I stand against bullying and other negative trends amongst my peers and I aspire to inspire personal empowerment in youth and beyond, both with my music and as a person. When people say that we need to create a bully-free world, to me, it sounds too obvious, too generic. It’s a good start to face up the issue, but once you look evil in the eye, what is your action plan?
In practical terms, if we don’t tackle the root of the problem, we will continue to deal with the same consequences over and over again as the evil will always find a way to seep in right back. Being a youth myself, and dealing with many problems first hand, I can attest, that bullying and all other negative trends of today’s society, and specifically youth culture: suicide, cuttings, cliquing, etc all stem from the same underlying issue — a lack of self worth. The magnitude of the problem is unreal. The movement I’m creating is designed to promote the belief in your self worth and spread this awareness through various programs. Knowing your value makes you dangerously powerful. When you understand your purpose, you possess the strength to stand your ground and no one can ever mistreat you. Even if they try, it will bounce off you, because you are like “hell to the no!” — morally and psychologically “untouchable”. You might even help them re-think their life choices. I’ve seen the former bully became an anti-bullying advocate. I’ve seen the girl who was able to break free from the “clique”. I have seen transformations, but these examples are rather sparse. There is so much more can be done. To live in a world of people who believe in their worth and see their own unique beauty, will be mesmerizing and inspiring. This organisation is my dream since middle school. I have a name for it, too!
I had the pleasure to interview Sofia Evangelina. Sofia is a teen, numerous award-winning RnB/Pop singer-songwriter from Canada. With an abundance of confidence, astonishing natural talent with a ‘powerhouse’ voice, Sofia exceeds all expectations of such a young artist. From the very early days, Sofia was a natural-born performer full of boundless energy. Putting on her mom’s mascara and lipstick and cutting her scarves to create her own funky “designs”, she would spend hours performing in front of a mirror and later, entertaining random audiences. “I have fallen for music since day one,” Sofia explained. “I can just remember hearing and seeing music everywhere as if it followed me. No matter where I went, I felt the rhythm and beat”. I told my mother music paralyzed me — for the silly lack of better words at age 5. However Sofia was not born a musical prodigy per se, nor was she playing piano with closed eyes at 3 years old. Sofia was competing in her first ski race at 3. And from this age escalated quickly into a world-class, professional skier. She had to balance her soul’s calling of the entertainment world with her adrenaline-seeking spirit. Sofia tried to balance her career for as long as possible. She was competing at ski competitions and winning talent contests. She was practicing singing and competing at her sporting events. She had been recording her first album on and off in-between World Cups and while travel around the world…. No matter where in the world she was, the Swiss Alps or the Italian Dolomites, she would be connected to her vocal coaches or the producers, via Skype. During 2018, the two careers had come to a complete clash and the choice had to be made. Sofia knew that she was responsible for a bigger picture, she longed to impact the world as with her music. The time had come. Sofia put skiing on old was ready to make her entrance into the world as an artist. Her career had grown its wings with the release of her debut album “Butterfly”, produced by Bryant Olender (a former art director for Michael Buble) The album comprised a collection of classic as well as modern covers, with interwoven elements of R&B, soul, gospel, and pop, mostly to showcase her growing vocal range and where she has the potential to go. July of 2019, Sofia was recognized by the Young Artist Academy, being awarded with “Best Album” for her debut comprised work, at the 40th Annual Awards Gala in Hollywood.In 2018, following the release of “Butterfly” Sofia had released her debut single as a recording artist “This Is Your Song” along with an empowering music video, with the storyline of a young bullied boy. In an art-centered school in Calgary, she won an award entitled ‘The Closest to the Core of Arts’ and enthralled the audience into repeated standing ovations. She has won several talent competition awards ever since, such as The YAA “Best Album”, The LA Music Critics “Rising Star” award, The Joey Awards, Canada’s National “Overall Talent Awards” from Talent INC, Canada TeenFest, The Mics and others, as well as nominations and has appeared at various festivals. The aspiring pop princess is now on course to releasing her newest material, with two singles recorded with Roy Hamilton III (Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Joe, etc) on the queue and an EP in the works. It’s been two years of vocal evolution, artistic discovery and brand refinery. The results are two brand new records that land in the next ballpark. ‘Smile’ and ‘Endure’. Sofia is fueled not only by her dreams as a vocalist, musician or those of becoming a dynamite performer but she is dedicated to using her influence to create impact. As a young teen and having been a former world-class athlete who has traveled the globe, Sofia has a first-hand, deep understanding of the issues and trends pertaining to youth culture. Through her music, Sofia hopes to inspire her fellow peers and encourage them to embrace their individuality, develop self-esteem, stand up for what is right and embrace their inner beauty. Working painstakingly on her vocals and mastering her craft with prominent North-American songwriters, she is on an upward trajectory to becoming the voice of her generation.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was born in Canada and spent the first few amazing years of my life in a rural area surrounded by mountains, creeks and wildlife.
