Sophia Marie is taking the world by storm, one city-themed anthem at a time. She previously stole our hearts with the raw “What A Waste” back in April and she’s taking us abroad again with the follow-up “Menace In Venice,” out this Friday. With every song she releases, Sophia manages to pack so much emotion into seemingly straightforward lyrics, making it easy to understand the story she’s telling and to really resonate with the way she’s telling it.
“I would describe ‘Menace in Venice’ as, like, a very delusional, up-beat song whose rhythm disguises its actually really sad message,” Sophia tells TREMG. “It’s about being really heartbroken that this one particular guy doesn’t like you and so you go out searching for the attention of others, especially those from foreign countries. When you’re an American in a different country, you get all of this undeserved attention, people asking you your name and where you’re from, and why you have this hilarious accent.”
Even if you’re just sitting at home, Sophia’s music will make you feel like you’re somewhere else. She has a unique ability to really whisk the listener away, especially on songs like “What A Waste,” which details her experience walking through the streets of London and namedrops iconic locations like the Globe Theater and the Ritz. As you listen, you feel like you’re right there with her as she pours her heart out about her hopes, fears, and everything in-between.
“I wrote this song right after experiencing probably the lowest point of my life,” Sophia admits. “I was at a point in my life when I felt that London was the only city that made me feel truly living and alive, and I desperately wanted to go back. I wanted my sophomore year to finish just so I could make it out to London to try to re-live and retrace the steps of the past love story with the man I loved, but I couldn’t. I braved a five-day hotel quarantine and 12-hour flight just to walk around aimlessly and not have any idea what I wanted to do. I was completely stuck and told myself at that moment that something in my life needed to change. That I needed to find some kind of stability. Going to music was a natural progression of that.”
Speaking of natural progressions, it’s clear that there’s a shimmering future for Sophia and her music. She stands out as someone who’s always transparent and vulnerable about her experiences, even when she’s facing some of the worst possible emotions in some of the most incredible cities in the world.
“I think there is always going to be a romanticism of different places, and it honestly speaks to a kind of self-important disposition,” she says. “In general, we as humans like to feel ‘different,’ ‘special.’ When you’re abroad, you are different, so there’s this kind of constant wanting to be special. I can be the crazy, spontaneous American in London rather than just another wannabe singer in Los Angeles.”
You can find “Menace In Venice” on your favorite streaming services on Friday, and get to know Sophia Marie on Instagram! Keep reading for more from our conversation with the unapologetically sincere singer-songwriter.
Come back on Friday for an updated version of this article with links to “Menace In Venice!”
Congratulations on your upcoming single, “Menace In Venice!” We can’t wait to hear it – how would you describe the song?
Okay, I would describe “Menace in Venice” as, like, a very delusional, up-beat song whose rhythm disguises its actually really sad message. It’s about being really heartbroken that this one particular guy doesn’t like you and so you go out searching for the attention of others, especially those from foreign countries. When you’re an American in a different country, you get all of this undeserved attention, people asking you your name and where you’re from, and why you have this hilarious accent. Even coming from LA and going to school Back East, I felt like I would get attention because I appeared so different. So this song indulges in this delusional, that the world revolves around me and I can be fine with one man not liking me because I’m being noticed by others. But ultimately, in the end, nothing can make up for the apathy of him.
Is there a certain lyric on “Menace In Venice” that you’re particularly proud of?
YES! I’m so glad this was asked. This song is one of my favorites lyrically, and it specifically stands out because the verses are all done in spoken-word/rap style. When I talk about all this attention thrown my way (that I satirize), I speak about heliocentric theory, the theory that all the planets revolve around the sun. This was a theory made by Nicolas Copernicus in the Scientific Revolution and one that made him receive a lot of backlash because it went against religious teachings that everything revolved around the Earth, where God created His humans.
So this one line goes, “these men are like planets, and I’m their sun. Heliocentric, Copernicus says I’m the only one, so watch me have so much fun.” By equating the men like planets, they all, according to Nicolas Copernicus’s theory of heliocentrism, must revolve around me. So it’s a fun metaphor I play with. It gives the image of me dancing around and feeling like I’m the center of the universe.
I also really like the line in the first verse, “buy me alcohol; in Europe, I can drink. Oh, it’s so fun to be a girl in a foreign country” because it speaks to the different laws of alcohol consumption that make romance and dating fun in different environments. I wrote this song when I was 19, and I got to experience the whole dating scene where men buy me drinks (specifically in London), something that couldn’t happen in the US. It’s flirty and epitomizes the whole track, I think.
Your recent single “What A Waste” is a stunning exploration of how heartbreak can reshape our memories and the places we visit. What has it been like for you to reclaim that story into something that can help others feel less alone in their own heartbreak?
Yeah, this is a big one. I always heard people saying things like “music is therapy” or “writing is like therapy.” I don’t know how much of that is true. I feel like actually, when I indulge in what happened, I can get into this really unhealthy cycle of just crying all the time. I do this really dumb thing sometimes when I look through my old voice memos a year back, and I listen to myself just discovering I liked someone for the first time, or writing a song because I’m so happy and in love. I think it breaks me more than it helps me. So, honestly, I see writing personal songs not as “therapy” – sometimes they are, particularly if I’m mad for some reason – but as something I have to do. Like when something as heartbreaking as the circumstances that caused me to write “What a Waste” did, I can’t not write about it.
