Interview with Alanis Sophia

Young American musician Alanis is killing it out there! But how did she do it?

Alanis Sophia is a singer-songwriter, actress, dancer, and musician. She was born in Puerto Rico and lived there up until the age of five when her family moved to Tampa, Florida. Being from a very musical family, music has always been a huge influence in her life - her uncles played the percussion, her aunts were dancers and aspiring actresses, her great-grandmother was a songwriter and pianist, and her mother was a singer, dancer, and songwriter.

She's been performing and taking part in the entertainment industry since the age of eleven. At that age, she came as the runner-up in Telemundo’s “La Voz Kids” in 2013. She released her first EP shortly after that - ‘Dulce Fantasia’. After the EP release, she became an ambassador for the company “Visit Florida”, promoting tourism in the state of Florida for four consecutive years. She also did commercials for Clean and Clear and TelCel three years ago. I even starred in a TV pilot that was created by ‘Glee’ music producer, Adam Anders.

Ultimately, all of this led to her scoring a record deal with Big Machine Label Group at the age of sixteen. She was signed with them for almost three years! She worked with some amazing producers and songwriters such as Julian Raymond, Howard Willing, Katie Cole, Bobby Tomberlin, Kristian Bush, Jeff Trott, Danielle Brisebois, and many more. She even performed live with Cheap Trick and did background vocals for one of their songs.

Alanis performing on stage

Tell us about your latest release, what's it about?

Back Where We Belong came out two weeks ago, which is so bizarre and surreal for me. It’s my come-back single after 6 years of silence. I wrote it with Julian Raymond, Tom Bukovac, and Dan Dugmore. I posted the story behind the song on my socials, but this is a song that describes a relationship that once ended between two people, but they somehow found their way back to one another again. It was written from a perspective of a coming of age, showing the reminiscence that can rise from the innocence that was from your first love. I think the message was delivered successfully as the response was many feeling like it could be part of an end of the summer type of film (which is what I envisioned it to be). You can listen to it now on any streaming platform!

How did you record it?

I recorded it in Nashville, Tennessee at Love Shack Studios with my producer, Julian Raymond. He is literally a genius! Out of all the songs that I’m planning to release, this is by far one of my favourites because of Dugmore and Bukovac’s guitar riffs and Raymond’s melody that flows naturally with my lyrics. 

How did you distribute it? How did you promote it?

Because I am an independent artist, I opened my own label and am my own distributor. While I handle the distribution, Bee Creative Digital Group is the company that handles all of the promotional and marketing campaigns. They post on my feed as much as they can to promote the song and I also get family and friends who support me to help out by sharing my content on their accounts, as well.

Alanis with group

The music industry is in a state of flux right now, where do you see it heading?

It depends on how you see it. I think this is a time to find different ways to connect with your fans and followers. These current times are giving great opportunities to independent artists in finding new and creative ways to engage and connect with people virtually as live shows won’t be happening so soon due to the circumstances that we are all living through right now. The music industry is constantly evolving and change is inevitable. Adaptation is crucial! Everything is moving towards the online world.

What's the most important thing missing from Songwhip?

I think the most important thing that’s missing from Songwhip would probably be the exposure. It’s such a great platform and I honestly think more people should know about it. I found out about Songwhip through a friend, but with a bit more promotional campaigns, the following could increase! It truly is a great platform and I’m glad I got introduced to it before I started releasing music again.

Which artist do you look up to the most and why?

My favourite artists' list is endless so this question has been the most difficult to answer. I grew up listening to classic rock and pretty much learned how to sing by basing everything off of Steve Perry from the band, Journey. My mom was my vocal coach and trained me professionally. Artists like Steve Perry, Demi Lovato, Selena Quintanilla, Christina Aguilera, and Linda Ronstadt all share one thing in common - powerhouse vocals. With all of these artists combined, it’s grown a huge influence vocally and musically.

Alanis performing on stage

What other artist tools/services can't you live without?

I CANNOT live without my songbook. I carry my songwriting journal wherever I go in case any inspiration strikes out of nowhere. I don’t leave home without it. There’s also my guitar, which I feel so incomplete without. If I don’t have it, I find myself falling into the deep depths of writer’s block. I need it for inspiration.

What is your advice to other indie artists to help fund their work?

Work hard, save money, and never let anyone make you doubt your talent and ambition. There’s a lot of envious people out there, but with a positive mindset and a great support system, you can build that strength to overcome that negativity and in the end, you’ll receive whatever you want. Don’t compete with others, compete with yourself. My motto is that I am my own competition. It’s your life, it’s your dreams! Chase after that. 

Alanis holding guitar

Anything else you'd like to plug?

Instagram: alanissophia
Twitter: alanissophia
Facebook: alanissophiaofficial
YouTube: alanissophiapowervoz

If you'd like to tell your story on the Songwhip blog reach out to me and I'll get you published. I loved hearing from you and reply to every message I get 😄 - Wilson