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At 20-years-old, synth-popper Sophia Black is making headway with her R&B-influenced tunes. One-part Selena Gomez and one-part Alina Baraz, the Japanese/Native American Los Angeleno was signed to Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records at 13-years-old. Through ethereal vocals sung in multiple languages (Black is fluent in French, Japanese and English), the songstress’ talent shines through her five-song EP with tales of love lost and gained. Black’s first hypnotic single “Vibration” had us intrigued, but her next track “Anchor” had us hooked. By combining classic pop, soul, dance and hip-hop, Black’s self-titled EP shows off a young singer’s worldly perspective that’s wise beyond her years—something that made her the perfect candidate to play 21 Questions with us.
1. What gets you up in the morning? Honestly, almost nothing. It takes 1700 alarms to wake me up, and I have to set all of them for three hours before I actually have to wake up. You could have 30 toddlers screaming and jumping on me, but it wouldn’t wake me up.
2. What’s your personal life philosophy? I guess my personal life philosophy is to always live in the moment, I know it’s the most cliché thing in the world but it’s true. You can’t touch the past or the future, so why let it touch you?
3. Your biggest virtue? I would say that I never hold any grudges. If someone messes up, that’s part of life. I’ll always be friendly towards that person but I’ll still keep my eye out and be cautious around that person. I don’t think it’s a good use of energy to hold onto anger and waste your time feeling that way over one person. I feel like that person wins if I let their behavior affect me, but if I stay laughing and show that I’m not affected by them then I win.
4. Your biggest vice? I’m not really sure. If I have any, which I’m sure I do, I’d like to work on [that vice] and try to better myself. I strive to be the best I can be.
5. Do you have a party trick? I do this thing at parties where I’m really talented at sitting down in the back somewhere with my friends, and we just joke around between ourselves haha it’s the best thing ever.
6. How would you describe your style? I would describe my style as ’80s/’90s couture-inspired, more-so ’90s couture though! Specifically ’90s Chanel. I spend countless hours on the internet just researching that era of clothing.
7. What would constitute a perfect day for you? A perfect day for me is waking up at one in the afternoon, opening up all the windows so a nice breeze comes in, and staying in bed while listening to music all day.
8. Knowing what you know today, what advice would you give your younger self? Knowing what I know today, the advice I would’ve given to my younger self is that you can make any situation into a good one, and that it’s incredibly easy to see things that way. That’s the advice I got when I was a young teen and I’m really glad I did. I used to think that everything was terrible, whether it was my friend group at the time or my appearance, but once I realized that it all depends on how you perceive things in life. It changed my entire being.
9. What would your very last meal entail? Oh sheesh, don’t do this to me. I love food WAY to much to have just one last meal. If I did have a last meal, it would be more of a last “meals” type situation. I would take over a 24-hour period and dedicate each couple of hours to every single one of my favorite foods. Those foods include, Japanese food, Mexican food, Italian food, Greek food, etc. As you can see, I’ve put a lot of thought into this.
10. Three people—dead or alive, real or fictional—that you’d like to invite to dinner. This is a really good question, damn. Ok, three people who I would invite to dinner: First off, Michael Jackson so I can pick his brain about his music. Secondly, Queen Nefertiti because I really want to ask her where she’s buried. Lastly, Will Ferrell because he’s a comedic genius and will most likely make us laugh.
11. If you were a song, which one would you be? “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, haha just kidding. Truthfully though, I think that I would be “I Am Not My Hair” by India.Arie. I really like the message behind the song. It basically says that I am not my appearance, but I am what rests behind my looks. It’s so beautiful.
12. If a movie were made about you, who would play you? If a movie were made about me, I’m not sure who would play me, but whoever she is has to be half-Japanese or some sort of hapa (half-Asian).
13. Turn ons? Hot Cheetos.
14. Turn offs? The feeling you get after you eat waaay more Hot Cheetos than the suggested amount.
15. Your spirit animal? I think my spirit animal would be a baby wolf, or a cub of any sort because I could be really cute and small but I could also tear your leg off.
16. Your favorite flower? My favorite flower changes all the time, I love daisies or anything that looks like a daisy. At the moment, I really love chamomile flowers.
17. Tell us a secret. A secret… Hmmm… I guess one secret is that I have a song with a Doja Cat feature on it that will hopefully come out one day.
18. Your favorite quote? I don’t remember exactly where it’s from but a woman suffering from cancer was asked how she feels now that she knows she’s dying, and her response was “how does it feel to pretend like you’re not?” That is the most badass response I’ve ever heard, and it’s my favorite quote.
19. What is your current state of mind? My current state of mind is jubilant, as it is always.
20. An embarrassing moment? I’ve been waiting since the day it happened for this question to be asked. When I was in my first year of high school, I was in a band with a few of my friends. They were a year younger than I was so they had a party for their middle school graduation and we played at the party. Our band coach at the time brought someone named Jesse to the party, and while the rest of the band was tuning up for the next song we were going to play, our coach insisted that I sing my favorite song at the time “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5with Jesse. Not wanting the band members to feel like it suddenly became a solo show, I politely declined. However, the crowd insisted that I sing it with him, so I did. After we performed the song, I just continued our bands set, without saying anything to Jesse and he left. Once we were done, and Jesse was long gone, I found out that he was actually Jesse Carmichael from Maroon 5 and HE WROTE THE SONG. To this day, I still feel like the biggest jerk.
21. Your proudest moment? My proudest moment so far is putting out my EP. I spent almost all of my adolescence working on it, and I have no regrets, I’m just so happy it’s finally out. I’m so proud of this EP and proud of all the other songs that will come out as well!