Music

Here Comes Sophia Messa

L'Officiel chats with the singer-songwriter who at only 19, is already a musical force to be reckoned with.
Reading time 4 minutes
Photos by Khufu Najee

At only 19, singer-songwriter Sophia Messa is about to cause a stir in the pop music world. Her first single “moneydontfixlonely,” which just dropped on March 27th, was co-written with Ido Zmishlany, who’s worked with the likes of Demi Lovato and Shawn Mendes.

Messa started writing “moneydontfixlonely” while at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, which she attended for a couple of weeks before dropping out and signing with Sony Arista. “When I got to Berklee, I saw how different kids were from all around the world because it’s extremely diverse,” Messa says. “Then I brought an early version of the ‘moneydontfixlonely’ to Ido and he helped me make it into what it is now.”

Messa and Zmishlany started working together after she got signed, and her career has progressed quite rapidly ever since.

“I left Berklee on a Monday, got signed on Tuesday and dropped out on Wednesday,” Messa recalls. But after hearing her impressive vocal chops on her debut single, it’s easy to understand why people in the industry were so eager to work with her.

“I left Berklee on a Monday, got signed on Tuesday and dropped out on Wednesday.”

Messa’s writing process varies, as you can’t really tell when inspiration is going to hit. Sometimes, she’ll be in a public setting, so she’ll make a voice memo or take some notes and work on it at home, or bring it into the studio. And she’s not shy about asking for help to create the best material she can.

“I come in prepared to work, and will say to someone I’m collaborating with, ‘do you like the sound of this? And if you do, let’s make it into a song.”

The songstress is a first-generation American, of Russian and Brazilian origins. She listened to a lot of Brazilian music growing up, and credits its liveliness as indirectly reflecting on her songwriting process. Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, Adele and Sia are among other influences she cites. About her music, she would call it “dark left-of-center pop.”

 

 

“I always want to do it. I just love to sing all the time,” she says for music. And she’s not kidding when she says all the time. Prior to starting at Berklee, Messa attended a performing arts high school, and after meeting her current managers, would write and record every day after school. She was also classically trained in opera, which she showcases in “moneydontfixlonely”: “The part where the beat drops, that’s me singing an opera, muted a lot.”

When she’s working on her own music, Messa loves listening to artists like Frank Ocean and Tame Impala. She’s also trying to pursue all sorts of hobbies when she’s not in the studio.

“I always put my mind to something, like a random hobby, but then my ADD kicks in and I have like ten things I’m trying to do at once,” she jokes. Right now, she’s trying to master French. But between promoting “moneydontfixlonely,” releasing more music and working on another album, Messa is set for a busy year. Her long-term goal?

“I want to touch people with my music.”

It seems to us like Sophia Messa might be right around the corner from achieving that goal.

 

You can keep up with Sophia Messa on Instagram @sophiamessa

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