Welcome to Interview Spotlight! This is where I will feature interviews or discussions with various musicians and learn more about them, what they do and how music affects them.
This week, I am pleased to showcase the talented and lovely Sophia Kounoupias (aka The Daunting)!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you from, what do you do?
“Hi my name’s Sophia and I’m from London. I’m currently in my last year of training for my acting degree but music is also a significant factor for me.”
How are you involved in the music world? What do you do musically?
“I write and compose music in my spare time and have done so for the past 10 years. I’m not a traditional musician at all. If you asked me to sit at a piano and play a piece of sheet music I honestly wouldn’t know where to start. I compose my music entirely through virtual technology and am influenced by artists such as Massive Attack and Air. I am also a singer who is often referred to artists such as Kate Bush and PJ Harvey in terms of my vocal style. However more recently I have started experimenting more with using opera in my work; more recently my music has taken quite a cinematic feel to it.”
Are there any previous associations or bands you were involved in before?
“I have never been part of a band. I prefer working solo. I have however collaborated with several artists internationally which is a project I enjoy practicing when I have spare time. You can both teach each other something in the process.”
How did you begin your journey into music?
“I got a keyboard when I was 9 years old and I was ecstatic. I suppose I started experimenting with music and song writing from that age and I just started figuring out what sounded good and what didn’t. I spent hours practicing and teaching myself various chords – I suppose this was the basis for my work really. Five years later I then went on to do a music qualification and then after that I did a higher qualification in music technology where I began to experiment more with virtual instruments. I had acquired some music equipment during this time and composed some songs over the years, teaching myself along the way, but the training really did help. It took my work onto a new level. “
How would you best describe your music?
“This is quite a difficult question to answer. I think there is probably no definite answer for this one. I don’t like to classify my music under a certain ‘genre’. But I would have to describe my music probably as a mix between trip hop, cinematic and ambient genres. Every song is very different – I don’t really stick to a certain ‘feel’. And the exciting thing is that I have no idea what my next track will sound like. It’s always so different and new from anything else I’ve written. “
How has your music evolved over the years?
“Through experience and knowledge the style and feel of my music has changed entirely in the past 6 years I’ve been publishing my work online. I think also the fact I have had time to mature since the age of 14, when I first started posting music online, has determined certain elements in my songs.“
Is there any direction you’d like to explore musically that you haven’t before? If so, why is it you choose that direction?
“I think I have just begun exploring a new genre, so this question is interesting. More recently I have been looking at this new kind of cinematic quality to my work which is something I have always been intrigued in but didn’t really feel I had the experience to look at and explore. “
What’s your creative process like? How do you go from a blank page, to a completed track or album?
“Life events. Seriously. Once something triggers within me so strongly, I just have to write about it. I will sit at my keyboard for hours playing around with sounds until I find the right melody that suits how I’m feeling. Sounds weird, but its how it is. I also like to start working from various loops early on just to experiment with sounds.”
Have you done any type of tours or special venues?
“Never toured, no way. How can I? I’d have to get together a band and transcribe everything electronically to sheet music. Who’s got time for that, seriously? But it would be cool. ”
What’s your studio like (if applicable)? What type of equipment do you often find yourself using to help write and record or inspire you?
“I’m no tech pro. Just got a computer, keyboard, a few wires, microphone, Sony equipment and that’s about it really…”
What song of yours are you most proud of and why?
“Pffft. Okay this one is difficult. Every single song of mine has a different meaning and value to me. I would have to say ‘The Soldier’s Friend’, ‘Beryllium Dreams’ and ‘Cellophane’ all for completely different reasons.”
What music, other than your own, have you been listening to lately? What are some of your favorite artist to listen to in your down time?
“Sparks – they’re playing on the CD player right now and most recently Ryuichi Sakamoto, a Japanese artist, who composes sound designs and soundtracks for films and stuff…his work has a creepy sound…”
If you can remember, what’s the first song you wrote? How does that compare to your current releases?
“The first song I ever wrote I think was called Heaven. I was a curious child!”
If you wasn’t doing music, what would you see yourself trying to pursue?
“Haha being an actor! ”
What would your advice be to someone who is trying to get into the music world? What should they look out for?
“Don’t’ look at me, I’m not even in the music biz. But I can give you some acting advice?”
Final question, what’s your favorite type of food?
“Italian food…it’s in my genes.”
Thanks to Sophia for the great interview and giving us all a chance to see and hear about herself and how music works in her life. Make sure you guys give some support and check her out!
If you’re a musician, artist, composer, DJ or anything to do with the music world, big or small, I would love to hear from you! If you’d like to be showcased, interviewed or be involved in the blog, please contact me through my website at www.derekpalmermusic.com or connect with me on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/derekpalmermusic