Sophia Essél hails from Liverpool, England a city world renowned for its musical heritage. Many have tried and failed to become the next breakout music talent from such an esteemed city but the few who do succeed are made of something special, Sophia Essél is just that. Despite only deciding to pursue a career as an artist 18-months ago, Sophia has already made incredible strides having had releases on respected house labels Swerve Digital and DJ S.K.T’s Stashed Music in 2018. Early in 2019 she shows no signs of easing up, landing releases on heavyweight labels Toolroom Records and Underground Audio, it is easy to see why the demand for Sophia is constantly rising at a rate of knots. This has seen her perform DJ sets at some of the best clubs in the UK and Europe for some of the world’s most respected dance music brands; Hush, Ibiza, Jacked, Lincoln to a sold-out crowd, playing a main-room slots for Steel Yard, London, Liverpool Pride as well as holding residencies at Sankeys Ibiza, Eden, Ibiza Rocks Hotel and Es Paradis in 2018 playing alongside some of the most respected names in house music from Josh Butler to Pirupa…
Can you remember one of your favorite childhood songs? What was it and why did it impact you?
M People – Movin’ On Up is one of my all time favourites, my Mum introduced me to this track and I literally fell in love with the vocal and the groove. I love that soul sound.
Do you take after anyone in your family with your musicality?
All of my family have an aptitude for music, my Uncle got me into production, my Mum taught me to sing and my Aunty introduced me to House music at a young age. I feel blessed to have such a talented family.
Can you tell us about your recent release The Franchise? How would you describe it if someone has not listened to it yet?
The Franchise has become Mark Knights Killer Cut for the last few weeks and is creating a massive hype. The groove kicks off with an energetic hard hitting bass line carrying through a an edgy vocal with a warm synth to lead. The second drop is a game changer with such a tension build leading to a heavy techno drop.
Do you have any other releases lined up for 2019?
I do have a few releases in the pipe line on some major labels how ever will not be announcing just yet. However you can expect a mix of releases from my underground stuff like ‘The ‘Franchise’ right through to the more funky house like ‘You’.
You have recently become a member of Toolroom, a great family to be a part of no doubt. How did you become involved with them?
They’re the best ! I literally just sent a demo to their demos email and Callum had a listen and asked me to send them direct to him from then on which I did for about a year. During that time Victoria came up with We Are Listening which was put in place to help women in the industry be seen. I then went to the Toolroom HQ a couple times and started sending my music in for live A&R feedback and it was literally the live A&R which resulted in ‘The Franchise’ getting signed to Toolroom Trax.
You grew up in the North of England, specifically Liverpool – what is the electronic music scene like there?
The music scene here is boss, there’s easily 100+ clubs in Liverpool and we’ve created this underground scene around the Baltic triangle which literally pops every weekend. I feel honoured to be from such a great city.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I would literally live in the Maldives with a glass floor to see the sea, with an outdoor slide and a jacuzzi, oh and my studio. Simply because of its beauty and how chill it is there.
When you first started DJ’ing did you have any goals that, as your career has progressed, have changed as knowledge of the music industry grows?
I have the same goals now as I did when I started however some have been ticked off. I never stop to see where I’m at I just carry on and set new goals. The music industry is a busy place and you have to have your head on right and stay focused and that’s exactly what I’m about.
Where can we catch you playing this summer?
I’m actually focusing on production this summer with the odd set here and there, you can catch me in Ibiza of course and I’ll be making an appearance at Ministry Of Sound towards end of summer.
If you had to choose- yoga to wind down after a long day or a pint?
Neither – the studio is literally my wind down place. I wouldn’t be able to sit still enough for yoga and I actually don’t drink that much at all so I’m going to stick with the studio haha.
Sophia Essel – The Franchise is out now on Toolroom…