Sophie Castillo is a singer/songwriter based in London/Nottingham. Her music is pop with a rock edge, the heavy guitar adding an alternative element to her sound.

Sophie was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, here’s what she had to say.

Who inspired you to get into music?
I’ve been singing since I was really little and would always listen to South American music with my parents as my family are from Colombia but I really started getting into making music properly when I found a YouTuber called Jayme Dee. I loved her covers and she made me want to learn to play guitar and make my own covers and then I started finding all of the artists that I loved and inspired my music.

How old was you when you started to write your own music?
I secretly wrote songs when I was little but only started properly writing when I was fifteen.

How supportive have your friends and family been?
My friends and family have always been so supportive of me; they come to all of my gigs and they always back whatever decisions I make and are always there for me. My mum and my uncle have been especially supportive of my music since I was really little and decided music was what I wanted to do. My family in Colombia are always so supportive of me as well and they always want me to send them my music and sing for them when I go there which is really sweet.

What is the music scene like in the city you live in?
Nottingham is amazing for music and especially unsigned artists. Everyone really backs each other here and there are so many great opportunities for unsigned artists in Nottingham like BBC Introducing East Midlands and Nusic which is so great as it can be so hard for unsigned artists when we’re trying to get our music out there.

What has been your best and worst gig?
I haven’t done too many gigs as I’m trying to get a band together so I can play live shows but I did two acoustic gigs in London which were really fun! The venues were really nice and I got to perform all of my finished songs to my friends and family for the first time.

What is your favourite track to play live?
My favourite track to play live is probably ‘Man With a Gun’ because it’s really fun to sing and it’s the first song I ever wrote so it’s always really nice when my friends sing along because they’ve been hearing it since I was about fifteen so they know it well!

Describe your music in three words
Metaphorical, catchy, narrative

Any funny/interesting gig stories you can share with us?
In my last gig I had loads of adrenaline and was really nervous and my mouth kept twitching really weirdly when I started singing the first song but luckily only one of my friends noticed and she thought it was some kind of singing technique.

What would be your dream venue to play?
I’ve always wanted to play at Alexandra Palace because it’s such an amazing venue and I love the lay-out and have always had so much fun there.

If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with Dua Lipa because I love her lyrics and how relatable they are to so many people as well as how fun her sound is. But also my absolute favourite is probably Lana Del Rey because she’s inspired my music so much and I’ve been obsessed with her music for years.

If you could give any advice to someone starting out in the music industry what would it be?
I’d probably tell them to never give up and also do as much research as you can. It’s always hard to know what to do next and you can often feel like you’re stuck but it’s really important to just keep researching about music in your city and where you can send your songs to and you’ll eventually find places to send your music to who are really supportive and want to help unsigned artists. Would also say, always do what you want to do in terms of your music and don’t let anyone try to tell you that your music is out of date or not in fashion because there’s no point changing what you want to do just to please a few people who think they know what’s best when in reality you know what’s best for your own music. If it weren’t your own it wouldn’t be real.

Any information you would like us to share?
My single ‘Man With a Gun’ is available on Spotify, SoundCloud and iTunes! Also I’ve got some new music coming up soon.

By Siân Parker