At sixteen, indie-pop songwriter Sophie Gray is still surprised that she's making a splash as a musician.
"I grew up in a very sporty family, and they tried to put me into every sport out there, and none of it clicked, until one day I guess I just decided I wanted to play guitar," she recalls.
So she took voice and guitar lessons and started writing regularly, inspired by her teachers and hoping to be like Taylor Swift. Around age nine, she started sharing her songs with her parents and music teachers; they were impressed and encouraged her to keep going.
In December 2019, she put her debut song, "Twisted," online; it got some radio play, and more than 60,000 people streamed it — massive numbers for an artist just getting her start.
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"I just feel very lucky," she says. "I know a lot of people pursue music as their dream, and I know that watching those numbers grow felt very surreal for me. I would say the biggest change for me has been with the feeling of professionalism surrounding my releases. My manager, Aaron, and I were talking, and he said it's like we upgraded. I really think that's true, and I hope that continues with each song to come."
Her latest song, "Girlfriend," drops Friday, May 8.
"'Girlfriend' started out as me just being mad at a guy, and then that line, 'You got a girlfriend you didn't tell me about' popped into my head, and it was like the song started writing itself," she explains. "For me, the song really went from me just trying to get my emotions out to a story about getting cheated on. But unlike so many other songs about that subject, I wanted it to empower other girls rather than putting them down."