I can tell you that I grew and continue to grow, in the most unorthodox way possible. Magical to me. Crazy, some would say.
I was born a little entertainer and fashionista, and I love everything music and felt it deeply. I used to say to my mom, music “paralyzes” me, for the silly lack of better words at the age of 5.
I danced to everything that had a rhythm and a beat, from The Black Eyed Peas on the radio to a spinning washing machine, or even to a swinging trash can’s lid…
But… Outside of my artistic and very girly self, I was also a little crazy ball of unorganized energy, inquisitive and recklessly active little thumbboy who jumped from everywhere onto everything, including my mom’s shoulders, of course, with no forewarning! To channel this energy out, my mom decided to put me into sports. We lived close to the mountains and my big bro was an extreme skier, so I began to follow his footsteps.
Little did we know that my adrenaline-filled passion for extreme action, within a short few years, would bring me onto the path of a professional sporting career.
After a few years of skiing around the Rocky Mountains, we moved to a ski resort town in British Columbia. Soon enough my sporting career had taken us all over North America, Europe, New Zealand, and China. My singing and acting endeavors were soon interlaced with a lifestyle of rigorous training, competition, and travel, my mom and I literally lived out of our suitcases.
My life became a juggling act between my “soul’s calling” (singing, acting) and between my success in extreme sports, my “spirit’s work”.
I was balancing two opposite worlds to such a degree that we’d be flying all over the world from my sporting competitions into talent conventions, where on one trip I’d come home with medals from winning a championship and trophies from a talent contest.
It would feel like I navigated in and out of the two separate galaxies, in and out. I joked that I was a prototype of Hannah Montana, version 2.0 — sport edition!
And yet, it felt organic.
In contrary to some “popular opinions” lol, the two “Gods” I was serving didn’t conflict and actually enriched each other’s existence, my sport mindset helped me to achieve more in music, within a shorter time, and music was my escape from the tense regiment of sport, politics, physical pain…
I tried to keep the balance for as long as possible. While traveling, I stayed connected to my team and vocal coaches via FaceTime, who would always start with the same first question “Where is the world are you now?”
It was not until the recording of my first album that my two careers began to clash. It was inevitable. We travelled many countries and states for World Cups, while simultaneously recording my album, one song at a time, between competitions.
During the shoot of one of my music videos in LA some of the young actors along with their parents, with tears in their eyes, revealed how relatable my song was to them. At the time, a radio host who was interviewing me had me asked to rename my song ‘This Is Your Song’ into “THIS IS OUR SONG”, because he felt it was about him too, and that was it. I always knew I had so much to say and I’ve always dreamed to create an impact with my music and life.
I felt that was music burning inside of me, and I need to let it out.
With the release of my debut album “Butterfly” the time had came, and I had to make a very painful choice. At a young age, I decided to retire from my sporting career, and floored the gas, and went a full throttle towards my singing career. And so the journey began.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
It was very clear to every observer, I was destined to be a performer, there is no place I feel more alive than stage.
When I was little, I use to cut up my mom’s scarves, model them as my own couture and put on my own exclusive show in front of the mirror, and performed any kind of show I could create for all my family, friends and random audiences. I wanted to write music and songs before I even knew how to, and for the lack of formal music education, I created my own scriptures and symbols to express my sounds so I’d be able to decipher them later.
I knew my whole life what I was destined to do, but what fueled my decision to transit from a sporting career straight into my artist career was a greater cause.
Traveling the world as an athlete and simply living my every-day life, I’ve interacted with my peers from many cultures, walks of life, societal layers, and age groups, I found that no matter where I went, kids and teens faced the exact same issues.
Lack of self-worth. Extreme loneliness. Fear. Exclusion.
Kids were bullying each other and hurting themselves. Depending on the demographics of the place, they would have done it either brutally, or in a more “subtle” way such as e.g. “cliquing” etc… Girls had no self-esteem, they chased after boys, while boys mistreated and disrespected girls, and most of all, kids allowed themselves to be ripped apart and brought down by those who they deemed to be more “popular“.
