Sophi, born Sophia Alvarez, is a sexy 19-year old native Miamian, with stardom set in her sights, has been singing all of her young life. She says of her childhood, “I remember I first started singing when I was very young, maybe 2 or 3 years old. My mom told me I would hold everything from my hair brush to straws as microphones. My grandfather was a musician in Barquisimeto, Venezuela so whenever he would come visit he would play piano and I would sing (scream) along. When I got to St. Patricks Elementary School (in Miami), I joined choir and sort of solidified my passion for music.”
“The very first time I was on stage though was when I was nine years old and sang "New York, New York" for the annual talent show (yes, there is a video on YouTube). That was the stepping stone to where I am now,” Sophi explains.
Her young musical beginnings led her to ambitious forays into music, including an internship at Crescent Moon Studios and Estefan Enterprises, home base to multiple Grammy Award-winning couple, Emilio and Gloria Estefan.
“I started out by sorting out magazines, organizing the payroll books, moving around A LOT of binders, labeling/archiving CDs/DVDs, and learning how to make Cuban coffee,” she recalls, “One day while I was at the studio labeling some stuff, Emilio taps me on the shoulder and asks me to come downstairs to check out a track they wanted to pitch to Telemundo for the Olympics! I freaked out, naturally! We started to come up with melodies and ideas for lyrics together and before I knew it I was in the recording booth tracking the vocals for the demo… It was insane!”
The internship has blossomed into Emilio realizing that Sophi was talented, not only as a vocalist, but also as a songwriter. They quickly began to work on various tracks, some of which will be showcased in her forthcoming debut album (TBD).
Sophi speaks about her songwriting, “Usually I hear a bunch of tracks or loops and start to form ideas in my head of how I want the song to sound. I am given specific directions in which the song should go and then I come up with a melody and a hook.”
She also comments on working with Estefan, “Working with Emilio has been by far one of the best experiences anyone could ever really ask for. Don't let his age fool you, he's a really cool dude. He knows what to say to make me feel inspired which is why he and I write together so quickly and efficiently. We have a really special creative vibe, and that's not an easy thing to find.”
Sophi’s musical influences are significant and numerous, including such diverse superstar talents as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lana del Rey, The Weeknd, Beyonce, Bob Marley, Rihanna, Jamie Cullum, Green Day, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Shakira, Alejandro Sanz— but she also has a “wishlist” of talents with whom she aspires to collaborate in the future.
“My dream collabs include Lana del Rey, Skrillex, The Weeknd, Dr. Luke, Rihanna, and Jamie Cullum,” Sophi smiles.
When asked what people should expect with the release of her first album, she explains, “This album is very radio friendly; definitely something people would jam to in their cars…haha,” she laughs, “The songs are catchy and targeted toward the club scene. My songs should be associated with celebration. Although some of them are about deception, the fans should relate to the lyrics and let the catchy rhythm set their problems aside. It's made for people to let go and have a good time.”
Sophi is definitely focused on succeeding in this very challenging industry—when questioned about where she envisions herself five years from today, she cleverly responded, “My ultimate goal is to win a Grammy (though it very well may take more than five years haha)--- but in five years I see myself performing in music festivals, touring, and still making music. This is my dream, I could never really see myself doing anything but this.”
Her debut track, “This is Our Love” (“Asi Es El Amor”), which is being initially released via the Crescent Moon label, has just recently been launched simultaneously to U.S. Anglo and Latin djs as well as to UK djs for impact in time for the upcoming Winter Music Conference, March 15-24, in Miami. She will be performing at various events leading up to this year’s WMC, including the following:
March 10—Calle Ocho, Miami—Performance on the Pitbull stage
March 12—AAA Arena, Miami—Performing the National Anthem, Miami Heat game
March 19—Latin Music Showcase, Score, Miami—Performance for WMC13
April 14—Miami Beach PRIDE, 12th St. & Ocean Drive, Miami—Performance on The Palace Stage
April 24—Billboard Latin Music Conference, Cameo, Miami—Performance for Billboard BASH