INTERVIEW: Sophie and the Giants | New Single 'The Light' and Debut UK Headline Tour
Sophie and the Giants are a 4-piece bringing pop back to the grassroots music scene, as the Guildford-to-Sheffield group released new single ‘The Light’ (Virgin EMI) ahead of their first headline UK tour, just completed.
The band describe the tour to have been a remarkable experience so far, charmingly humble explaining the shock over the crowds that they have accumulated, including a packed Camden Assembly in London. Reflecting on their only previous London show last October to just be a premature gig to ‘test the waters’ at 100-cap The Waiting Room, to be on a headline tour merely 6 months later is telling of the band’s merit.
Though the band met studying in Guildford, being close to London, what may seemingly be a benefit for a new band, wasn’t something the band felt positive about. So they made the change and moved to Sheffield to pursue the band full time. “We didn't really do a hell of a lot before we went to Sheffield, we only started seriously when we moved up there, because we thought if we want to be a full time band and have a career then we've got to make a bold move. It didn’t make sense to us to stay in London because we would just have to work all the time, but we wanted to put everything in to the band.”
It was a choice that worked well for the band, befriending John McClure from Reverend and the Makers who is a fellow Sheffield resident, who helped the band with some free practise space, but also to get acquainted with the Sheffield scene. “There are so many cool bands! I feel way less isolated up there than I did in Guildford. A lot of people say it’s London you need to go to, but I think you can go anywhere and start a scene. It's not just about joining a scene, it’s about creating your own.”
The band’s first track of 2019 is “The Light,” with a Radio 1 play the day before the London gig, regular BBC Introducing support, and a new music video coming out at the end of this week. “We've had that particular song it in the pipelines for nearly two years, but we have only just taken it to the studio after making a really strong foundation for it, and built it so we perform it live in a polished way. We wanted to wait for the right time, so that we didn’t waste it if no one hears it and it gets lost with all the first releases.”
The band had an interesting break in to the label world, building a relationship with Universal Music in Germany before they were spotted in the UK, and they ultimately got their deal through their Berlin contact. Though signed seemingly quickly after just one demo release – ‘Monsters’ - the band explained the process of how they were already a band for a year before they even launched, meaning they were ready to hit the ground running when they started playing. “We spent a whole year just being a band, just writing, we didn’t play any gigs or release or anything, and then when we were ready, it was like ‘Right, we have good enough songs, and we know what we want, we can get started’. Our mind-set was that the record labels, for a pop band which is what we are, is what we needed. It’s mainly the exposure of the songs we've done, and all the links that they have rather than us just trying to submit songs to Radio 1 on our own.”
Live, however, their song takes a slightly different spin. They adapt their music to have a set focused less on the production they have in their recording, and more on instrumentation, intentionally wanting to give their fans an alternative experience.
After the end of the headline tour and video release this Friday, the band have an epic run of festival slots, starting with BBC Introducing at Live at Leeds, all the way to the Festival Republic stage at this year’s Reading & Leeds! So make sure you get well acquainted before by listening to ‘The Light’ here:
New Artists Sophie and the Giants Recommend: Childcare, Findlay, Pristine Babe
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