culture

Sophia Bastian Talks Songwriting and Frenemies

Sophia Bastian

Singer Sophia Bastian isn’t afraid to speak her mind, whether she’s discussing her music, politics, or how to look your best. We caught up with retro-stylish beauty to chat about her latest single and the emotional story behind it, as well as find out how she keeps that complexion so luminous. Read our conversation about friendship, feminism, and flawless skin below.

Heritage: German, Nigerian and Cuban

Job: Singer

What are you working on right now in your music career?
Sophia Bastian: I have an EP ready to be released but my current single “Blind Ambition” is doing really well so I am busy promoting it. I am also working on my next music video.

What’s your current single about?
It’s about friendships and the dynamic between women. You have your close friends, and then you have acquaintances. Some people are competitive [with each other] and sometimes your friends can be competitive with you – a friend can be a “frenemy.”

Did you ever experience a frenemy type of situation?
Yes, definitely. This past fashion week, I was really there for a friend because she had gone through something bad. A few days later we were both at the same party together and she acted like she didn’t know me. I was like this is so stupid, you’re being so fake and pretending to be someone you’re not. People don’t really call people out for that kind of behavior, and so I decided to do that in my music. It’s called “Blind Ambition” because it shows how certain motives let people get between them and their friends.

Do you process a lot of the things that happen in your life in your music?
I don’t feel the need to write a song unless there is an urgency and emotion that really consumes me. To be honest, when there isn’t anything really impactful happening in my life I don’t really write music. It doesn’t need to be dramatic or sad, but something needs to push me so I feel the need to write about it.

What’s your songwriting process?
I sit down with a guitar and look for chords and words that come into my mind. I just find a way for it to start rolling, digging away so the essence of the song can come out. I don’t have a formulaic approach. When a song is finished it feels like an unsafe place but once I start performing the song and continually going to that place then I become more comfortable. There are things I wouldn’t talk about privately but then they come out in my music.
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What can people expect from your next video?
I am collaborating with a female director for the first time. I’ve worked with four male directors so far, so I am curious to see how it will be. We’ve had an immediate connection on the subject matter of the song. It’s so cool when you meet someone who is from a different medium of art, in this case visual art, and you still have such a great connection. It’s great to have the same level of enthusiasm.

We’ve previously spoken about politics and now that Trump has officially been elected, what has surprised you about people?
I was out one night and I had a huge disagreement with another woman because of her perception of the right to vote. She thought that it was a big freedom to be able to choose not to vote and it seemed so odd to me that someone from my generation would feel that way. I see it as part of our rights and something that we should not take for granted. It seems nuts to me that women have lost their lives for the right to vote, that’s how important it was to them, and then you don’t even make the effort. It blows my mind that someone would be so disrespectful to those individuals. Exercising your rights is your civic duty and also brings about the political parties that you want. I think you should always want to find out who represents you. I find it ignorant to not want to have your voice be heard.

sophia bastian

What did you hope people would take away from the election?
I think it was a disgrace of an election so people are very exhausted by politics at this point. It’s an awful thing that people’s attention is gone — there’s entertainment and then there’s politics and you should be able to make a distinction between them and the past few months have been difficult when it comes to that. I worry that people are going to get so jaded from this. I hope social media can continue to be of benefit and that greed won’t make people disregard humanity. I hope there’s power in numbers.

Switching from politics to fashion, what’s your look right now?
I’m a vintage girl, mixing modern and vintage. I like when the two clash. I’m a colorful person and really into colorblocking. I almost don’t own any black items — very un-New York.

What about your beauty routine?
A big part of my beauty routine is my workout. It encourages my blood circulation. I like feeling like I did something for my body and then makeup becomes a lot more fun to me. I feel like a good sweat and a good diet make me look my best, more so than a facial.

Makeup for me is part of my outfit, I like to complement my look. So I like to play with lipsticks and color. I like a vintage red, an orange and then I have the classic deep red.

My big beauty secret of course is also the foundation that I wear because you don’t want it to be noticeable. Really good makeup doesn’t stand out. I also really like something that smells and feels good.

I also love natural body scrubs or clay masks, just on a Saturday morning. And when I have the chance swimming in the ocean is my biggest beauty secret — nothing can replace summer vibes!

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