Sophia Moon has got a new interview out with Hollywood Music TV Canada, and it goes pretty in depth about her latest album Staring Back at Me, and the process behind how it came to be. I enjoyed the read because it gave an additional layer of context behind the album that helps me appreciate certain aspects of it more. The interview also touches upon the earlier part of her career and where she plans to go from here.
Read on after the break of make the jump to HMTV!
Hi Sophia Wow I was taken by surprise when I tuned into your new Album beautiful vocals and I really like the new unique sound it has that Pop and R&B mix which is just bursting on lots of radio stations in Canada currently like Z103.5 and many others.
Q. When I think of the Album Name “Staring Back At Me” I think that it could be the sound track of your life is that the basic concept of your new Solo Project?
A. Yes, I always draw inspiration from my personal experiences and then in the process of writing the song, I do fabricate some details. The heart and core of the songs are very personal to me though. The song ‘Tick Tock’ for instance was the song I wrote right as I was leaving my full time corporate career to pursue my music, “Tick Tock, the rhythm of the clock/ It’s in tune with the beating of my heart/ And it’s about time, I made time/ To ask myself what I want/ Stop the clock, the tick tock/ Take a minute to breath it in/ So don’t tell me it’s too late/ Cause the clock is beating in tune with my heart/ Tick Tock”. It was my personal anthem, me telling myself to follow my heart.
“Caught Up” is a song I wrote about a guy I was hung up over some years ago. He was one of those guys that always lingered and had a power over me that I couldn’t explain (which I have since overcome ) “Caught up in the way you touch my hand/ Caught up in the things you say to me/ Caught up by the way you kiss my lips/ I can’t control what’s happening/ I’m so caught up in our history/ Caught up in being so caught up by this/ There’s no doubt that I’m officially/ Caught up when it comes to you and me” When I sing this song live, I can still remember very vividly how strong my feelings were at the time. The beauty of writing my feelings into a song is that others who have had similar experiences can be one with the song.
I also always get asked if ‘Absent Father’ is written from personal experience, and it is! A lot of young people grow up in single parent families now and this song was my creative way of sharing my experiences. My parents split when I was seven and although my father and I are building our relationship now, he was absent from my childhood. The song speaks of the insecurities that fester on the inside when one is estranged from his/her father. I have not had the courage to sing this song live yet because I am afraid I might break down and cry while singing. It’s a very powerful song for me and took the longest to finish writing and recording.
Q. I really like the courage, strength and confidence I get from your lyrics what motivates or inspires you to write these songs in an intelligent way?
A. I enjoy a mindless, fun, catchy song as much as the next person but I know that singers and songwriters harness such an awesome power to convey a positive message through songs. When things were tough in my life, music was my outlet – both listening to, and writing music. I know it sounds really cliché but I do believe in my heart that every challenge in my life is there for me to overcome and grow from. If I were a painter, I would paint my victories great and small, as well as all the lessons I learned, but destiny will have it that I’m a singer and songwriter so I can’t imagine not creating and sharing my music.
My goal in writing songs is to strike a fine balance between creating catchy and mainstream melodies and combining it with lyrics that are meaningful. See, I don’t believe that those two elements are mutually exclusive.
“Echo” is a song about overcoming fear, and really facing your innermost self, “And I’m searching deep inside/To find the Goddess of light in me/Cause I started to realize/The missing pieces I seek are right in front of me/ In the silence, I hear/Just the sound of my fear/ And it Echo-o-o-o-oes/ And it Echo-o-o-o-oes…” The song is very upbeat and fun and the melody is catchy, but there’s a deeper meaning behind it as well. I love it when a song comes together like this.
Q. I can’t really pick a favorite song because I love all the songs on your new Album they have that addictive quality but I can get a strong visual from Irresistible, Unbreakable, That’s Just The Way It Is, and Remember. Will you be producing any music videos from any of these song tracks soon?
A. I am releasing my first music video for the song “Five Star Recovery” at the end of April along with a new website (www.sophiamoonmusic.com). I did a really soft iTunes release of my album “Staring Back At Me” back in December of 2009 but I’ll start marketing and promoting more with the release of the music video, lining up performances, and the launch of my new website. It’s a really exciting time. I was so fortunate to work with such talented folks for my first Music Video, Tony Colapietro of Stonegate Studios and our amazing team (Ania Broszkiewicz, Lance Reenstierna, Lois Noble, Jenny Chan, Angelique Wigfall). Tony and I are in the process of putting together ideas to shoot the next video for “Echo” which will take place in a couple months and release right in time for the summer.
