"In my free time I like to bake banana bread and embroider my jeans" Introducing Sonia Stein
Hey Sonia, how the devil are you doing?
I'm doing great thank you !!!
Where are you right now?
I am on my couch in my flat in London
What have you been up to today?
I just got off the train from Somerset where I went to a friends wedding right after I played a gig in Berlin. It's been a long weekend...
Introduce yourself to our readers.
Hey, my name is Sonia Stein, I am a pop-soul singer-songwriter originally from Poland, living in London. In my free time I like to bake banana bread and embroider my jeans.
What can you tell us about your new single, 'Change Shapes', in two sentences?
'Change Shapes' is a pretty deep contemplation on identity and perception, hidden in a light summer pop-song. It's about accepting who you are by accepting that your identity is a construct.
You shot the video in Portmeirion, how was that?
It was completely insane. I have never heard of Portmeirion before reading the treatment to the video, so seeing it after googling it numerous times was surreal. It was also POURING with rain the entire day. We were hiding under umbrellas and whatever shelter we could find between every single take so that our outfits wouldn't show how wet it was on camera.
How hard is it making a video? Or is it all fun?
I find the process both very enjoyable and very stressful. I don't like being in front of the camera that much but I usually warm up to it as the day goes on. Putting it all together the weeks prior is something I like, doing the fittings and choreography rehearsals. I try to remember its supposed to be fun whenever I get overwhelmed.
Generally these days, success is measured in YouTube view and Spotify streams, what does success look like to you?
It definitely feels like it and sometimes it's hard not to get caught up in those measurements yourself. I would say success to me is being 100% happy with a song I wrote and recorded, or playing a gig where I feel like the audience is engaged and loving it. That gives me new energy and motivation to keep going.
How do you go about writing and choosing which songs to record?
Usually my songs come to life in one of two ways. I either write them at home on the piano and then will take them into the studio with a producer to build them up. If I finish a song at home it will always be the one I chose to record.
The second way is writing them in the studio with a producer, where we will create a track over which I will then write a melody and lyrics.
Can you tell us the best and the worst thing about your hometown?
The best thing about Warsaw is that my family lives there and also the amazing vegan food scene that keeps getting bigger every time I go back. The worst thing is probably the air pollution. The smog there is very bad.
When was the last time you were starstruck?
Probably when I saw Owen Wilson at Shoreditch House. I was with friends that knew some people he was with and had no problem coming up to him and having a chat but I couldn't get myself to do it so I just lived vicariously through them and watched it all happen from afar.
You’re pretty active on social media, is it a pain in the butt for artists, or a valuable tool for connecting with fans?
I think it's a little bit of both. I like doing it when it comes from me but feel a bit rebellious against it when I feel like I HAVE to use it to tag and promote certain things.
What’s next for you?
I'll be releasing more singles and videos, hopefully an EP and more gigs.
Where can we see you playing live this summer?
I have some Sofar Sounds gigs coming up around the UK (Bath, London, York) and I am playing a festival in Poland in July as well.
If you could recommend one song to hear this week, what would it be?
I love the new Chromeo feat. DRAM song 'Must've Been'. It'll make you feel good.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
"Little shrugging emoji." I feel we covered a lot of ground. But you know where to find me if you remember anything else. (On my couch)
Finally, how do you take your coffee? Or alcohol?
I take my coffee in the form of copious amounts of green tea all day every day. I take my gin with soda and lime.
Sonia's latest track, 'Foolish', is out now. For more info on her visit her website, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, or she what she's up to on Instagram.