Yesterday, 21st November, Joshua and I had the pleasure of going to the swanky Looking Glass in Shoreditch to attend ‘Stories Songwriter’s Round’ by Stories behind the song. The intimate event commenced at 7:30 and hosted a line-up of five artists varying in styles. What differed this occasion from other live gigs is that before each artist prepared themselves to play their instruments and sing their hearts out, they gave a backstory to the songs they had written.
Take a look at our interview with Sophia Alexa, artist and host of the event as she gives us insight into creating the event and what she hopes for the event to do for other artists.
What’s your name and what do you do?
I am Sophia Alexa; I am an artist and songwriter. I have been song writing for a long time now, for like 4 years. I am currently working on releasing an EP right now. I am now building this platform up that hopefully will turn into something as well. But my main focus right now is just song writing and music and just creating the right sound for myself. I’ve been writing for a long time now, but I finally know where exactly I am going and what my style is, it took a long time to get there but I’ve figured it out now so I am sitting down and writing down for the EP. Everyone has their own way of getting inspiration, but it is literally what is in my environment, it is not always an ex-boyfriend (laughs), so I take what I can and turn it into something in the hopes that it is relatable.
Why did you set up Stories behind the song?
I guess that I have always wanted to start this for a long time now. It was a popular thing in Nashville, over there it is very much a community about being open to song writing. I really wanted to create that in London as I feel like London is quite a closed off community, in regard to music. There are similar places such as ‘So far sounds’ but they don’t do it in the same way.
How do you think it will support aspiring writers?
These are people that are not all established artists, so I think it will give people that are not established as an artist a place to express their songs in a different, more intimate way. I also want to start building this community and have new artists come and make connections with the people in the crowd, because there will be some music around and I will be inviting more, so hopefully it will give people some connections and give them a good start. I want to create more of a networking feel.
What would you say to any audience members thinking about coming to Stories behind the song?
I would say that it is a different experience to most live gigs because you get to see the behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a songwriter or an artist. At live gigs you don’t always get that intimate feel. A lot of the time I go to gigs and the artists aren’t really sharing anything, they don’t talk much throughout, which kind of bugs me as I would love to know more about how they created their work. However, with stories behind the song, it’s a different way to experience live music as I feel like after you leave, you feel more connected to who the artist is, and you know them better.