Sofia Kourtesis is fill of innovation and creativity with a taste for unique noises. Having risen from the dross that clutters Soundcloud, she has appeared on several serious musical radars.
The Berlin resident recently released her debut EP, This Is It, which is overtly catchy and melodic mood music. You can immediately hear the passion behind the music Sofia's making and this first EP is frighteningly good. It was obvious EARMILK needed to reach out and hear who she is and how she's capable of such impressive sounds.
I spoke with Sofia to see her perspective on sound design, Berlin influence, and smallest crowds to perform in front of. Sofia also has premiered the first viewing of her new music video for the EP single "Fresia", which you can watch below.
EARMILK: Hey Sofia, so the video for your new single "Fresia" is premiered with EARMILK today. It's really calming and features a slow visual trip through a night ride in a car. Were you the one driving or did you have any autonomy producing this film?
Sofia: A friend of mine was driving the car for the film. What I know from experience is I'm the most relaxed when I am away and travelling. I feel the most comfortable when I go on long trips. The best ideas I always have is while taking showers though.
EM: Definitely. What are you most excited about with your new EP, This Is It, being released?
Sofia: I'm excited about the reaction from people. It was a very emotional process for me because every song was a personal relief to make.
EM: Quite a few of the tracks are related to your family, correct?
Sofia: Yeah, more than anything it's about the death of my granny. I tried to write about all my emotions that came to me when she died. Fresia is the name of my mother too.
EM: How long did This Is It take to make in its entirety?
Sofia: Well it took a while because I wasn't always working on it. The last half went really quickly, but the beginning was slow. I would say roughly two years.
EM: Which track did you have the most fun to make?
Sofia: I think probably "Abue" because it was really funny to produce. I was jamming around with Gold Panda at the time and it felt really organic. We made it in only 30 minutes.
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EM: Gold Panda collaborated with you on two tracks "Abue" and “Las Magnolias", do you feel his style has rubbed off on your own production?
Sofia: In the beginning yes, I think the first song we made together really inspired me. He has definitely taught me a lot.
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EM: You've used an unusual array of different objects such as a child's toy triangle, an MPC, and drums to make music. How do you decide what to use to create sounds for your songs?
Sofia: I don't really have a technique. I just try to focus on one specific thing, it could be a word or a sound for instance. From there I think about how to build around that idea. You can always take a pattern and make it something new.
Sofia: I use organic sounds from my mom's garden often. I try to create a story around a song and try to organize the ideas that enter my mind. I'll use melody and different elements to match the story in my mind.
EM: So you think to use the sound of an elephant for example, would you find that sample online or try to recreate that sound yourself?
Sofia: Sometimes I will just record sounds with my phone, such as birds, water, or a crowd. Yet an elephant, well there are no elephants in my garden. So I'll use a sample for something like that where I cannot access it without having to travel the world.
EM: Do you record all your own vocals like the really robotic sound on your new hit, "Zaza"?
Sofia: Yeah, at that particular moment I was really emotional and I think if people hear the song, they might think it's crying. I was not crying though.
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