interview. Sophie Feriani: crafting authenticity in debut single ‘Guilty’

"Especially as a teenager, I feel that by being honest and true in my music it will allow more people to connect with the experiences I have been through"
1st November 2023

Sophie Feriani dazzles with the ​r​elease of her ​debut pop ​t​une, Guilty. A chic and melodically infused composition, immersed in an unyielding R&B groove, it reveals a heartfelt tale of betrayal and the dissolution of a lasting connection. As the narrative of mistrust and deceit unfurls, Guilty echoes with an unmistakable essence of unfiltered authenticity, drawn directly from Sophie’s personal experiences.

The infectious melodic choruses and verses, coupled with a punchy lyrical flow, guarantee that Guilty will be echoing in your head for hours on end. It’s a musical journey that invites listeners into the emotional intricacies of Sophie’s world, making it an unmissable experience.

Hailing from Tunisia and currently based in the vibrant city of London, Sophie Feriani’s musical journey is as diverse as her influences. The creative spark that ignited during lockdown led her to channel her passion for singing and unique song covers on Instagram into the realm of music production. Her debut single, recorded at home with no prior experience, marked the inception of a promising career. Sophie’s dedication to refining her craft propelled her to Soho Sonic Studios in London, where subsequent singles received the professional polish they deserved.

Sophie’s musical landscape prominently leans towards pop and R&B, yet she fearlessly explores the dynamic realms of dance-pop and house music. Despite the infancy of her career, Sophie’s talent has already earned her recognition as a 3rd place finalist in the young songwriter competition. With over 1000 participants, the competition enlisted judges of the caliber of Calum Scott, Tom Grennan, Emily Philips, and Fraser T, setting the stage for what promises to be an exciting and prosperous musical future.

Her influences, ranging from Dua Lipa and Sabrina Carpenter to SZA and Shawn Mendes, speak volumes about the eclectic palette that shapes her unique sound. ​Dive into our conversation with this burgeoning talent as she journeys through the vibrant terrain of her music​.

Especially as a teenager, I feel that by being honest and true in my music it will allow more people to connect with the experiences I have been through.

Hey Sophie, what’s going on? What’s on your mind at the moment?

Hey! At the moment my mind is just between school and my music. I just had a two-week break from school and spent the majority of the holiday in sessions and working on my music so that has been great.

Can you share the inspiration behind your debut pop anthem Guilty? What led you to delve into such a heart-wrenching narrative?

Production-wise the inspiration was mainly from two songs, Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘Feather’ and Tory Lanez’s ‘The Color Violet’. These two songs have such great power melodically and I really connected with the two and therefore brought them in as my references for that specific studio session. When looking at the narrative of ‘Guilty’ I wrote about a true story that I had experienced. Every line from the song had a specific meaning from my life. This incident of a friendship breakup due to the betrayal of someone I was extremely close to was what inspired this song.

Your music is recognized for its unmistakable raw authenticity. At the age of 17, how do you guarantee that your personal experiences resonate authentically in your music?

Although I am still in high school, I believe there is always an audience that music can resonate with. Especially as a teenager, I feel that by being honest and true in my music it will allow more people to connect with the experiences I have been through. As I get closer to the stage of adulthood my coming-of-age stories are certainly something that I will continue to create music about. I love being honest in my music and I believe that by doing so I am guaranteeing authenticity within my music.

How did you decide to transition from sharing covers on Instagram to creating your own original music?

I always loved posting and singing on social media but after watching this one Netflix show about a teenage girl in a band ‘Julie and The Phantoms’ I was so compelled by the idea of making and performing my own music that I decided to give it a shot.

Moving from recording at home to professional studios, how has the evolution of your recording process influenced the overall quality and direction of your music?

The evolution of my recording process has greatly influenced every aspect of my music and me as a person. I view each studio session as a new learning experience and I can definitely see the growth from my first studio session to now. To begin, my music has reached a certain level of enhanced quality due to the high level of equipment being used to record which isn’t even comparable to how I started off. A good microphone is key to great sound quality and I have learned the importance of that over time. Secondly, the more time I spend in the studio around experienced and knowledgeable people within the industry the more I am able to learn about the industry itself and me as an artist. Each song I work on allows me to experiment and each experiment helps guide me in the direction I can envision myself going in. Studio sessions in my opinion are an essential way to grow as an artist as it allows you to work with others and connect all your knowledge together.

Being a finalist in the young songwriter competition is a significant achievement. How has this recognition shaped your perspective on your musical journey, especially with notable judges like Calum Scott and Tom Grennan?

Having been a finalist in the young songwriter competition and then winning third place in my age category was such a great experience for me. Being aware that renowned people such as Calum Scott and Tom Grennan had listened to and reviewed my song is surreal for me to think about. This recognition has definitely inspired me to continue doing what I am doing and has reassured me that I am on the right path. 

Can you tell us about your musical influences, such as Dua Lipa, Sabrina Carpenter, and SZA? How have these artists inspired and shaped your own unique musical style?

These three artists mixed together are the sound I am trying to go for. Dua Lipa has always been an inspiration to me, knowing she went to school near me in London has always made me feel a connection to her and after watching her perform live I was entranced by her confidence on stage. All of Dua Lipa’s music has a pop energy that I would love to create and therefore she is the major pop influence for me and my music. Moving to the more R&B style of SZA, her voice, and melodies are some of her greatest assets in my opinion. My music moves more in the pop direction but I always try to add hints of R&B, and the main inspiration behind that is SZA herself. Lastly, Sabrina Carpenter. She is by far one of the artists who has the most influence on my music and me as a person. The entire persona she gives off through her image is something I greatly connect to and take inspiration from. I have been following Sabrina’s path to fame since she was acting on Disney and when she released her first song I absolutely fell in love with it. Watching Sabrina grow has also inspired me with my music as it has shown me how much artists can change over the years and once you find your specific sound that is when you shine the most. These three artists all have unique sounds. What I am trying to do as an artist is combine these three styles of pop, indie, and R&B all together and paint my own sound from that.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Personally, I feel like every collaboration is so valuable but collaborating with Sabrina Carpenter would be a dream! After watching her interviews and videos, she seems like such a great person to work with. Our music style is also pretty similar and I feel like we could definitely create an authentic and strong piece of music together. After listening to all of Sabrina’s music it is clear that she diverges slightly into different genres which is something I also love to experiment with and by combining the two of our sounds together I can sense that it would definitely be a good way for me to grow as an artist.

If you could open a show for any artist who would it be?

I would love to open for Taylor Swift. Like many other people, Taylor Swift created my childhood, her music would always be on repeat in the car, I would only sing her songs for Karaoke and even my parents liked her music. Watching Taylor Swift grow has been so great and watching her performances shows her strength. Opening for Taylor Swift would be unreal as she was the first concert I ever went to when I was 8 years old. Being able to perform on a stage to represent Swift would definitely be the moment I realize I have made it.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

I have performed in London and Tunisia. My main shows have been in London and my best show so far was at the Canal Bar Camden. Performing in my school theatre though is definitely a place I love to perform at but the Canal Bar Camden was my favorite. At the moment as I am starting school again I don’t have any shows planned but I do have a live stream show with Lounges TV on the 17th of November where I will be playing an acoustic set with my guitarist.