Sophia Grace Brownlee rose to fame at just eight years old, when she captivated the world with her performance of Nicki Minaj’s ‘Super Bass’ on The Ellen Show back in 2011. Since then, the internet sensation has been a pop culture favourite and over the years Sophia Grace has released a string of singles, starred in her very own motion picture and became a New York Times best-selling author for her children’s book Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie.
Now aged 15, the songstress is taking on the music scene head first with her bold new sound. Armed with a determination to show the world who she truly is as an artist, Sophia Grace recently released ‘Can’t Sleep’, a gritty track which details her experience growing up in the spotlight. Having co-written the track, ‘Can’t Sleep’ is Sophia Grace’s most personal release to date and gives us a glimpse into what we can expect from her musically in the future.
We recently had the chance to quiz Sophia Grace about ‘Can’t Sleep’, growing up in the spotlight, her future plans, and much more.
Congratulations on your new single ‘Can’t Sleep’! What’s the reaction to it been like so far?
The feedback has been very interesting so far as I think this song came as a shock to everyone as I didn’t promote it until the last minute. Most of the feedback has been positive and people are understanding that I’m now 15 almost 16 and I’m not a child anymore.
‘Can’t Sleep’ is a personal song which details your journey of growing up in the spotlight. A lot of people still think of you as the eight year old from the Ellen Show, so how important was it to you to release this particular song and show your development as an artist?
It was something I really wanted to do to get a message across that I’m serious about my music career. I wanted to express the style that I’m into and enjoy listening to myself. My supporters have been amazing and have helped me by accepting this new look and sound.
You were involved in the writing process of the song, can you tell us about the track’s creative process? How long did it take for the song to develop from an idea to the finished product?
The whole process was so much fun to be a part of. I did a Studio session with a producer who played 10 beats, he asked me which one was my favourite and I chose this beat for “Can’t Sleep”. I then started to think of some lyrics that could go with the beat, it took two more sessions to finish the song.
The opening monologue is so powerful – how did that come about?
I wanted to have a message in the intro so people could hear what the song was about right from the start. I literally did it in one take in the booth and my dad said we should keep that take because it’s so true and genuine.
What’s your favourite lyric in the song?
I like all of the lyrics in my song but if I had to choose it would be the hook part “Stay in your lane, Who is she, What is she, No control No control”
You’ve also released a music video for ‘Can’t Sleep’ which we love. What was the filming process like?
Shooting music videos is my favourite part of the process, I love performing in front of a camera and it’s also really exciting to see the song come alive as the visuals are created.
You worked with Cristiano Abis on the video. What is it about his directive style that appealed to you the most?
My dad found Cristiano on Instagram. He told me had found a really cool director to shoot my next video, and when I saw his other work I was excited to work with him. I love the way he cuts between scenes and keeps the story flowing.
‘Can’t Sleep’ takes you in a new musical direction and shows a lot of maturity and growth as an artist. What do you hope that people will take away from your new music?
Well firstly I hope they just enjoy the music I’m making for them. I also hope they can relate to what I’m going through as a teenager and growing up and coming into your own. I just want them to feel good about themselves no matter what.
What’s next for you in terms of new music? Is there an EP or an album in the works?
I’m currently working on an EP which I’m very excited about and of course more music videos.
Who or what inspires you musically?
I’m inspired by a lot of different artists such as Ariana Grande, Nirvana, Queen, xxxtentacion, Billie Eilish.
You rose to fame at just eight years old after being discovered by Ellen DeGeneres. What was it like to be in the spotlight at such a young age?
I remember just being always excited especially when I was on the Ellen Show, I was lucky to have an amazing family around me to come on this amazing journey and look after me while I was young in the spotlight.
You’re only 15 now but you’ve experienced a lot during your career. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your time in the industry so far?
I think when you are young in the industry the biggest lesson we learn is to deal with fame at an early age. Like I said, I was lucky to have my family with me on this journey and they always kept me grounded and humble.
Alongside releasing music, you’re a New York Times best-selling author, you’ve starred in a movie, you’ve been a judge on ABC’s The Toy Box and you’ve done a lot of presenting work. What’s been your favourite thing to do outside of music?
My favourite thing is travelling and seeing different countries and people, I’m so happy that I’ve been able to do this and travel to some amazing places and make new friends along the way.
What kind of things would you like to do next and achieve in 2019?
I would like to achieve good grades in my GCSE’s that are coming up in the summer.
‘Can’t Sleep’ is out now.