Fresh off her latest single “Eyez on Me,” hyper-pop singer Sophie Shredz wants you to listen.
Born in New Jersey and now based out of Nashville, the openly queer singer and performer born Sophie Ruggiero does it all – writing songs, singing, and playing guitar. She grew up on classic rock, and today, this attitude, roughness, and complexity merges with pop and electric influences.
“Eyez on Me” captures her full essence through bright synths, thick bass, and distorted vocals. Thematically, the song touches on a difficult time on her life when she didn’t want attention. In turn, she put together an edgy anthem all about rebellion – particularly, embracing the spotlight even during those challenging times and defying expectations in the process.
How did Sophie Shredz get started with making and writing music?
When I started playing guitar, I never thought that music would become my entire life. I was really shy when I was a kid and playing guitar gave me a way to express myself. I always liked playing in bands, but I knew I wanted to break out into doing something bigger, because I always felt like I was different. I started breaking out of my shell more when I moved to Nashville, and I tried to get my hands on every aspect of music that I could.
I would play guitar for every artist that asked me and would always attend writing sessions even though I didn’t know how to write lyrics at first. I think I liked the guitar because I felt like I could hide behind it. I’ve always struggled to say how I was feeling and share my emotions. That’s why this project is really important to me, because I’ve created a character that feels more confident and bigger than myself.
Your music brings together rock and electronic elements. Who or what influences you?
I’ve always had a love for rock music, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself drawn to hyper-pop and electronic music. My greatest guitar influences are Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin and Nancy Wilson from Heart. When I first started my project, I wanted to combine my love for the two genres and create something that felt like me. I wanted to take the fierce femme vibes of Ashnikko, Rico Nasty, and Charli XCX and combine it with the classic, badass feeling of rock music. The goal for SOPHIE SHREDZ is to be a pop star with a rock edge.
How do you combine classic rock and guitar playing with electronic and hyper-pop elements?
I grew up playing classic rock but have more recently fallen in love with the heavy-hitting feeling of electronic music. I’ve always wanted to create something unique, and the intensity of both of the styles blends perfectly. I think my sound is something I’ve never really heard before, but it feels like me. My producer uses my classic rock guitar-playing style and blends it with a taste of the hyper-pop sonic palette. When you listen to my songs, the guitar will sometimes sound like a stuttering synth, and then we’ll pair that with huge 808 bass and hyper-pop-influenced drums. We find ways to incorporate aspects of both genres that create something super unique to the SOPHIE SHREDZ sound.
What influenced you to write “EYEZ ON ME”? What does the song mean to you?
Creating “EYEZ ON ME” was a huge turning point for me. It was when I realized that I wanted to embrace this SOPHIE SHREDZ character. “EYEZ ON ME” is about a time in my life when I was getting a lot of negative attention. I wanted to reclaim this feeling and turn it into a pop-star anthem that celebrated the attention. I was a shy kid growing up and often hid behind my guitar when I was on stage. SOPHIE SHREDZ is this badass, fierce, confident persona I’ve taken on throughout creating this project. “EYEZ ON ME” gave me a place to put my feelings and regain my confidence.
What’s your process for writing and recording a song?
I usually sit down with my producer and another co-writer and throw some ideas and concepts around. My producer will start working on the track, we’ll add some guitar, and then we’ll finish up the lyrical ideas. After the initial session, I’ll usually go home and immediately write the second verse to the song in the shower — I don’t know why, but it’s become somewhat of a ritual for me to think up the second verse while in the shower. My songs are known to be bold and have outlandish lyrics, and it’s something that just works for me!
How do themes of queerness and female empowerment fit into your songwriting process?
I spent a lot of time being around people who didn’t treat me how I deserve. When I started to write music, I always wanted to create something that makes people feel good about themselves and that brings out a new level of confidence within themselves. I wanted to write something that was what I needed to hear at the time. Whenever I’m feeling bad about myself, I always like to listen to artists that hype me up and make me feel like a bad bitch. I make the music that you listen to when you’re done crying about your ex.
What are your plans for a follow-up?
I am currently working on finishing up my first album! I’m so excited to share these songs that I’ve been creating, they mean so much to me. This album has really helped me come into my own and find myself as an artist, and I can’t wait to see how people react to my music.
What are your short- and long-term goals for your career?
In the short term, I would love to do some touring, specifically opening up for bigger acts. I really want to start expanding my project and get my name out there in anyway that I can. I love playing shows so touring on a small level would be a great start. In the long term, I would love to play festivals! I’d also love to eventually incorporate a fashion brand into my project.