What’s the name? Sophie Coyle. “I got married to the wonderful Jinx Lennon last year, but I’m keeping my own name for the stage.”
Where’s she from? “I’m Dublin born and Galway bred and have now set down roots in Dundalk. There’s a great music scene here, we have the Spirit Store on our doorstep and it’s a short hour from Dublin and Belfast for getting to gigs. I’m playing a new folk night in the Crowbar in the Button Factory on October 10th at 8 pm, so here’s your chance to hear me!!”
Who does she sound like? “I’ve been compared to Joni Mitchell, but I definitely borrowed from Ella Fitzgerald who I used to listen to a lot growing up. She can really hold a tune, but I love the way Joni will take that tune and twist it like a helix cube. When I first heard St. Vincent back in 2007 I couldn’t help but be affected by how open she is with her voice, she’s like a vocal gymnast and that kind of granted me liberty to do what I wanted to with my own.”
So Sophie, where do you see yourself in five years?
“I’m already planning a second album in my head now; my first album proper is due out in late October. It’s been a terrific learning experience and I’m looking forward to approaching the next project with more knowledge and ideas. Self-producing is my end goal because I love tinkering around with sounds. Song crafting is very important to me, the story is everything – I’d like to gain recognition for a well-crafted song. I also love travelling and love how music can take you to the strangest locations – I’d to get to places in France, Germany and Scandinavia. Right now, I’m at the door-to-door salesman stage of my career, pedalling my wares. Luckily, I’ve learnt from Mr. Lennon and his music that hard neck and perseverance are the keys to getting into people’s hearts and ears.”
Where did it all start for you?
“Coming from a family of six children, singing was a great way of being heard. My Grandfather nicknamed me “Sophie Tucker”; when I was little, I used to sit on his knee at the piano and belt out the songs. I was turned down for the school choir when I was 13 but got accepted into a really amazing Galway choir when I was 16 and that changed my life – being penned up to all those harmonies and music from across the centuries, and to sing as one voice amongst 80 people is kind of transcendent. I used to write songs on a three-stringed guitar when I was 12, but I really got into songwriting when I began doing backing vocals for two friends of mine, Roland Mupotsa and Christine Deady. I got a taste for life on the road then. I can’t say I’m a person who always imagined my future in music, I have a lot of different interests and music is just one, but I can’t turn my back on it either, it’s another expression of who I am.”
Who do you cite as your musical idols?
“I love the song-writing of Niall Hannon and Ian Archer; those Northern boys really can pen a tune. You can tell I’m a folk singer through and through because the people I return to, to feed my soul are not necessarily hugely showy personas, but they are artists and crafters. So, I’ll listen to Joni Mitchell, Madeleine Peyroux, Josephine Foster, Juana Molina, Vashti Bunyan, and also the blues greats like Bo Diddley and Howlin’ Wolf to remember why I love music.”
Sophie’s new album is due for release October 29th, 2015.
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