Sophia Marshall talks about starting her musical journey over again…but this time, she’s doing it her way.
You may have come across the delicate vocals of Sophia Marshall before. As one-half of folk band The HaveNots she was well on the road to success but then, gave it all up.
Born in Countesthorpe, Sophia grew up surrounded by music: “My dad used to perform and was into his guitars, he didn’t write music but he was always encouraging us to be creative and learn instruments.”
As the youngest of five, Sophia was always copying her big sisters so when she saw one of them perform at the school rock concert, it was no surprise that she wanted to try it out. Through her sister, she met Liam who introduced her to country and folk music: “That was the turning point for my taste in music. It felt like home for me and where my voice should be.”
Sophia and Liam started singing together and formed The Havenots. They quickly gained a big following, went on tour and got signed to record label, Cooking Vinyl. Everything was sweet but a young Sophia grew tired of the arguments that came with spending so much time together and the band split up.
The plan was to always go solo but time slipped away and different things distracted the Leicester born singer: “I was always singing and trying to write but was feeling uninspired. Then something else changed in my life and influenced me to write a whole new bunch of songs and with that, came the yearning to get back on to the road and start performing.”
She began working with her sister Sarah and her partner Andy and a fantastic opportunity presented itself: “I got an email from Canadian singer, Frazey Ford (who I had done a few gigs with before when I was in the band). She asked me if I wanted to open for her on her UK tour and further down the email, asked if I wanted to be backing vocals in her band. Bearing in mind she’s my hero, I was like ‘yeah, I do.’ ”
This time round Sophia looked at it all differently: “When I was with The Havenots, I didn’t make any effort to befriend the people I met on tour. This time round I enjoyed the whole process and meeting all the organisers.”
The group now perform as a 5-piece band with a drummer and bass player and have spent time working on new music. The Paper Thin EP was released in 2015 so Sophia is eager to give her fans some new material: “It’s almost done. I’m itching to get it ready for my summer gigs because that will kick start another busy year. We’ve got new ones on record – it just needs sprinkling with some fairy dust.”
With no agent, Sophia is also busy trying to book in as many performances in the diary to make each year bigger than the previous year: “It’s nice I have control of it and don’t have to pay anyone 10% to do it. I could not do it without the people I work with and the best part for me is to give them something to be creative about.”
By Keya Modessa