Nowadays the music industry goes through the usual cut and paste artists because, well it works. But when you come across a talented musician like Sophia Bastian it’s not only refreshing to hear, but her classic soul sound fused with multiple genres defiantly makes her a force to be reckoned with. Raised in Munich, Germany, Sophia Bastian was enrolled at a ballet school but later discovered that she wanted to pursue her love for music. Making the move to New York City, Sophia Bastian studied her new found passion at a College taking Jazz Vocal Major which helped crafted her songwriting skills. Performing around Europe and New York, Sophia Bastian released her EP that showcases her amazing vocals and got everyone noticing. Looking up to legends like Billie Holiday and Etta James, Sophia’s EP has a vintage soul/jazz sound but what makes her different is that blend of reggae in her lovely raspy voice. I really wanted to learn more about New York’s rising star and luckily I had the chance to interview the beautiful Sophia Bastian. We talk about how she shifted from ballet to music, New York City, her debut album and more.

Heroin Tracks – Sophia Bastian Interview:

Heroin Tracks: Raised in Munich, Germany; how did you transcend from the art of ballet to a jazz/soul recording artist? Who are your musical influences?

Sophia Bastian: Wow, that’s a good question! [laughing] It doesn’t seem like the most natural shift to go from classical ballet to becoming a soul singer. But since I’m mostly into classic soul, jazz, and reggae I think some of the aesthetic of ballet remains. The elegance carries into what I like in singers. When I was little one of my favorites were from Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf. And they are really raw yet dignified in their delivery.

Heroin Tracks: Having made the move to New York City when you were 18, do you feel like the city’s surroundings have brought your passion for music closer?

Sophia Bastian: Yes, for sure. I always knew I wanted to be in New York for becoming a singer. The city itself is a ‘school of music’. There are all your greatest resources here; amazing musicians, old record stores, jams, shows etc. New York is obviously romanticized for all the history it has in music. I embrace that.

Heroin Tracks: Listening to your EP, it has a blend of soul, jazz and r&b records. What influences you to write such heart-felt songs such as “You Take Me Over”?

Sophia Bastian: I wrote “You Take Me Over’ on guitar. I came up with this chord progression one afternoon. The night before I ran into someone I hadn’t seen for a while. The impact of that wrote this song really. I can’t say I tried to write a soul or jazz tune, it just kinda came out that way it did.

Heroin Tracks: You have performed at numerous venues in New York, Paris, Germany, and Switzerland. How has that experience been? Also, congrats on opening for the legendary band The Roots!

Sophia Bastian: Thank you, thank you! It has been amazing! I feel very blessed by the response we get for our live shows. The first gig I ever had was a residency I was offered off of my first demos. And it just kept growing from there. I get a lot of love and support from friends and family, I’ve been very lucky. Opening for The Roots was a pretty crazy experience. Knowing Questlove is by the stage hearing your stuff is nerve wrecking.

Heroin Tracks: With the success of Amy Winehouse, Adele, & Duffy; how is your music different from the rest?

Sophia Bastian: I love Amy and Adele. That’s definitely right up my alley. I think we draw and love from the same singers like Etta James, Dinah Washington etc. That’s the common denominator. I get into reggae as well however. With a New York gal attitude. The producer of my record, Charlie Dos Santos has a latin background and that goes into it, too. He put together a band for the recording that created a very raw soulful sound. That made it unique and different I think from other singers in the genre.

Heroin Tracks: Who would you like to work with for your debut album?

Sophia Bastian: Ooohh! I’m loving this. Christmas wish list! Oh, man this is tough! I would really wanna work with someone who is infatuated with James Brown, Ray Charles and that era music. And can bridge over to some authentic fresh sound with signature. Mark Ronson is always fresh. I like how he moves within different styles of music but gets his stamp on it. His new album is great I think.

Heroin Tracks: Last but not least, what is your “Heroin Track?”

Sophia Bastian: I’m well addicted to Lola Rastaquouère by Serge Gainsbourg. It’s one of the best recordings of all time!

Heroin Tracks: You have such a timeless voice and I can’t wait to see where your journey as an artist takes you! Much love and respect!

Sophia Bastian: Thank you so much. That means a lot!

Sophia Bastian is heading down the right path, she is creating her own unique genre which stands out from everyone else and that’s what will make her successful. No matter what the challenge, be yourself and you can accomplish anything. If you want to learn more about Sophia Bastian and to hear her EP you can visit her official website and follow Sophia Bastian on Facebook and Twitter.