HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Sofia Donavan’s new EP Left To The Clouds is a heart-felt collection of masterfully crafted modern Americana music that is infused with both raw emotion and intense vulnerability. The 5 tracks on the EP are a culmination of life, love, and hope, fueled by powerful lyrics and infectious melodies. The honest nature of songs like “If It Wasn’t For Love”, “Note To Tennessee”, “Rare As Gold” and the album’s title track captures the essence of the process and adventure of life, taking the listener on a journey where the music exists in it’s purist form.
“I’ve always been a person that feels emotions incredibly intensely” says Sofia. “I always joke that I rarely write happy songs, because when I’m happy all I want to do is go live and just be happy. Music to me has always been the only thing that allows me to really express how I’m feeling when words aren’t enough. There’s something about the way a word can mean a thousand different things depending on what notes are assigned to it, that even after six years of writing continues to inspire me.”
Growing up in a relatively musical family, Sofia was encouraged by her parents to follow her muse in all forms of creative expression. “Most of my childhood memories play out in my mind to a backing track of Beatles’ songs”, states Sofia. “I am half Spanish and half American but, I spent the majority of my childhood living in London. At around eight years old I started taking singing lessons and at age 13 I took up the guitar and piano. Though I’d always known there was no better feeling than the rush I got after performing in school concerts or family shows, I only really realized that music was not a hobby but actually a necessity once I started writing songs influenced greatly by artists like Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. This happened when I was 13, after I found I had a lot to say and a lot of time on my hands after recovering from an operation.”
After playing a song called “Soldier’s Letter” to her singing teacher and seeing her reaction, she realized that song writing was something she could pursue seriously. Sofia started posting covers of popular songs on Youtube to begin building a small platform where she would later introduce her original music. During this time, she began to play at open mic nights and local songwriter venues in London. After winning a school competition, she had the opportunity to play at the Isle of Wight Festival and open up for a band in Shepherd’s Bush Empire. In 2013 she released her first EP The Square One EP independently and started to sell copies at shows.
After reaching out to an advertisement that asked songwriters to send songs in to be reviewed on a website called MusicXray, she received a response from musician and artist manager Brian Steen saying that he was interested in hearing more of her music. Through this relationship, she was introduced to the former head of A&R for Windup Records: Diana Meltzer who then eventually led her to meet Jason Elgin who would produce the Left To The Clouds EP. After a lot of planning and skype discussions, she took a leap of faith flying to Birmingham, Alabama and recorded her second EP.
“While some EPs work off a theme or emotion, Jason and I decided it made the most sense to simply make a compilation of the songs I was most proud of”, states Sofia. “It is because of this that the songs on the EP are very different from each other.
“The idea for the song ‘If It Wasn’t For Love’ came after my family celebrated my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I based the song’s story on their life, from when they met to when they had my mother to later on when my mother had me. The song came from the idea that at the end of the day nothing is more important or beautiful to me than the things that love can create.
“‘Left To The Clouds’ is an example of a song that seemed to write itself without even knowing what it was about. While I had written the song about a year before I recorded it, it was only when I was in the studio recording that I realized what it meant to me. For me the song is about the moment when you finally have the strength to stand up against anything or anyone that keeps you from achieving your goals.”
Left To The Clouds will be released on all digital retailers May 19th.