Photography: Kyle May Photography: Hoopla Creative

If you had to describe your music/style in a sentence, what would you say?
Mellow, acoustic-based indie-folk, exploring my emotions, life experiences, mental health, and spirituality.

Have you always wanted to create music? How did you get into it?
I’ve always been creating music. I was obsessed with Disney and musicals when I was really little and would always learn the songs off by heart, and it all grew from there. I started learning instruments to accompany myself in primary school and I think I wrote my first song when I was four. Creating music was always something that felt really natural for me to do. I say this, but the chorus of the second song I ever wrote went something like ‘Tell me that you love me, tell me that you do, tell me that you love me or I’ll give you the flu.’ So, some of my creations were questionable!

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially inspired you?
I remember hearing Skinny Love by Birdy when I was about 13 and that one song gave me this humongous surge of inspiration. I was really unhappy at the time and hadn’t been singing/playing much at all, and then I heard Birdy and I felt like her voice was the most beautiful thing to ever bless my eardrums and I just wanted to be exactly like her. I was quite obsessed to be honest, I would always get wrapped up with people and things like that when I was younger. But at that age she really inspired me to explore songwriting much more, and I started learning to play guitar soon after.

SOPHIE BERNICE Image 3

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform? What does it say about you?
It changes all the time, often it’s the songs that I’ve written most recently because I find it can be easier to sing songs with more feeling when you haven’t already gigged them 20 billion times. Right now, it would be a song I’ve just written called Like A Stone. It isn’t released anywhere yet, I’m not actually too sure of the title. I started writing it in California just before lockdown, and it’s about a mixture of different things. It sounds quite dreamy and incoherent to me. It’s about the love I have for my boyfriend and then also the feeling of sinking into weird mental states and not feeling in control.

What do you think is the overriding influence on your songwriting: other art, emotions, current affairs – or a mixture of all of these?
Definitely emotions. I’m a very emotional person and I feel so many things at once and I’ve found it really hard to navigate that in the past. Songwriting really helps me with that.

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in? If so, what makes it special?
I recorded three of the tracks of my EP in the Williamson’s Tunnels in Liverpool. Singing in there is amazing because of the reverb. Everything about singing in there is just so nice.

“Music is one of the only things in my life that makes the world stand still. It gives meaning to pain.” Sophie Bernice

How have you been spending lockdown?
The last month I’ve been working full time in a warehouse to save some money while all my gigs were cancelled. Aside from that, I’ve released the EP which all took some time, and I’ve been doing bits to promote it when I can. I’ve also done some more writing and planned some future projects. I feel like I needed to be locked-down to be honest; it simplified life for me by narrowing down what I can focus on which has been really helpful, and the future feels really exciting right now.

Why is music important to you?
It’s one of the only things in my life that makes the world stand still for me, It makes me feel as if I don’t need to be anywhere else. I think travelling is one of the only other things that does that for me. And when nothing else in life makes sense for me and I wonder what it’s all about, I can create something from that feeling with music. It gives meaning to pain in that way.

Can you recommend an artist, band or album that Bido Lito! readers might not have heard?
Esme Bridie is amazing, she released a new single called Sensitivity recently and it’s so beautiful. Definitely listen to her.

@sbernicemusic
Leave Our Skins is out now.

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