genre of music or a style or anything. It’s just like more the substance, the songs, the vibe… So, yeah. It is very wide, so yeah. Like Massive Attack would be great, to do something with them. Obviously Stevie. Writing a song with Stevie Wonder would be amazing. There’s so many artists I want to write with. All the people that I grew up listening to or the people I listen to now, potentially I’d love to work with them.
NICOLE: You went on tour and you went through Poland and the Czech Republic. Do you have a favorite memory from that tour, when you were working with Marc Colin?
SOPHIE: That whole trip was quite funny. It is a great memory. I don’t think there’s one city in particular. Prague is such a beautiful city, and we had a day off the next day so we could walk around. It’s not often that you’ve got time to sort of visit, but I do have a special memory because I did have a bit of time to walk around. I can’t really compare it to the other cities, certainly, but yeah, that was amazing.
NICOLE: You’re wearing Hermes on your cover, and you’ve work with other designers.
NICOLE: Did you get to pick what you wanted to wear for your cover, or how did that come about?
SOPHIE: I’ve worked with Hermés on a few occasions, including one time in London doing shows for them into those … they wanted to sort of revamp the image of wearing their scarves. I worked on that with them with some shows and recommendations, and that was a great show. I kept in touch with them, and when the shoot came up and we were looking at outfits and things, we thought it would be a good idea to wear some Hermés. Of course I worked with a great stylists, so I’m always lucky to discover new designers as well. Like Samantha Cole, who designed that white dress that I wear on the cover.
NICOLE: You look absolutely beautiful.
SOPHIE: Thank you.
NICOLE: Sophie, I always ask artists if there’s a charity that they donate their time to or that’s important to them that they’d like to mention.
SOPHIE: I’m supporting UNICEF. It’s very classic. There’s a lot more I’d love to get involved in. I’ve done a few shows for several charities already.
NICOLE: You have such a beautiful voice. It’s such a pleasure to speak with you today.
SOPHIE: Thanks very much. It’s nice to speak with you!
SOPHIE DELILA ON THE WEB