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Interview With Sophie Serafino By Chris 15/6/09
Sophie Serafino is one of Australia finest musicians,singer songwriters. An artist who plays the Violin and plays it magically. She also been an artist who has played in places like Turkey,Dubai and America winning audiences with her amazing music. She has even done stuff with Goldfrapp as a session musician. With a tour around Australia in August. I thought this talented talented artist need some more publicity. If you haven’t heard of this talented artist, You will now and trust me, This girl is going places and has been for ages.
1. Are you happy how things have gone so far for you as musician?
Definitely yes- depends how I judge myself. I have learnt so much, and changed a lot as a person and as a musician. There is always more to learn, and I have been lucky to see so many amazing cities and meet such a variety of people, I am very grateful for the inspiration that has given me to evolve creatively. People always tell me, wow if you only did this… or that… you would be so much further, but further in what way- I wouldn’t want to be ‘further’ if I wasn’t happy with where I was at as an artist, so yes I am very happy. I am enjoying it and I am not starving what more could I ask for?
2. Did you ever think you would be able to play your music overseas?
I had hoped to- everyone always said my style is better suited to Europe, but I kept playing at home. When I was invited to perform in Paris, then Los Angeles… it was a happy surprise…. and snowballed from there. I was amazed. Later in Istanbul, it was a fantastic response, and I just kept going. Then I realized I had been pushing my music in a market that didn’t want to hear it, simply because it was my home. So I changed my thinking.
3. Did you learn a lot from making your first album Colliding Worlds?
So you noticed that album! haha hmmm….yes I did, I think making an album is always a big learning experience. I loved the idea, the concept of Colliding Worlds, the combination of styles, but I hate the delivery, and since then I completed a performance degree at the Conservatorium here in Sydney, and ahh I can’t even listen to it! I also figured out that once you do something that is really YOU, not you being something else, that people come to you, you don’t need to go to people: Colliding Worlds was not really me.
4. Were you happy with the response and feedback to it?
Yes- I think the press that it got was very kind!!! It got some level of attention because it was so different I think. People were saying, wow not even Vanessa Mae did that, and I was like ‘WHO??!’ I didn’t remember her touring here in Oz…. but I hate being compared to her because I am just completely different in so many ways… just because I have the same instrument. That is weird, no one compares Led Zepplin to Eric Clapton just because they both use guitars! Anyway, nuff rambling, the whole thing was fun. I guess you have to stir people up one way or another, good or bad. If I had a choice which of course I can’t….I’d much rather people hate me or love me than just go oh blah who cares!
5. What inspires you when writing and playing music?
Places, people, new sounds. The last two years I have really gotten into arabic and spanish music. Turkish music. At the moment, that is what is getting things going… new and different instruments.
6. Have you gained a lot from being a session musician?
For sure, it’s good to work with other groups, be on the other side for once, take direction rather than give it. Makes you think differently, that is always good… also if you admire the group you work for, it’s fantastic. I LOVED working for Goldfrapp. Best job ever… even though Alison didn’t even talk to us, the music was just so divine, so amazing to play, so innovative and beautiful, I could go on and on..
7. What has been the highlight so far for you?
Performing in Turkey! That place is so mysterious, so beautiful; the people so lovely… close second: performing for 7000+ in Bahrain with all the kids jumping up and down and everyone really enjoying it. Tough choice….
8. Where has been your favorite place to play so far?
Paris or Istanbul. Tough choice!!
9.How has the internet helped you with your career?
Helped? It MADE my career. None of the overseas clients that found me could have found me as easily as they did without the internet. My first headline in Los Angeles was packed thanks to myspace (that was when myspace was super popular… now it’s just full of spammers) and I even got flowers from two myspace fans from other US states! I couldn’t believe it! I’ve met people at shows all over the place through the internet. It’s mind-blowing actually, when you imagine how the music biz worked before all that….
10. Can you notice the difference in crowd responses in the different countries you have played in?
Definitely! I will have to generalize which isn’t a good thing, but in GENERAL: The Turks are always super excited, the Germans more reserved, the French don’t mind what you do, they seem so open and accepting to me, the Arab men are very reserved, it’s the women and kids that jump up and down.. the Americans get pretty excited too, and here at home, the Aussies are the most chilled out! In my experience… I’m sure there are plenty of exceptions!
11. What advice can you give to some one who wants to make a career in music?
Be yourself. It’s no good to try to be someone else, even if you do it well. You can’t compete with authenticity. Be consistent, if people aren’t coming to you, you are always chasing them, then you have to re-evaluate. If people are coming to you, then you’ve got it. If you make a living from it, even better. Work hard, don’t listen to people telling you can’t, there is a reason they tell you that otherwise they’d tell you how to improve, not just to give up- believe in what you are doing and just do it!
12. Who has been the biggest support of your career so far?
My family. My teacher from the Con.
13. Are their any more releases in the pipeline?
Yes! Very soon…
14. What is next for you?
just before the Australian tour I have some shows in Italy, and I’m preparing to record the new album sometime in September.
15. What can people expect from your tour of Australia?
a glimpse of the new album musically and visually… I promise to take them to many of the countries I’ve played in for an hour or more…
Thanks for your time any last words last words?
Can’t promise they’d be my last!!