Interview – Sofia Dragt

I recently review Sofia Dragt’s gorgeous new EP Islands, which I loved. The EP has quite an interesting tale behind it, with it being inspired by a trip Sofia took to the island of Fleinvaer in Norway. Find out more about her travels and her music below!

By Jane Howkins

What can you tell our readers about the EP?

With my portable recording setup I traveled to the beautiful and inspiring island Fleinvaer in the north of Norway to write music. I wrote and partly produced the songs of my EP there. It was a period of time in my life that might be called a ‘quarter life crisis’ and that strongly influenced my songwriting. So it’s about making choices or wanting to wait a little longer for certain life decisions. Also the combination of my love for the Norwegian nature and landscapes, capturing the symbolic thought of being on an island with my mind while I literally was on an island.

Do you have any plans to release an album in the near future?

I’m very happy with the release of this EP and there will be certainly more releases coming. But I’ve also carried this idea with me to make a piano/instrumental album for a while now. That might be the next album I’m going to make. This time I’m heading to Iceland for a month to work on that, because I’m lucky enough to be Artist In Residence on Iceland this October.

We hear the EP was inspired by a recent trip to Norway, where did you go and how was the trip?

So it was the week before Christmas when I went up to Bodø in the north of Norway. Since the island is only accessible over water, I took a boat to the remote island Fleinvaer and stayed in the beautiful The Arctic Hideaway, a self sufficient residence made by and for artists. Since it was in December, there wasn’t a lot of daylight. And even when the sun was up, it didn’t go higher than the mountain behind the island. But that made it so magical, because it colored the sky pink and orange. The art cover of the EP is actually a photo of the view I witnessed.

How did the trip influence the tracks on the EP?

I get inspired by Scandinavia even if I’m not there, so being on that beautiful island made me very productive. I wrote a song every day when I was there. I also went to unwind and have some alone time, so all the thoughts that made my life at that point a bit heavier came out and grew into the songs.

What/who influences your music the most? What artists have influenced your music since you started writing and performing?

When I started writing music I was influenced by Regina Spektor. I thought the way of playing the piano and how she was using her voice was very touching and inspiring. I also listen to the album Grace by Jeff Buckley quite a lot. The last few years I got inspired by artists like Ólafur Arnalds, Bon Iver and Agnes Obel. Also Coldplay have inspired me since their first album and still do.

Would you ever consider doing a concept album/EP like this again?

You could see the idea of making a solo piano or instrumental album on Iceland as a concept album, but I guess that idea still has to grow as a whole. Since I compose and produce music for film, media and documentaries as well, this might fit perfectly for film. So who knows!

Do you have any singles up for release anytime soon?

I actually just released a song last September 3rd with friend and colleague Serge Dusault, called One Day I Might.

Do you plan to perform your music live at any point in the near future?

I actually had one live show September 4th which I really enjoyed, but due to the pandemic there are no tour or shows going ahead at this point. Also I’m focusing my energy on creating new music again. But it would be great to see more live audiences again!

What sort of music have you been listening to recently and what can you recommend to our readers?

As I’m a Bon Iver fan, I also love Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessners band Big Red Machine. So I’m actually now listening to the album How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? I also recently listened to the artist Washed Out, who makes electronic pop music. I especially enjoyed the song Time to Walk Away, it’s just a perfect song to listen to whilst driving your car during golden hour.

Any last words for the fans?

I truly hope to inspire you with my music! And when yo take the time to listen to it, it should feel like a soundtrack to your own movie.