One boy, whom was still bleeding after a recent attack from a bully, told me that he didn’t want to complain, he didn’t want to fight back or stand up for himself, he actually told me that he wanted to be like his perpetrator, because “that guy is so cool” and he felt he wasn’t.
To me, each one of those kids or teens, were shining stars, unique, each in their own way, however themselves, they were convinced that they were not enough or in many cases, worthless.
In reality, no kid or anyone should ever allow themselves to be treated less than they deserve. Everyone should know and shine their self-worth.
Later on, I was told by numerous adults that my music was relatable to them, they didn’t know at all that it was written for youth, and in reality I want my music to mean something, and affect an audience of all ages.
Having observed and understood their issue, I wanted to use my music to impact people’s lives and to show my audience that they too have a voice, and all the power they need within, to live life on their own terms, and I not only want to be that voice, I want to help them to find their own voice.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The most interesting story is probably when we were in Mammoth, CA for a World Cup and we had a few days off before my next competition. We were so near LA that I had been begging my mama to go. My mom used to live in LA for a couple of years, so said why not, let us go, “dip our toes” in the ocean, visit some of her film friends and maybe plan some music video shoots for the future. Long story short, we were in LA for one week (the best week of my life!) and in those 7 days, we filmed 5 music videos, including 2 full productions (set, crew, locations). We casted, found makeup & hair, wardrobe, stylists, locations, crew and learned choreography, literally overnight.
I blame the city, there is something about LA, it casts magic upon us, every time!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I have a few, here is the latest.
Make sure that you are riding in a reliable car to your show… Or else, you end up with a smoking hood in a fireighn country in the middle of nowhere with no mobile network, one hour before your set! If you are lucky the “just driving by” local police come to your rescue and escort you all the way to your show! Good times…
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
My brand single Smile, part of a forthcoming EP has just been dropped on all platforms. We have an entire EP to follow as well as more singles coming soon, and I couldn’t be more excited. There is a big, epic single coming next.
Outside of music releases, there are some big things cooking, which I hope will become shareable news soon. In other words, get ready for a whole lot of Sofia!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in (music), film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
The entertainment industry, and especially the music industry, live and thrive off of cultural diversity. Our world of music has always been a constant, ever evolving, and highly interactive flow of cultural diversity.
For decades and decades, music has evolved by absorbing and assimilating various genres and styles, giving birth to ongoing new music ideas, trends and subgenres.
Today, numerous collaborations have become prevalent and more appreciated than ever, because of the interweaving of different cultural threads, genres and styles, sometimes, in the most unlikely combinations.
One can pay homage to existing styles and simultaneously create something unique, unheard of, and may even become a new trend, or style.
I think one of the best examples of musical fusion right now would be ‘Country Rap’… Two genres, coming from two completely different cultures that no one would have ever believed to be possible to mix. Yet here we are, the biggest record breaking hit of 2019 was a country rap song. And it doesn’t stop there, whether you like the new genre or not, it’s impossible to deny that the unusual crossover has picked up a huge fanbase. Many artists were inspired to release similar tracks and they too achieved major success.
Balanced diversity creates a beautiful society and I believe that music is the best medium to bring people together and celebrate our differences.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or an example for each.
Business sometimes means…business.
I am very much a “people” person, I see the best in everyone and soon enough I get attached to people as if they were family. I am truly blessed by meeting many wonderful people who indeed have become “family”, a close circle of like-minded people. But I’ve also had to learn “the hard way” that some people in this business — some, who may be very charismatic, may treat you as a royalty one day, but then they change overnight if/when matters don’t meet their agenda, and their belief in me” appeared to be unscrupulously motivated.
However, a couple bad apples didn’t make me stop trusting or loving people, I just had to strengthen my boundaries and allow people to prove themselves first.
There is no such thing as “overnight success”
While success certainly comes to some quicker and by luckier ways than others, it’s almost always years and years of hard work prior to any “stardom”
Therefore, one must believe in their dreams relentlessly, persevere through the trial times, jump the obstacles and I believe that there is no other way than to make it all the way!
Putting on a big show is more tiresome than my previous extreme athletics.
I used to train really hard in my sport, daily, and in multiple training facilities and the gym. Yet, putting on a dynamite shows really drains you more than any sport could — it feels like, giving you the best work out! To prepare yourself for blasting your vocals, communicating with your audience and dancing, you have to jog while singing, you must train to expand your lungs by holding your breath under water, and sing everyday for increasing hours so that you will get used to sustaining a life of touring and performing!
Performing can be a sport baby!
Don’t get excited by people’s promises. When a “name dropping” occurs — run!
