US-based acoustic artist SØF, formerly known as Sofia Nicole, has just released her new single The Rush. We took the opportunity to pose her a few questions to find out more about the single, the prospect of playing Madison Square Garden and her recent discovery of Radiohead.

By Jane Howkins

You just released a new single, titled The Rush. What can you tell us about that?
I wrote The Rush my sophomore year of college. I noticed that so many of my friends either had prescriptions for Adderall or Vyvanse, and if you didn’t then you could just buy some from the kid next door. I looked at that and kind of just thought, “well, how about that?” It’s so easy to get that nowadays. All you have to do is tell your doctor you can’t focus and they’ll give you uppers. It’s almost comedic, so I wrote a song about it.

Do you have any more singles planned? How do you choose which songs to release as singles?
I’m releasing one single a month for the first six months of the year, so I’ve got two more to go for this particular project! The next single is called One Night and it comes out on May 29th.

As far as picking the singles, I’ve written a lot of songs and I just sort of decided, “let’s record them all!” I got into the studio almost two years ago with my producer, Jerry, and we just went full force. We had a few that didn’t make the cut- at least for this project- but I ended up picking six of my favourites and polished them.

You used to perform under the name of Sofia Nicole. Why did you decide to change your name?
Picking a stage name was initially hard for me. My full name is Sofia Nicole Khorosh, but my first and last name are notoriously misspelled. When I first started my career, I was heavily influenced by singers on YouTube who went by their first and middle names, so I figured it was a decent formula. Plus, Nicole was never misspelled which was a plus.

As time went on, though, I started to grow and change a lot as an artist and my name really didn’t reflect that. Sofia Nicole sounds so sweet and dainty, you know? I wanted to be edgy, but also kind of “indie.” My boyfriend and I joked about me just going by Sof with the Ø in there just because it looked cool and indie, but I ended up taking his idea and running with it.

Your music features several different styles, including pop, indie, and rap. Is your music taste as eclectic as the music you produce? What have you been listening to recently?
Absolutely! I listen to a ton of different artists and genres. I’m not going to be that music snob that says I listen to “everything” but I do try to keep an open mind.

Don’t laugh at me for this, but I just discovered Radiohead. I’m a little late to the game, I know. I’ve been listening to their entire discography recently and I love it so much. Before that, I was on a Billy Joel kick for about a month.

Where do you get your inspiration from? What/who inspires you as an artist?
I’m lucky enough to have a muse. He’s totally reading this right now and he knows who he is; we write together and exchange ideas back and forth a lot. When I’m not writing with him in mind though, it’s just me tapping into the world around me and drawing inspiration from my life experiences. I keep a concept list for ideas and sometimes I just think of random phrases or words that I think would make a great song.

Do you have an album/EP in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it, and when will it be released?
Right now my main focus is this singles project but, for the second half of the year, who knows? I’ve got a lot of ideas floating around in my head but nothing’s concrete yet. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Do you have any tour dates coming up? If so, where are you performing?
I have the privilege of being the opener for both dates of this year’s Lantern Festival in Philadelphia. I’ve got an hour set for both shows, on June 10th and 11th. I’ve also got a full band backing me for this one, so it’s going to be a really crazy show. I’m so psyched!

Is there anywhere you would particularly enjoy to play live, and have you toured much in the UK in the past?
Oh man, that’s a hard one; there are so many places! Any arena show would be a dream come true. Honestly, anywhere in the world. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to perform live wherever people will have me, so I think I’d faint if I had the chance to play somewhere like Madison Square Garden or a stadium of any kind.

I’ve actually never been to the UK, but I want to visit so badly! Maybe one day I’ll be fortunate enough to tour there.

What can fans expect from one of your gigs, and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?
Not to brag, but my live shows are super fun (laughs). I mean, I always want to make sure everyone’s having a good time. I keep things upbeat, energetic and a little spunky.

I’m not afraid to look silly, and I think it makes for a good show. Everyone can just be themselves and enjoy themselves in that moment. That’s the kind of energy I want to bring.

Any last words for the fans?
Thank you all for being like a family to me. I would be nowhere without your support, and it genuinely means the world to me. I love you guys.

The Rush by SØF is available now.