If there’s one thing about Sofia Camara, it’s that she is a firecracker—a spirited, quick-witted, gem that can deliver any sentiment with unembellished, yet kind, honesty. Upon meeting her in her hometown of Toronto at Universal, she greets me as if we’ve known each other for years and exhibits a sort of character that could disarm anyone. We connect before she heads off to Portugal to spend, as she describes, much-needed—and what I can tell is much-deserved—time with her family.
Determining her path through the music industry is a testament to her unwavering passion and dedication, with her previous hits “Never Be Yours” and “Something Better”, showcasing her remarkable talent, amassing millions of views on the likes of platforms like TikTok where she’s often seen singing in a train station vestibule. She’s not always on the move but on the lookout for the best acoustics, duh. As a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, she crafts her songs with a unique blend of vulnerability and creativity, inspired by themes of love, and self-discovery, and captures the essence of post-adolescent peculiarity and inquisitiveness. Sofia Camara seems to have a strong grasp on her unlimited creativity, with a deep-rooted motivation and understanding of why it’s all worth it that makes me reflect on why I never pursued my childhood dream of being a florist or marine biologist—this is girl logic.
Blending her commanding vocals with island-inspired production, Sofia Camara teams up with Banx & Ranx on the new reggae-tinged track “Different”, solidifying her reputation as a breakthrough artist on the rise. Channeling her raw emotions, delivering a poignant narrative about love, loss, and the desire to remain friends after a breakup—wish we could say we couldn’t relate—it’s easy to see why Sofia Camara has built a devoted following. Her voyage through early adulthood captures a rich tapestry of emotions and experiences through her thoughtful songwriting and creating a candid and profound connection with her listeners.
Below, we chat—as if we were longtime besties—about her, creative process, what she thinks makes for the best love song, spotting some red flags, and more.
Tell me, how did you decide to pursue music as a career?
Sofia: It all started in the seventh grade when one of my friends wanted to audition for the talent show and was too afraid to do it by herself. I was not a singer—I sang here and there but it was never a thought. I loved music, but being a singer wasn’t what I was going for, I was more of a guitar player. I had done the audition with her and flopped. We ended up, somehow, making the cut. When I performed—we sang “Titanium”—there was this feeling, like butterflies. Since then, I knew I was doing that for the rest of my life. It felt like two worlds collided and the universe went zap. It just clicked in my head that I couldn’t waste any more time and this is what I had to do.
“Titanium” is a hard song to sing.
Sofia: It is! But I was watching back the video and it was actually not a bad seventh-grade performance. I’ll show you the video after.
When you’re creating, what is your primary source of inspiration?
Sofia: My family, for sure. I look at them and I’m always inspired. I hold them very closely to me when I want to be creative. Also, being alone on long walks. My brain is so alive at nighttime.
What are you thinking about on these nighttime walks?
Sofia: I don’t know, I just think I have superpowers.
If you had superpowers, what would they be?
Sofia: Teleporting. But also, going to the future and past. I always write about that. What things could be, what it is, and what it has been.
Do you feel like writing about the past helps you come to terms with it?
Sofia: I think so. It helps me heal. When I write a song and finish it, I’m officially moving on. We’re closing the chapter, walking forward, and not looking back.
Who were some of your musical influences growing up and do you think they’re reflected in your sound?
Sofia: I do think so, yes. Adele is one of them for sure. Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera. And J.Lo! Sam Smith. Justin Bieber, on the pop side. There are a lot of them. Bruno Mars! Love some Bruno.
I understand you play more than one instrument, sing, and song-write. What does your creative process look like?
Sofia: It’s different every time, depending on what is accessible to me. If I’m on the way to the studio and don’t have my computer or guitar on me, I’ll write lyrics with no melody. When I’m sitting with a guitar, I start with a chord progression. Melody comes first to me, lyrics are the last thing I worry about. I work on the structure and what I plan to write about and then the words will come.
So, you’re essentially always in a state of creative flow.
Sofia: I try to be creative with everything I do. You know how people generally have a job and then come home and don’t think about it anymore? It’s not necessarily my job, I carry it with me all the time. I take everything as creative inspiration.
In your opinion, what makes for a perfect love or breakup song?
