Sophia Fracassi may be only 17, but she has always been a little bit ahead of her time.
The same can be said for the young singer-songwriter’s music, who is set to release her second single, Somebody, on July 9 with Coalition Music.
“Apparently, as soon as I could talk I was singing. I started talking at a very young age, full complete sentences, when I was one-and-a-half which was very strange for my whole family,” she told BarrieToday from her home in Everett, where she is finishing up Grade 12.
She loved singing so much that her parents enrolled her in classical vocal lessons when she was five.
At 16, she decided she wanted to write and perform her own music, and has been making room for herself in what she described as the “indie-pop” style of music.
“I don’t think I would be where I am musically without it so I am very grateful for it, (but) it just didn’t turn into what I felt the most passionate about which was writing music,” she said.
Fracassi, who taught herself to play piano by ear when she was eight, said she typically writes her music by ear as well — having written and performed her first song when she was only nine years old.
"I don’t read a lot of music and I mostly write my music by ear, too," she said.
“That was super cool and a lot of people liked it. A couple other kids my age ended up deciding they wanted to perform it at other places as well, which was fun for me at nine.”
She kept writing, and her dedication and talent ultimately landed her a recording contract with Toronto-based Coalition Music — an artist management company and an independent record company that represents well-known Canadian artists like Our Lady Peace, Simple Plan, USS and Amanda Marshall — in October 2020.
Fracassi, who released her first single — Wish I Never Met You — in March, said she was definitely in disbelief at the beginning.
“It felt surreal. I definitely had a little bit of imposter syndrome … feeling — 'Why am I getting this opportunity.' I know there are so many other talented artists out there who could totally be doing this. I thought it was insane I ended up in that position and I was just in awe. I am very grateful,” she said, estimating her first single has close to 90,000 streams to date.
Like every great songwriter, Fracassi writes from a deeply personal place, adding she finds her best songs come from when she is feeling something extremely intensely.
“Sometimes I am feeling really positive emotions, sometimes I am feeling something really negative and that’s where the lyrics and songs flow out of,” she said. “I am inspired by real life. My own life, the different things I have gone through, and other people’s lives (all) inspire me. I love writing from different points of view and people’s perspectives on things.”
Her sound, she added, is still evolving, especially as she gains more opportunities to experiment with production.
“I play piano and I sing, so I will write it on the piano, and then I will bring it to my producer and we will end up coming up with an arrangement that is totally different from how it originally sounded,” she said. “I am still figuring out how I want my exact sound to be, but I would say it’s definitely like an indie-pop sound.”
While she is looking forward to July 9 for the release of her next single, which she described as a great song to “drive along in the car with the windows down” whatever her future looks like, she simply hopes it includes music.
“That’s always been my dream to be a musician and to make that work as my career. Obviously, you can’t predict what is going to happen. Life has so many twists and turns you’re not expecting, so I like to keep my options open,” she said.
“My parents have always been really encouraging of me, which has been a huge blessing in my life. I wish I was more certain as to what I wanted it to look like, but the one thing I am certain of is … I want (music) to be one of the biggest parts of my life.”