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Sophie Blair – Single Release “It’s Okay to Cry”

Tell us about yourself, who are you and where do you come from?

I’m a 23-year-old violist and singer/songwriter from Provo, UT.

How was your passion for music born? Who are your idols?

I was raised in classical music, so for the majority of my childhood, I was constantly practicing, playing in ensembles, and listening to orchestral music. I learned hard work and dedication, but I also felt a deep joy in music from the getgo. I have a lot of idols! Taylor Swift, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Cave, Matty Healy, and Conor Oberst come to mind 🙂

What kind of music do you do?

Art-pop!

What is the most important song for you? What message do you want to convey to the listener?

“it’s okay to cry”—to grieve at our limits, at our gender, at the unfairness of life and relationships and industries. SOPHIE’s voice has, over the years, provided such comfort to me: “just know you’ve got nothing to hide; it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to cry.”

Why should a listener who doesn’t know you listen to your music?

I think I bring a really unique side to the pop conversation—one that reflects both my classical training and, lyrically, my struggles with addiction and mental illness. Hopefully, through this project, I can bring some hope and positivity to those who struggle with similar things.

What are your future projects? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I’m obsessed with country music right now, and the concept of really lyrical storytelling. I see my songs getting more poetic, more musically intricate, and more thoughtful—I really want to branch out in genre, too, and find different ways to express these pop sensibilities. Really, anything you want to listen to over and over again is pop music—there’s no way around that.

Tell our readers a funny episode that happened in your career as an artist.

I got the chance to tour with my good friend, label executive, and fellow artist, Mindy Gledhill, a few years back. While we were touring the east coast, we met up with our other band members at this gorgeous seafood restaurant, and that’s where I tried oysters for the first time! It’s not really a funny episode, but it felt exciting. I remember thinking: “this is it; I’m in the music industry; I’m eating oysters with my band; I have arrived.”

Single Release “It’s Okay to Cry”

I’m not sure if I’m—even still—ready to talk about when SOPHIE died. She was the mother of hyperpop, a pioneer of a kind of revolutionary, envelope-pushing production we only see about once a generation. Her movement was massive and prolific and real; as cultural as it was musical. Suddenly a woman was spearheading music production, and she wasn’t just dominating it—she was transforming the entire industry. Pop music became different; meme-y, experimental, exciting. Sharing her name was—and is—such an honor. 

I’ll say this simply: her death devastated me. In a male-dominated industry—and yes, it is absolutely male-dominated—SOPHIE was revelation. She was authentic to the very end. She was fearless, brilliant, chaotic, and unbelievably strong. I think I’m going to spend a long time grieving that loss. 

I’ve never produced a song before—I barely know how to hook up mics—but sitting in front of a laptop for hours recording each string loop, comping each rough vocal pass, and placing each drum sound felt like, in the smallest, most insignificant way, my gift to her. All the drums are SOPHIE samples; the beautiful words, chords, and message are hers. She says it so beautifully: “it’s okay to cry.” It’s okay to grieve at our limits, at our gender, at the unfairness of life and relationships and industries and mental illness. Her voice has, over the years, provided such comfort to me: “just know you’ve got nothing to hide; it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to cry.” I want to echo those words, now, to you.