Sofia Lafuente’s name translates as ‘the fountain’ and it seems that she’s at a point in her artistic life where her music is flowing in a very powerful way. Out on all platforms, her stunning new single ‘Good Intentions’ is certainly more introspective than her debut EP ‘Control’. It marks a new direction sonically for this talented multi-faceted artist as she sings in her native Spanish for the first time and this track really does serve to illustrate her ability to tell a story and bring it to life in a dramatically relatable way.
Speaking of the new single, Sofia says:
“I finished ‘Good Intentions’ while I was back with my family in Spain during lockdown. It sounds cheesy but hearing it now, for me it’s kind of all about living without regrets. There were so many things in my life that I could not control and I could not predict at that point, that I wanted to celebrate the feeling of just jumping into something because you want to try, and that sometimes can be enough. I wanted it to sound like a confession between two people in the middle of the night. It’s also the first song of mine where I’m singing in Spanish and that may not have happened had I not been in Spain with a lot of time to reflect and connect to the place I came from.”
Born in America, and raised across Europe by an American father and a Spanish Mother, Sofia has been making music for most of her life as a way to escape from the shifting tides of her transcontinental upbringing that always made her feel like the new girl at school, the outsider.
“Wherever I would go, if I was new or I was feeling out of place, music was the thing that made me feel completely free.”
‘Good Intentions’ feels like Sofia has found her musical direction and feels stronger and more assured than ever before. I was lucky enough to chat with an artist who I feel will go from strength to strength as she develops.
EP: Sofia, fans of your EP are going to love the new single, ‘Good Intentions’, it seems to retain all the positives from the EP but add an extra layer of storytelling delivered with your usual seemingly effortless vocal. The song seems to be quite personal, like former single ‘Here Again’; is there a story behind the lyrics?
SF: Thank you! Absolutely… I’m an over thinker, as I established with the first ep and ‘Good Intentions’ is really just a song about taking a leap of faith into a relationship where all the odds were stacked against us. I very much made a conscious decision to not use my head and follow my heart, because I realised that what I was feeling for this person is an incredibly rare thing and I would have regretted never trying
EP: You come from a melting pot of backgrounds, having been born in The States and living in Europe, before settling at the moment in London, a truly cosmopolitan City. How has the exposure to all those different musical and cultural influences affected your song writing process?
SF: I think it helped me realise that at a very human level, we all want the same things. To be understood, to be loved, to be seen… it doesn’t really matter where you are from, music and the stories behind songs share a universal language. Sonically I listened to a lot of different music and I definitely think my melodies have been influenced by my Spanish roots as I like to take risks.
EP: Without showing my age, there’s a little of Stevie Nicks in your delivery. Is this an intentional nod to a musical influence or just a wonderful coincidence?
SF: That honestly makes me so happy. She is a massive influence of mine. Her storytelling, her style, her voice. I am a huge fan. I didn’t necessarily write the song with her in mind but I have always admired her storytelling and her melodies. Songs like ‘Rhiannon’ by Fleetwood Mac make me want to create a coven with all my friends.
EP: As we hopefully emerge from this pandemic, and slowly try to find whatever the new normal might turn out to be, has the lockdown given you a chance to take stock on your song writing and personally decide on what sort of artist you want to be? I’ve seen many artists’ lyrics become much more introspective over this time; we are in a rich vein of real honesty and self-examination in alt-pop and music generally at the moment, do you agree?
SF: Yes, I completely agree. I’ve always been pretty self-analytical but this time has been a complete reset in a lot of ways. We had to sit in this feeling of ‘discomfort’ for an unnaturally long amount of time. For me it made me strip things back with my visuals and care less about what people around me are doing. Isolation reminded me why I started writing music before it became a job, it was purely therapy. I definitely think a lot of artists used it to process everything and maybe that’s why our work seems more introspective.
EP: With the critical acclaim for the EP and the new single, do you feel that you are starting to find your voice singing the songs you have written? After all, you have worked as a songwriter for a long time. Is it nice not to be giving your musical babies away?
SF: Yes, that is very true. I think there were always songs in my catalogue that felt wrong to give away, that were just too personal. I think Good Intentions is a great example of that. It just would have felt weird to have someone else talk about my life in that way. I love helping other artists communicate their own stories, but using my voice to tell mine is an amazingly cathartic feeling.
EP: What are the plans for the coming months musically? This period of the year is such a strange time as we see new music and the inevitable Christmas releases combine? Are there any plans to get out and play any live gigs just yet?
SF: Good Intentions is a bit of a teaser to say I have way more music on the way! But I’ll definitely be waiting for the Christmas season to pass. I am looking forward to the new year and to get back out doing more live shows, but I’ll be doing a few more stripped back gigs before then.
EP: All of your songs are accompanied by beautifully produced videos. Is that something you like to get involved with? I guess trying to visualise your lyrics into another art for must be scary as well as exciting?
SF: Thank you so much. Yes, I’m really visual when it comes to writing songs so being able to bring them to life is another part of the process that I love to get involved with. The Good Intentions lyric video was actually filmed by my sister and directed by the both of us. We filmed it in Spain, where I spent the second lock down with my family and it was a pretty hilarious process. I would tell her things like ‘yes catch that sunlight, make sure it’s hitting my face’ and she’d hype me up to move a certain way, thank god for editing. But it was really fun.
EP: Finally, and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, how do you aim to transfer the critical acclaim for your music into streams and downloads? I always think the hardest thing for an artist to do is to bridge that gap.
SF: Thank you for chatting with me! Yes, that’s the hardest part of all this I think. Now we can do some shows, that’s a huge part of gaining new fans. Live music is the purest way to connect with an artist, you can’t skip the track you actually have to sit and engage with what they are saying so that is probably the best form of promo ever. I also try to use social media to share more about myself because you never know what’s going to connect with people, it may start off from my music but it could also be the fact I’m half Spanish or a book I’m reading. It sounds silly but I’ve discovered artists simply because I thought they were visually super interesting. I just try to be as authentic as I can while also expressing myself visually in the way I want my music to be seen.