Sofia: Being honest. The only way is to have no filter and say exactly how you feel. Breakups are the worst. You spend a lot of hours crying and overthinking if you’re worth it or not. “Something Better”, the ultimate breakup song I had written, was the first song I ever cried to. And the moment I cried, I knew that it was honest as I could have been. I’m definitely not one to speak of my emotions or always face them so I try to do it in every song of mine.
Hmm and what’s your zodiac sign?
Sofia: I’m a Gemini.
That’s all I need to know.
How has TikTok made an impact on your journey, for better or worse?
Sofia: It’s definitely been for the better, for the majority of it. It’s interesting because the music industry has changed so much since TikTok. It taught me so much about not caring so much about what people say because it is what it is, people will love you or hate you and you have to be okay with it. I’ve learned to appreciate the stories that have been shared with me in the comments. I’ve made a big family which is so important because it’s a lonely world at times and there is not enough love spread. When someone comes back to me and says I’ve given them a little bit of that, it really does warm my heart.
You’ve recently done some touring, what does your pre-show game look like? Any rituals?
Sofia: Warm up! I thought I didn’t have to warm up before doing a show and was just built for this but I lost my voice. And drinking lots of tea. I’m a very anxious person so I like being by myself, I need to be in my zone. I don’t listen to any music when I’m doing shows. I’m afraid if I listen to other music I’ll forget my own lyrics. I’m on a music cleanse the week I’m in rehearsals and about to do a show.
Tell me about “Different”. How did it come together and what was the inspiration behind it?
Sofia: I was in a relationship when I was writing this song. So, you’d think I’d be writing a love song but I wasn’t. I wasn’t writing any love songs while in this relationship, which should’ve been the first sign. I was at the point where I knew I had to go. I wanted to still be friends because when you’re in a relationship, you have someone you consider a friend in a partner so it feels like you’re losing two people in your life, right? That was the biggest thing for me. Losing someone as a partner is one thing. But now I’m losing someone I trusted with and do life with. When I realized we’d no longer be friends, I was like damn, that sucks. The song is about me walking away from this situation and loving each other differently than we did before. It wasn’t the case.
It rarely ends up being like that. It’s almost easier when you just hate somebody because then you don’t have to miss them so hard.
Sofia: I was in my delusional era. It’s been a year and a half and I still haven’t been with anyone else. But I’m in my moment.
Once a song is out, it lands on listeners’ ears and takes on a life of its own. With that being said, what do you hope people take away from “Different”?
Sofia: It’s a bit of a mindf*ck, pardon my French. The lyrics are meaningful but the beat is totally tripping you out, it’s reggae. How do you listen to a song about friend-zoning when the beat is messing with your head like that? What I want people to take away from it—they’ll take whatever they want but—is enjoying the chaos in moments like these. Because things happen and they happen for a reason, so you might as well enjoy the process, as shitty as it can be. I’ve learned to enjoy the crappy parts of life because it’ll teach you something and you’ll carry something away from it regardless. I hope when people listen to “Different” they can walk away and feel happy with themselves because just because a relationship ends, it doesn’t mean you’re worth any less. If anything, you’re worth more now. But if anyone takes anything away from it, it’s already a blessing.
Since you’re a TikTok pro, inspired by one of my favorite recent trends, what are your top 3 green flags?
Sofia: Definitely being nice to waiters. When, hmm—oh no.
Sofia: Can you tell I’ve been in toxic relationships? When you come home from a hard day and they sit with you and talk to you about it and hold space for you. And when they reply fast.
Sofia: When they yell at their mom. Ew. When they have a black ice air freshener in their car. And wear Dior Sauvage.
Finally, what is your favorite jam space? And why is it what appears to be a vestibule at a train station?
Sofia: Haha, it is! It’s a train station. It’s on the way to one of the studios I record at. Randomly, one day I sang in there, and now, even when I’m not going to the studio, I’ll just go there. And go back home. People see me walk in with my computer and speaker and then walk out. Kids and old ladies—they’re the best—will come to watch. They’ll tell me their granddaughters like to sing.
You should tell them to bring their granddaughters. Maybe you guys can sing “Titanium”.
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