Sophia Danai is a thoughtful and soulful performer who has just released her seven-song collection EP, Real Eyes. The EP is Danai’s collection after experiencing personal lows and highs in relationships and is also an expression of her true self. She shares that “I think the process of growing as a person and artist is continuously uncovering our truth; to ‘realize’ and decode the lies we tell ourselves to become closer to who we are. The more we face ourselves in those uncomfortable moments—our anger, fear and loneliness—the more we learn about what is true for us.”
We talked with Danai about her own personal path that’s led her to where she is today, her important single “Daughter,” which touches on the cycle of abuse in relationships, and more.
How did your own personal path change help you in writing new material for your new EP collection, Real Eyes?
It gave me true freedom of expression. I was able to drop into the music I wanted to make without thinking of who was going to listen to it. I let go of the outcome and surrendered to the process which opened up a whole new level of creating for me. You essentially started from scratch, learning the ins/outs of the production and recording process. What is the one takeaway you took from that experience?
That you can do anything you set your mind to if you are willing to work hard for it. The more confident you are in your craft, the more you will draw the energy and presence needed from other people to assist you in achieving your vision. What is your writing process like; do the lyrics come first or the music or vice versa?
It always changes! I just follow the muse and that can be any which way!
It’s mentioned by you that collaborating with Ryan Worsley, Michael Meroniuk and Jan Orsag is something you’ve never experienced on that particular level prior. Can you elaborate on what this collaboration was like and what it meant/means to you?
In the past, I always felt a separation from the production experience and held myself back from that side of things because I wasn’t confident in my skill set. With educating myself and continuing to work on my writing and producing I was able to meet this experience much more confidently and with more clarity in what I wanted to achieve. Ryan, Jan and Mike truly respected me in my journey and brought their amazing gifts to the table. We all genuinely respect and are fans of each other so it was always about what was best for the song, and making sure I could embody it fully and that it felt right to me. More than that, underneath our musical collaborations there are real friendships there, and that is so important to me. Good energy around me while I’m creating is key, and I have to genuinely connect with the people I am making music with, otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense to me honestly. Your single “Daughter,” is very important and sheds serious light on the cycles of abuse. What inspired you to write this song?
I was in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic in the past and I became more aware and empathetic to people caught in abusive cycles and why they happen. The song came from a place asking questions and also offering different perspectives on the topic so we could begin to look at the root of the issue. Everything begins with self, so it was also for me to explore where I was at with my process also to help put the listener in someone else’s shoes, so we can begin to heal and have compassion. Your live shows are very important and intimate with your audience. How do you get to that place of connection while performing live?
My preparation for shows starts as I’m getting ready. I warm up my voice and take my time getting myself together. I pray and meditate to prepare myself to be open and ready to receive the moment and energy of the crowd. I set my intention for the show, which is always to connect and bring joy and emotion to the night. I want to share my highest vibration with the crowd and hopefully give them an experience that will leave them feeling inspired and moved. Can you share some women in music whom you’d love to collaborate with?
Leikeli47, Bibi Bourelly, snow tha product, Princess Nokia
What’s next for you throughout 2019?
I’m playing The Commodore May 3rd in Vancouver British Columbia so will be spending April in rehearsals getting ready for that. I’m working on new music always and will be announcing summer dates for the Real Eyes summer tour shortly. 2019 will bring more live performances and more music. I can’t wait!