INTERVIEW: Sophia Messa

It’s time to get to know, Sophia Messa. The New York singer-songwriter is a newcomer that you need to acquainted with immediately. Her breakthrough single ‘moneydontfixlonely’ was a soulful and mature track that introduced a moody contrast. Switching things up for her follow-up effort ‘offyourface’ Messa is ready to reverse the roles of stereotypes and become the heartbreaker in this empowering anthem.

This sensual and rhythmic dancehall influenced pop track is one that will evoke a playful side of you whilst also showing empathy in a genuine way. She’s a newcomer that isn’t afraid to get vulnerable and wants to dance the nights away wit these captivating tracks.

I recently chatted to Sophia Messa about the dancehall influenced and empowering vision for ‘offyourface’, discussed the songs most memorable lyrics, discovered she’s not OCD and reflected on the impact of online trolls. Check out the chat HERE; 

TB: ’offyourface’ is out now and hears you going towards a bit of a dancehall beat. How did this song come together? 

SM: Yeah we’ve definitely gone towards more of a dancehall sound on this track. It was these writers Amy Allen and John Ryan who sent it to me and I really liked the concept, the beat and production behind it which made me want to cut it. 

TB: What about the idea really stood out to you?

SM: I really like the idea behind the role reversal of stereotypes. Usually in music we hear about guys breaking the girls hearts but it’s not so much the case in this instance. The girl is breaking his heart by jumping into a relationship too fast. It’s kinda like a new movement of female empowerment. Like, don’t fall in love with me because I will end up breaking your heart. 

TB: One of my favourite lyrics in the song is; “Know I’m the best you tasted. Never meant to get you wasted”. I think it’s such a vividly cool lyric.  

SM: Oh I love that line so much! In the music video for ‘offyourface’ which comes out soon, one of my favourite scenes is when I sing that line. My face stands out to me the most in that moment because I have this little smirk on my face. It’s a lot of fun and I seriously love that line so much.

TB: Do you have any other favourite lyrics from the song?

SM: I love that one so much but I also really love “You’re the last one I want to hurt baby” because it ends on a nice tone and shows an empathetic side. it’s also a little sassy too at the same time. 

TB: For the single cover you asked your fans to help pick what one to go with. The red option won! How did you find hearing people’s opinions in such a different forum? Was there a particular cover you thought would win?

SM: Me and my team were trying so hard to pick between the blue and the red one and going into it I was more inclined to go with the blue one and that one actually did win the vote. But the reason I ended up choosing the red one was because I felt like the fans that were voting for the red one were new fans and the ones that were voting for the blue one already knew me as an artist. So I felt like the red one was the right one to go with to introduce myself to new audiences as it had that mysterious layering. 

However, it was so close! Me and my team honestly couldn’t decide so we had to let everyone else decide for us. That’s how indecisive I am *laughs*. It was a lot of fun to interact with my fans and watch them get involved with the process. 

TB: You have a music video for ‘offyourface’ which is coming really soon that you’ve recently teased on your Instagram. What was the concept or hope you had for this video when you went into shooting it?

SM: The whole idea behind this video was that the boy was getting the consequences to all of my actions. I don’t want to give too much away but basically everything I do effects him in some way. We wanted to relate back to the idea of the song where I will end up hurting them and my actions will hurt them more than they will hurt me. So we wanted to have some fun with it and play on the idea of being careful of who you are going to get into a relationship with because you don’t know what the consequences are… OR the good things *laughs*. 

TB: Music videos are so interesting to shoot, with so many behind the scenes things that has to happen that no one really knows about until you do them. So what is one of your favourite memories from either one of your music video shoots that stands out to you because they seem like they would’ve both been very different shoots to do? 

SM: The ‘moneydontfixlonely’ shoot really stands out to me because it was literally snowing outside and I was wearing a dress and it was freezing. There was a scene where I had to walk up the driveway and there were people waiting for me on top of the hill with a million blankets. I could only walk for about 30 seconds without stopping, it was that cold. I had to pretend I was okay and it was so hard. 

Thank god when I shot the ‘offyourface’ video we did it in Los Angeles and it was warm *laughs*.

TB: That was your first video too, so, were you kinda freaking out and questioning “is this what the industry is really like”?

SM: I was like “are you fucking kidding me? This is not glamorous at all” *laughs*. But I had such a good team around me that day so as cold as it was, it was still fun. I just pretended that the concept for the video was that I lost my jacket and I was searching for it it for the whole video to try make myself feel better *laughs*. 

TB: I mean, I guess you could say money don’t fix lonely and it also doesn’t buy you a new jacket.

