NewTracks New Artist: Sophie-Maude

NewTracks New Artist: Sophie-Maude

Seventeen-year-old Tauranga singer-songwriter Sophie-Maude has just released her first ever single, a smooth, grooving track with an attention-grabbing title. Insane features as part of NZ On Air Music’s March NewTracks compilation. The home-schooled student whose Spotify bio points to a range of mental health challenges, says her days always involve music in some way, whether it be improving her playing skills, songwriting or teaching others.

What’s your name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

Sophie-Maude Turner, I’m 17 years old and I’m from Tauranga. I am a vocalist who plays the ukulele, guitar and is learning to play to the piano!

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

I am home-schooled and my days always include music in one way or another. Vocal coaching, learning instruments and songwriting.

Any other projects might we know you from?

My plan for the year is to write loads of songs and to release an album next year.

Why did you decide to make music on your own as opposed to a band? 

I tried with a band before and it was hard because I know what I want, but I’m too nice to say anything if I don’t like something. Singing on my own is how I like to perform as I can make the music that is true to me. 

How has your music evolved from your beginnings in songwriting? 

The first time I ever sang in front of anyone it was actually an audition for New Zealand’s Got Talent in 2013. I was told that I couldn’t sing a solo in the choir at school because I was too nervous. When I was homeschooled that’s where I found confidence in performing. 

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? 

I love musical theatre and playing Charlie in Popstars (the first time I got a supporting lead) singing my favourite song – Beautiful by Christina Aguilera. I was so happy.

What makes Insane stand out for you as a single choice?

I feel in a way that sometimes everyone feels like an outcast. Turning my emotions into a song that not just me, but other people can relate to. Being on the autistic spectrum makes me feel like an outcast and turning it into a song makes me feel better.

What is the story behind Insane?

The way that it was written I wanted other people to relate to it so I wrote it in a scenario where you’re in an unhealthy relationship, or you like someone and you know they don’t like you, but you’re falling for them anyway. We chose the title because we were just talking about how crazy I am!

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

The drawn-out chorus lyric, “Am I insane?”, because I relate to it the most, haha!

Who did you write/record/produce the single with and where? 

I co-wrote it with my manager Ash Rogers, who wrote the music. We did the vocals with Tiki Taane. We recorded part of the song in a home studio and there was one day we were trying to do vocals but every time we went for a take it started raining really heavily, and when we listened back to the recordings all we could hear was rain hammering against the roof. We often make random songs up in the car, usually to do with steak & cheese pies!

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

If you feel like an outcast just kind of laugh it off. It’s a good chance for you to put yourself in a clear mind space and feel present in the moment.

How do you generally work out what would make a good single?

Well, this is my first time releasing a single! I think it’s important to listen to what people want, as well as being true to yourself at the same time, as well as the song being about something people can relate to.

Who else is in your team?

I’m signed to Waxy Rails label in the Mount. Ash is my manager. I’m appreciative of everyone who is part of this journey. I have so many people reaching out wanting to help me. Family friends and people who don’t even know me have been super supportive.

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

Have any previous song applications not been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others out there? 

This was my first ever application. Work to create a good team around you that has you and your music best at heart.

Any last words?

Thank you for reading this far, for all the support – I really appreciate it and I hope you enjoy listening to my music.