There is therapy not in the writing of the song, but the acknowledgment that this song will become something, that something really gorgeous will come out of my heartbreak. I wrote this song right after experiencing probably the lowest point of my life. I was at a point in my life when I felt that London was the only city that made me feel truly living and alive, and I desperately wanted to go back. I wanted my sophomore year to finish just so I could make it out to London to try to re-live and retrace the steps of the past love story with the man I loved, but I couldn’t. I braved a five-day hotel quarantine and 12-hour flight just to walk around aimlessly and not have any idea what I wanted to do. I was completely stuck and told myself at that moment that something in my life needed to change. That I needed to find some kind of stability. Going to music was a natural progression of that.
I know others can relate to doing insanely spontaneous things, wanting to relive the past when it isn’t there anymore. Hating a place you have no right to possess because it doesn’t belong to you. Hating that people change even though you have no right to control them.
On top of making music, you’re also taking classes at Georgetown University, which is incredible! How do you balance your schoolwork with your music career?
I don’t know if I really do, haha! Yeah, it’s insane. Right now, I have finals, and I’m dying. My classes are so fun though. My favorite classes this semester are my Nuclear Weapons Class and Military Strategy class. I am learning so much. But I also work at the Embassy of France as an intern, like, 16 hours a week, so that’s crazy. And then I have my music and I’m acting in a bunch of short films by Georgetown students because I also want to be an actress. And then I just finished the rough draft of my debut book coming out later this year. And then I shot my music video over spring break and will have that coming out soon on top of my next single. It’s crazy.
In two weeks, I also leave for Italy for a summer program about Machiavelli politics because my concentration is Security Studies, so I’m trying to tie all loose strings together right now. I don’t know, though. Like, I feel like I’d be mad at myself if I wasn’t doing a lot. I’m so scared of being complacent, and I know that putting out music and art in general requires a lot from the artist, so I’m trying to do my best to be present and promote myself in whatever way I can as well as keep learning and maintaining a good social life. It’s funny, though. While I’m working at the embassy, sometimes I’ll like be editing lyrics and adding in French translations. When I’m in class for Military Strategy sometimes, I’ll think about a good idea that contrasts military war strategy with playing games in love and want to make a song out of that. It’s like all these aspects of myself are always turned on, and I’m always looking for ways to bridge them.
Much of your music draws inspiration from traveling, whether it’s to places like England (“What a Waste”), Italy (“Menace In Venice”), and even your cross-country move when you started going to Georgetown. Is there a certain place you’ve visited that has really struck you?
Yes. So much of my music is about different foreign places and traveling in general. It’s kind of my theme right now. I wonder if this is something that will always stick in my music or if it’s just this first part of my music career. Right now I’m just really obsessed with other places. Maybe it’s drawn from the fact that I feel foreign in Washington, DC, being from Los Angeles. I think there is always going to be a romanticism of different places, and it honestly speaks to a kind of self-important disposition. In general, we as humans like to feel “different,” “special.” When you’re abroad, you are different, so there’s this kind of constant wanting to be special. I can be the crazy, spontaneous American in London rather than just another wannabe singer in Los Angeles.
As for my favorite place ever, I have told all my friends and family that I really believe I am going to end up living in London after college. Like, I just don’t think there’s a better place. It’s so historic and beautiful and when I’m there, there’s so much inspiration around me. You literally just walk down a street and feel like you’re entering another century. For some reason, too, the men there have always been the ones I fall in love with. I don’t know what it is. It’s similar to America in ways but so different. It’s like an alternative universe where everyone speaks your same language but you feel out of place in the best kind of way. I just don’t think I could ever be bored of it. I also have this weird obsession with historical period romances, and so London just epitomizes that. It’s so romantic. I also love the rain and hate the sun, weird for an LA girl.
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since releasing your Foreigner EP back in March?
My debut EP, Foreigner, was recorded the summer of 2021; it seems like so far away. I was just ready to study abroad in Ireland, a time when I became really annoyed with dating and love. It’s a really fun EP that is very upbeat, that throws a lot of shade at narcissists and people who think they’re all that. I think I’m a lot more disillusioned with love than I was back then, and my new music reflects that. I was a lot more hopeful, at least when I wrote them. In a way, they kind of hide myself against this facade, blaming other people instead of myself. In “Narcissist,” I talk about how narcissistic some DC guys can be; it’s supposed to be funny and not taken so seriously. In “Foreigner,” I talk about a foreign man thinking he’s all that just because he’s foreign and my own inclination to fall for him just because of his accent and language.
In “What a Waste” and “Menace In Venice,” though, I talk about my own toxicity and fault for being stupid and traveling internationally for a man, for example. I’m mad in ways that can’t really be justified in the way that “Narcissist” allowed me to be. A lot of my heartbreak comes from my own decisions instead of from another.
We at TREMG love getting to know new artists who haven’t gotten the success or attention they deserve. Who are some of your favorite underrated artists at the moment?
I’ve found so much good music recently. Okay, so I just went to Coachella, and I saw Caroline Polachek perform, and she transformed me. Her performance was transformative. I had been obsessed with her since summer of 2020, listening to her debut album Pang every day while I was living in London. Obviously, she’s very big and was touring with Dua Lipa, but I still think she’s one of the best artists ever and I want more people to know about her. Like, her production is insane and her on-stage persona is just incredible.
I also am utterly hypnotized by Alexandra Savior at the moment. Her lyrics are the kind of direction I want my own writing to go. Her song “Girlie” is incredible, as is “Can’t Help Myself.” She makes all her songs sound so expensive god her VOICE. And no matter how big Lana Del Rey is, I’m always going to think she’s “underrated” just because I think her discography is the most incredible thing in the world. She is everything and makes me feel the most. Sometimes I hate her for that, but it means she’s doing her job well.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention that the questions didn’t touch on?
Thank you for such great insightful questions! This is definitely my favorite set of questions I’ve ever gotten, and I feel like I was really able to relive my music and process through them! Thanks so much!