A Conversation with Sola
With a burning passion and undying love for her craft, Sola’s music transcends traditional expectations of pop and R&B. The Manchester-based singer/songwriter finds inspiration in all places, drawing on everything from the relationships in her own life to classic films and documentaries to create bold, confident anthems.
Originally from California, Sola relocated to England for school where she would go on to start her music career. Though she operates on the artist side of the business, her passion for music would have driven her into the industry one way or another.
“In high school I actually ran my own music blog, so I was interviewing bands and artists that I loved. Seeing their journeys in a more personal way really inspired me.”
Admittedly, Sola simply lacked the confidence at first to create her own music, though, upon hearing one of her tracks, you wouldn’t believe that in the slightest. Her vocals are filled with fierce emotion and a certain gravitas that pulls you in, holding on with each passing breath. To achieve such a magnetic sound and resounding lyrics, she draws on her own interactions with people and the world around her.
“All of the songs I write are about personal stories. I’m mostly inspired by the people around me and the life situations I’ve gone through – often the more extreme ones.”
Her latest single “Highs & Lows” is an unapologetic, empowering pop anthem that finds the singer contemplating the state of her relationship. “The f*ck am I supposed to do with potential?” she pleads as an electro-pop beat swells over a ticking clock metronome. Her lyrics are often quite literal, something Sola attributes to being a very straightforward person whose feelings cannot be accurately captured with meager metaphors. The track came together at a songwriting camp in Southwest England, something Sola says was more akin to a liberating therapy session than a rigorous writing exercise.
“Sometimes my boyfriend plays it in the other room and I hear it and for a second I forget that it’s my song.”
The humility of Sola is something to admire, almost as though her own talents surprise her. The single is accompanied by a dreamy, quarantine-friendly music video directed by Sola and James Amos.
As we’ve all navigated this unprecedented year, Sola highlights how tough it is to write fun, cheerful songs when it feels like the world is burning. So much of music, whether you’re creating or listening, is a collective experience – something that has become a bit more challenging due to the pandemic.
“It’s difficult to get a vibe over zoom when it comes to songwriting. I’ve had some really good sessions over zoom and come out with really cool stuff, but it’s a lot more difficult.”
Truthfully, Sola mentions that she hasn’t even fully processed concrete thoughts on everything going on, let alone write songs about it all. However, she’ll be the first to admit that the increased difficulty makes the final project all the more rewarding. Though her art is largely based on events that are a part of her own life story, she loves when other people can relate and form a real connection with her work.
“I’d like to think that hopefully I can be a sort of vessel for [the listener’s] emotions as well and we can connect on a shared experience of bullsh*t or something and just work through our sh*t together. That’s my goal.”
She can’t help but don a shimmering smile at the thought. Sola’s passion for her craft is infectious, the genuine enjoyment that comes from singing and writing pours out of her with fervor. It’s this energy that makes her music easy to connect with and be inspired by, gifting the listener the same confidence that Sola flexes. But don’t get it twisted – Sola’s just get started. As she continues to uncover her place in music, it’ll be exciting to witness her inevitable ascension.
When it comes to what’s next for Sola, keep a lookout for new music at the top of the new year.
Dom Maiorca is a writer and filmmaker from Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from UCLA where he studied Psychology and Film & TV while contributing frequently to The Paper Mixtape, an independent student-run magazine. He loves talking about music and movies and is always looking for new recommendations for both. Some of his favorite artists include Childish Gambino, Toro y Moi, Tyler, the Creator, KAYTRANADA, Gorillaz, and many more.