Hailing from a small town in Northern Ontario, Anna Sofia and her friends found ways to entertain themselves despite living away from the commotion and chaos of a big city. Their weekend entertainment would become the narrative for Anna Sofia’s debut EP Self Aware Bitch that was released earlier this month via Republic Records/Universal Music Group. The 16-year-old has racked up millions of streams online and was recently named Apple Music’s New Artist of the Week. Music Existence spoke to Anna Sofia about growing up in Canada, signing with a major label and her plans for 2020.
ME: Do you consider your EP Self Aware Bitch as the “official” introduction to Anna Sofia, or is it just a taste of what fans can expect on the debut LP?
Self Aware Bitch is definitely an introduction to Anna Sofia. I enjoy creating EPs better than LPs because each song will get almost the same amount of attention. Don’t get me wrong, I have a huge library of music that can be used on a full album however, I also enjoy the fact that you can release more EPs in a shorter period of time. I think my followers will see more of this from me because I feel more accomplished when people understand me through a minimal amount of songs.
ME: What is the significance behind the EP’s artwork?
The EP artwork explains my story through one simple factor; THE BLACK EYE! My whole EP is about my high school experiences. Life in high school can beat you up sometimes. It’s a very scary place to be and it can honestly be every young person’s worst nightmare. Also, life itself can beat you up sometimes. We all have situations that we will have to go through and overcome. The black eye symbolizes the situations people will face in different stages of their life and how they may impact them or affect them as a person.
ME: What has the process been like transitioning from a successful independent artist, to now being a part of a huge label like Republic?
The transition from an independent artist to a signed artist has been extremely rewarding. I have been faced with so many amazing opportunities that I never thought would ever happen in this stage of my life. I have also been given a chance to step into the real world and learn what it’s like to run my own business. I make important decisions on a daily basis relating to many aspects of my music such as my social media, my music video ideas, the music I choose for new releases, the photos I select for covers, and producers I opt to work with, to name a few.
The transition has been a lot of work and will continue to be a lot of work. However, none of it feels like work to me as I am doing exactly what I love. I often forget that this is real work because I’m enjoying myself. I am so beyond thankful to be surrounded by such an amazing team: Post Office Inc, Electric Feel Music, and Republic Records. Everyone is so supportive. They want to see me succeed and will do whatever it takes to make everything happen.
ME: Canadians have been killing it in the industry recently with more and more talent coming from Toronto and surrounding areas. How has your hometown influenced your song writing and creative style?
I live in a small town two hours north of Toronto. It’s pretty small so we all know each other. The kids in my town have two options to choose from with regards to the high school they want to attend. Both high schools are very close to each other, so we all mingle. When school’s out, there are only three places to hangout: a friend’s house, a local café, or the pier. Trust me. A lot of shit can go down at these places and anyone who has listened to my music has heard some of these stories. I write about my own personal experiences and sometimes some of the experiences of my friends. Being in a small town, the latest and greatest gossip gets around VERY quickly. Now that I think about it, I’m kinda like a gossip channel for my town.
ME: “No Fun” is a perfect example of 80s inspired pop mixed with modern day Top 40 music, but in your opinion are genres even necessary in 2020?
I listen to a variety of different genres (except country; sorry, not sorry. Only Kacey Musgraves <3). In my opinion, genres don’t really matter. If you are an artist, I think you should always explore different creative elements. I always use the term “realm”. I like to discover and create music that belongs in different genres but still lives in the Anna realm. For example, I may not start rapping, but I may try something jazzy or more funky because I see these genres living in the Anna realm. People should have the freedom to create whatever they want. It is art after all. I don’t think anyone shit on Van Gogh for getting creative.
ME: You spent some time in Los Angeles during Grammy Week. What was your takeaway from being in LA during music’s biggest week?
I first off would like to say that that was the trip of a lifetime. I am so thankful for having the chance to be in LA during the biggest week of the year. I attended some Grammy parties, met some really amazing people and had the time of my life. I met some of my greatest musical inspirations which was huuuuuuge for me. I think my biggest takeaway from that trip was realizing that all these huge A-list pop stars are people like me.
I see so many negative comments on the internet towards them that are so unnecessary. These people have feelings as well and they are just here to do what they enjoy most. I don’t think people realize that just a few words can impact an individual in such a negative way, and on top of that, we do not know what is happening in their life at that moment. This is directed to everyone! The things people say to one another can often have a huge impact on that individual’s life and we all need to be mindful of what we say to others. Nobody gets anything out of being negative towards others, so why even bother?
ME: Your influences range from Elton John to Tyler the Creator, do you have any other influences your fans might be surprised to know about?
I have many influences. I love many artists! One artist I never really speak about but really love, is Melanie Martinez. First of all, she has an incredible voice and is extremely talented. If only my brain could work like hers! Secondly, she just has a very well thought out brand that is different. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Melanie, she is a dope ass artist. She mixes childish subject matter with mature subject matter which in my opinion is BRILLIANT.
ME: What new artists do you think your fans should check out?
10000000000000% check out Benee! She is an artist from Republic Records, which is super cool to me. Benee has 2 EPss out right now and I can’t explain how much I love them. I am a newer fan of hers and from the second I listened to one song I instantly fell in love with her music. I wish her great success and I hope she blows up! She definitely deserves it and everyone needs to check her out!
ME: What’s next for you in 2020?
I have a lot going on in 2020. I have many trips back and forth from LA and New York to work with some super dope people. My goal is to hopefully release two more EPs this year. I have enough music for it, however picking which songs belong on the EP is a really tough decision. I definitely will continue to write more music (writing is one of my weekly routines) and I’m hoping to eventually start to tour and open for some artists to introduce myself to the world. I am definitely having an amazing start to the new year and I can’t wait to see what the months forward have in store for me!
Listen to Self Aware Bitch