It’s very easy to get seduced or tempted by someone who offers you the entire world as he/she there was a “genie in a bottle”, people like to talk the talk.
Create your own reality, if someone presents you a breathtaking opportunity, take it as a bonus. Don’t rely on it. Make your own destiny — it’s more exciting and the satisfaction is deeper! Things will come.
Surround yourself only with A+ team players.
Don’t put your success and your career into the hands of another. Because when they fail you, you have no one to blame but yourself. Hiring top-notch professionals may be deemed as unaffordable at first, but it will save you time (of not re-doing the job done wrong) and ultimately, money. The solution is simple, take all matters into your own hands until the day where you have yourself surrounded by a phenomenal, passionate team. You should only have people as absolutely crazy about success as you are, so together you become unstoppable.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Don’t worry, be happy now!! Everything you do, do the love of music, or for the love of what you are passionate about the most, and remember the reason why you are doing it in the first place.
Before going to bed each night, no matter how tired you are, recall each and every thing that you are grateful for in life, they could even be little moments from that day. You will feel your heart overflow with gratitude and you will see just how blessed you truly are. My mom taught me that.
Also, I would say let your soul guide you, allow utmost expression and creativity from within. What inspires you, will inspire others!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
As I said earlier in this interview I stand against bullying and other negative trends amongst my peers and I aspire to inspire personal empowerment in youth and beyond, both with my music and as a person.
When people say that we need to create a bully-free world, to me, it sounds too obvious, too generic. It’s a good start to face up the issue, but once you look evil in the eye, what is your action plan?
In practical terms, if we don’t tackle the root of the problem, we will continue to deal with the same consequences over and over again as the evil will always find a way to seep in right back.
Being a youth myself, and dealing with many problems first hand, I can attest, that bullying and all other negative trends of today’s society, and specifically youth culture: suicide, cuttings, cliquing, etc all stem from the same underlying issue — a lack of self worth.
The magnitude of the problem is unreal. The movement I’m creating is designed to promote the belief in your self worth and spread this awareness through various programs. Knowing your value makes you dangerously powerful.
When you understand your purpose, you possess the strength to stand your ground and no one can ever mistreat you. Even if they try, it will bounce off you, because you are like “hell to the no!” — morally and psychologically “untouchable”. You might even help them re-think their life choices. I’ve seen the former bully became an anti-bullying advocate. I’ve seen the girl who was able to break free from the “clique”. I have seen transformations, but these examples are rather sparse.
There is so much more can be done.
To live in a world of people who believe in their worth and see their own unique beauty, will be mesmerizing and inspiring. This organisation is my dream since middle school. I have a name for it, too!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom. My mom is my best friend, my biggest believer and my biggest inspiration. Above all, I feel that each success is hers as well, because she has taught me everything I know.
She has been the “momager” my whole life, she truly deserves a standing ovation.
Everything I’ve ever learned about commitment, dedication or work ethic has been by example of my mom. She is the most hardworking person I’ve ever met and she is so darn strong, it’s often un-human and it annoys me!
She teaches me the most incredible values and ethics to be a good person. To her, me being a good person with a strong head on my shoulders will always be the most important definition of success, above all talents and achievements, which means so much to me. My dad is is pretty cool dude too, in fact he is a real angel, he is beyond kind and has supported me all these years from sports to arts.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Patience is a virtue! Since I was a little girl, I’ve been a bit impatient, okay, a lot. Often named a “right now girl”.
It took some time (and patience on my parents behalf) to realize, that in reality, as exciting as times may seem, it is very important to develop the virtue of patience. Sometimes you need to wait until the time is right, just like there is patience involved to achieve a lusciously ripe peach… Yumm.
BTW — Still working on it! 😉
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Beyonce. Queen B. She is one of my biggest inspirations, and damn does she ever own the stage and captivate her audience. Beyond her artistic talents, she seems like an incredible person and a strong woman who has risen to the top early on and maintained her regency with grace throughout her entire career. It would be incredible to discuss the substance behind her long, beautiful and ever-evolving career and it would be special to find out what she feels most humbled by or grateful for, in relation to her life and career
Lastly, It would be meaningful and fun to get to know the real Beyonce, like, I’m dying to know what her take is on pineapple on pizza, or hello, tomatoes on burgers?…??
Plus, the queen may have to mentor me on how to break it super down in stilettos!!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Absolutely! My website is: www.sofiaevangelina.com
FB: @Sofia Evangelina Music
Look forward to connecting with you all. ❤
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!
Thank you for a great interview!