Also, in a few weeks, time I will start shooting a music video with Andrew Swaine for “Unbreakable” and shortly after that, “Remember”. We have some cool concepts for these videos so I’m excited to get them rolling!
It’s so awesome to watch my songs come to life through a music video and I feel super blessed to be working with such talented folks who help make it happen for me.
Q. How did you land the opportunity to work with music producers Shin and Sean of A-Rex Productions for “Staring Back At Me”?
A. Aww, A-Rex – Hyuk Shin and Sean Hamilton are dear friends of mine. I was there when Shin and Sean first met and started working together in 2005, and I was the first writer they worked with as A-Rex Productions. We spent over four years developing our respective musical styles – we practically ate, slept, and breathed the same air during that time. We went through a whole process of trial and error together and really grew so much individually in the process. Right as I was completing my solo album ‘Staring Back At Me’ they were signing with EMI and finalizing Justin Bieber’s single “One Less Lonely Girl”. So, the timing was perfect – a commencement of sorts – and we each graduated into the next level of our careers. We are still very close and continue to nurture our friendship.
Q. Have there been any challenges in recording these songs?
A. For the most part, the writing and recording of the songs on the album came as natural to me as eating and sleeping. I drew song ideas from personal experiences and from the experiences of close friends around me.
Q. Who is helped with the mixing and mastering of “Staring Back At Me”?
A. A-Rex Productions, Producer Jordan (‘Tick Tock’, ‘Reciprocate’ and ‘Absent Father’), and my big brother, Mike Moon (Remember Remix) each mixed the songs I recorded with them, and Miguel Sa Pessoa of Cybersound Studios (Boston, MA) so awesomely mastered my album for me.
Q. I was really impressed that you started your own Independent Label Fifth Street Productions was it under this label that you co-produced and released your former Album “No Limits’?
A. I co-founded Fifth Street Productions in 2005 with my then business partners and released the first full album “No Limit” that same year. The album was a collaborative effort with two other artists, but the majority of the album (10 of 14 songs) was written by me. About a year after the album released, we decided to go our separate ways. It was hard enough trying to define myself as an artist without the added stress of handling the business and marketing end of things for other artists. I learned a lot of very valuable lessons from the experience though, which I incorporate in my many dealings as an independent artist now.
Q. Which songs from your Albums “No Limits” and “Staring Back at Me” are receiving the most radio airplay or attention from your devoted fan base?
A. From the album “No Limit” the songs ‘Heavenly Sky’ and ‘Innocence’ were the most popular and on “Staring Back At Me” the songs, “Echo” “Five Star Recovery” and “Caught Up” seem to be getting the most feedback at the moment.
Q. Are you working on any new songs at the moment for another Solo Album?
A. I have continued writing and inevitably some of the new creations will be considered for my next solo album. I am also writing in hopes of getting some major placements as a songwriter so the writing never ends for me. Whereas “Staring Back At Me” was an introduction to Sophia Moon as Songwriter and Singer, the second solo album will dig deeper, be even more personal, and will display more of my vocal range and depth. I believe in progress and growth – otherwise why continue, right? I am really excited for songs that haven’t been written yet… I just love the entire process of creating and writing.
I hope to release my next full album in early 2011. In the meantime, I am still promoting, performing and building on my album, ‘Staring Back At Me’.
Q. What are your goals or things you want to accomplish in the future?
A. 2010 is already off to a great start. Until recently, I had put off performing aggressively because I was in creative mode – writing and recording. At the moment, I am striking a happy balance with studio time, band rehearsals, interviews, shooting music videos and performing. This Spring, I hope to do a mini College tour on the East Coast and by the summer time, I’d like to go on a nation-wide weeks or months long press tour.
Q. Will you be making any live appearances on any music venues soon?
A. Yes, I have been working with my awesome band and we are in the process of booking live performances on the East Coast. I’ll keep my upcoming shows updated on my Facebook fanpage, MySpace page, and soon-to-come http://www.sophiamoonmusic.com.
Q. Before we bring our interview to a close do you have anything you wish to say to fans or friends.
A. The Universe has this awesome way of serendipitously joining people together to make wonderful things happen. I don’t take anyone for granted. My family and friends keep me grounded and sane when I am sure I’ll explode and they allow me to dream and dare to believe with me. Random fans give me such warm words of support that keep me going on a daily basis – if you think I don’t read all your messages, think again! Each comment and all feedback is read and appreciated. And all the precious folks who believe in me enough to labor alongside me – my producers, photographers, graphic designers, band members, backup singers, choreographers, dancers, directors, stylists, makeup artists… I really do appreciate all of you and don’t know what I would do without you. I feel so blessed every day. Thank you, all!!