Originally hailing as a music promoter from Thessaloniki, Greece, Sophia suddenly emerged from the business side of the visual scene and into the limelight after she was accepted as Blood Stain Child’s new vocalist after the departure of Sadew in 2010. Shortly after, Sophia became one of the most recognized female vocalists within the industry, known not only for her work with Blood Stain Child but for her collaborations with Studio Ghibli, Ayabie, MEJIBRAY, and various foreign musicians in the metal scene.
Right off the most recent announcement of her first solo album this fall, Sophia has graciously given Shattered-Tranquility a highly entertaining and informative interview on her experience in the visual scene, her newest solo work, and what fans can expect coming into the new year!
To begin, would you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself and your experience in the Japanese visual scene?
Hello Shattered Tranquility readers! My name is Sophia and I used to be the vocalist of BLOOD STAIN CHILD. I recently started my new project, under the name “Season of Ghosts”. One might call it a solo project, but it will sound and look like an actual band onstage!
Well, about my experience in the Japanese scene in general, metal and visual kei…It definitely was an interesting experience, on a multitude of levels, both from a business, social and emotional perspective. While I had lots of fun, I shall admit that despite being much more experienced and informed than the average new artist, coming from a background that taught me to be honest, truthful and open, my good intentions often crashed on hard walls and were taken advantage of ,like a crazy uppercut with a “Welcome to Japan!” kind of flavor. *laughs*
So, the business aspect of the Japanese music scene has been rather intense?
I have lots of Japanese friends, however I honestly cannot recall many people who have been very kind to me on business terms, which was neither encouraging nor heartwarming. I ended up losing respect for certain things and had to reassess my beliefs and my worldview in general. Actually my sense of responsibility towards my fans, was one of the main reasons I stayed sane. At least I can say I’ve learned a lot. No doubt it was a hardcore lesson and although I got somewhat battered and bruised along the way, I came out in one piece, so now I feel better than ever!
Your first solo album, “The Human Paradox” is slated to be released in 2014. How is production progressing?
Everything is going smoothly and the album will finish soon. The final outcome will definitely be something that will surprise you all, as you’ll be able to hear me on my very own material and this makes all the difference, I believe.
Have there been any unexpected challenges so far in the creation process?
Hmm, the most unexpected challenge was myself! *laughs* It took me a while to realize, but it suddenly dawned on me that I am perfectly capable of composing my own songs. I’ve been studying music all my life, but I’d left everything to rot, since a non-academic career is generally frowned upon, where I come from, so I had decided to keep music as a hobby. How things change, eh! *laughs*
Although the initial production idea was much different, I ended up composing most of the album and dictating the whole production process to the last detail (I’m a notorious perfectionist) which actually made me the main producer in the end and I was like “Heh? I had no idea I could do stuff like this!” *laughs* I transformed and learned a lot about myself, while creating this album. It’s been a thoroughly rewarding journey.
How would you best describe your project “Season of Ghosts” to someone who has never experienced your music?
It’s the essence of life, harsh and aggressive at times, yet bittersweet and melodic. It’s an addictive rhythm that hijacks your brain when you least expect it, an intense emotional journey through the eerie spectrum of a sci-fi, horror movie soundtrack.
You’ve done several collaborations with other talents since you left Blood Stain Child, the more recent being with Mejibray on their single “Shuuei”. What is it like to be a part of collaboration in comparison to being a solo artist?
Yes, I had the joy to collaborate several times with upcoming artists like MEJIBRAY and also the European horror rockers, ZOMBIE SAM. Both of them are professionals, so our collaborations were a real pleasure. MiA is my friend for years now, but when we work, we work! You know, it takes off so much pressure when you deal with responsible people! You feel calm, you can create and elaborate on ideas more effectively when your partners are dependable, when you know they got your back. And this is especially true in the case of ZOMBIE SAM. Sam is a miracle guy, this is why I also chose to co-produce my album with him.
Obviously, when you agree to sing someone else’s song, you have to follow their rules more or less, while as a soloist you do whatever you want *laughs*. However, MiA only ever gives me rough guidelines and trusts my artistic sense in everything else. The first time I recorded for MEJIBRAY was in their studio, under the supervision of their producer. From that point onwards, though, I started recording in Greece.
What are your future plans as both a soloist and collaborator? And can we expect to see you on the stage in the near future?
Absolutely! I can’t wait to hit the road and travel to all the places I didn’t travel before, as well as visit the ones I already have. First of all, I plan on completing “The Human Paradox”. The album is mixed and mastered by Ettore Rigotti (BLOOD STAIN CHILD, the Princess Ghibli albums, GYZE) and MiA from MEJIBRAY plays guitar on two songs! There’s also a secret guest, but that shall be revealed later!
Also, I do have a small Halloween treat (not a trick!) for all my fans, so please wait for it!
Finally, regarding future collaborations, as you might have already guessed, I’ve got a few aces under my sleeve. Things are getting warmed up in the ghost camp *laugh*
Please say a few words to your overseas fans and to the readers at Shattered-Tranquility.net.
A huge “thank you” to everybody who stayed by my side until now and encouraged me to go on. Season of Ghosts is all I’ve ever wanted to tell you. So let’s stick together for this new, exciting journey!
Life might sometimes give you lemons, but all you have to do is make a damn lemon-cake and offer a piece to friends and foes, to believers and disbelievers alike. They’re all part of the big plan after all.
Thank you for your time!
Thank you too! Stay real!
Sophia has released the following album trailer for her upcoming release, which is expected to hit shelves in 2014. In addition, as it is Halloween, Sophia will be releasing a special gift to her fans. So, keep a lookout for more information in the coming hours.
Shattered-Tranquility would like to sincerely thank Sophia for this interview.