SM: Yes! That is a great connection *laughs*.

TB: So both of your singles have been stylised with no spaces in between the words. Is there a reason for this or do you just dig that aesthetic and like upsetting people with OCD?

SM: *Laughs* OMG! I’m the least OCD person, so first of all I am so sorry to anyone who does have OCD and my titles trigger them *laughs*.  But the reason we originally released the single with no spaces in the title was because Money Don’t Fix Lonely is such a long title. I was trying to look at different ways to release it like abbreviating it to ‘MDFL’ or even calling it ‘Stitch Love’ but they weren’t really clicking. My team said to me that ‘Money Don’t Fix Lonely’ was the clear standout title so why don’t we reduce the spaces to make it work and it all clicked. We kept that styling for ‘offyourface’ but I’m not sure if we will keep using it in the future but I do like it. 

TB: ’offyourface’ and ‘moneydontfixlonely’ both have such cool and different sonical aesthetics. So what is currently inspiring you in the studio?

SM: It honestly constantly changes but at the moment the things that are inspiring me are my friends, my family, relationships and anything that captivates me. I live in New York so I’m constantly inspired by random things. If I go out and see something or hear something someone says I find myself quickly taking notes and voice memos because I don’t want to forget it once I get to the studio.

I do find myself so creatively happy when I’m in the studio, so it’s sometimes hard to draw heartbreaking sentiments in that sense. That’s where my notes help me as I can draw back on a time where I was feeling something deeper and can relive that emotion. 

TB: New York is honestly so inspiring and has this magical feeling every time I go there. There’s no other city that beats it. It always finds a way to bring out an emotional vulnerable and powerful side to me.

SM: Maybe that’s just the jet lag? Maybe you’re just tripping and think it’s magical *laughs*. But no, it does! And that’s what I love about it too. I’ve never gotten sick of it and I don’t think I ever will. 

TB: Now having released two singles, have you found your song writing or studio approach has altered in any way after hearing feedback and reactions from fans and critics? 

SM: Honestly no because it all comes from unique inspiration. I definitely know what my “sound” is but at the end of the day it’s art so I’m constantly creating and if I like it then I will release it. But I’m not going to stop something from being released or change a direction because it’s different to what I’ve released before because maybe my “sound” will change as I do. It’s apart of evolution. I’m definitely not writing the same songs I was when I was 15. They probably and hopefully have gotten better *laughs*. 

TB: You recently went to Coachella and created a bit of a stir online when you were seen hanging out with Lauren Jauregui. Was this your first real eye opening experience with just how crazy social media can be? 

SM: It was honestly so crazy. I met Lauren in Bali at a songwriting camp and I became really close with her. I ended up posting a photo of us on Instagram and I got SO much hate. Everyone was commenting things like “Camren is real” and the next day I was like “Lauren, what the fuck is Camren?” and she explained to me it was a conspiracy theory that the Fifth Harmony fans had about her and Camila Cabello dating. So from then on I stopped reading all of my comments on my posts and turned my DM’s off public because it was quite overwhelming. 

I was aware that there was going to be a level of hate in comments because if you look at the likes of Ariana Grande and Rihanna, they all get it. It’s sadly a thing that comes with the spotlight but I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly I guess. But at the end of the day we end up getting inspiration from that. 

TB: Watching different artists play at Coachella must have got you pretty excited to do your own live shows soon. So what is the most important feeling or thought that you want people to take away from your live show when you start doing them?

SM: When I went to Coachella I saw so many amazing artists but the one who really stood out to me was Rosalia. Her live show was like a religious ceremony for me. Her dancers were in sync with her every lyric she sang. Her stage presence was phenomenal, it was like a dream. So when my team asked me what I want my live show to be like I was like “I want to be like Rosalia”. I want there to be a lot of dancing in the show and I want people to leave feeling empowered, inspired and very entertained. 

TB: Let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions where I’m going to ask you some questions that you just need to answer with the first thing that comes to mind.

SM: Oh god! Let’s go! 

TB: My morning pump up song is…

SM: ‘Don’t Call Me Up’ by Mabel 

TB: Pineapple on pizza is…

SM: Something I’ve never tried but maybe good? It could be an interesting experience. 

TB: The emoji that best describes my new single ‘offyourface’ is…

SM: The upside down smiley face!

TB: If I could have any super power it would be..

SM: to fly!

TB: My go to snack is…

SM: Those dark chocolate covered Acai things! 

TB: When I think of Australia I think of…

SM: Nice people! Like you *laughs*. 

‘offyourface’ is out now! 

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