Hip-hop artist Sophiegrophy likes to follow her own rules. In her music, she does just that. Hailing from Nigeria, she grew up in New Zealand and is currently based in Australia, so she has definitely followed her own unique path. Her versatility is reflected in her new EP, BOLD, which premiered this May. Fans of Bazzi, Glass Animals, and Cardi B will vibe with her EP (I said she was versatile!), which makes the perfect carefree soundtrack for hanging by the pool or cruising around town.
On Sophiegrophy’s six-song EP, each song represents a different genre and music style. Her first single, “Shake,” is all about “loosening, turning up, because sometimes life can be so serious that we forget to have fun. Even if it’s by yourself, even if it’s with your friends, as long as you’re turning up that’s all that matters.” Now that’s a mantra we can all get behind, am I right? “Shake” has already been featured on radio personality Ebro’s show on Beats, and Sophiegrophy can also be found on the future-forward tracks “My Own Thang” by Walker and Royce and “Bounce Back” by J. Worra & Codes, as well as Spotify’s “Starting Point” and “A1 Live” playlists.
On her EP, Sophiegrophy showcases her dedication to doing her own thing as she mixes hip-hop and R&B with a splash of electronic beats. She opened up to Betches about how she stays confident and ~bold~, telling us “Our decisions must be executed with confidence and we must always have faith in ourselves while not giving energy to the naysayers” (full interview below).
We chatted with Sophiegrophy about her diverse background, musical influences, mental health, and more below.
How does your Nigerian background & growing up in New Zealand influence your music and style?
My Nigerian background influences my music by allowing me into a world full of culture where music is the driving force for jubilance, dance, and unity. This background has really helped me with exploring afro beats, which are a part of my “BOLD” EP, and were really something that came naturally when I was writing. As a Nigerian we have a saying that “Naija no dey carry last,” which means we are always in the frontline. My style represents my background because I dress to be comfortable even if it means doing the most, and as a Nigerian we are known to go far and beyond when it comes to style because we love to look good and we love to stand out. I spent my late childhood and teenage years in New Zealand, where I discovered my identity and my sense of belonging that have made me the person I am today. All that I have discovered and learnt during my developmental stages has really helped me with writing and telling my story. New Zealand was where I realised I was different due to many bullying experiences I encountered, and it didn’t change me for the worse nor did it make me change who I was.
Who are some of your musical influences?
My musical influences are Lucky Dube & Jon Bellion.
Who are some of your inspirations right now? (Musical and otherwise)
My biggest inspiration is my mother. She inspires me to strive to be my best and to keep persevering. Everything she has encountered in her life gives me motivation to keep working hard, because she is where she is today because she never gave up and never stopped trying. No matter how hard it got, she made sure she finished what she started and she never left things halfway. This has motivated me a lot, because life is a roller coaster and there are going to be a lot of good and bad days. We tend to only appreciate the good days and give up when the bad days knock on our door. Every negative thing is a catalyst for something positive.
What’s keeping you upbeat right now?
Music and writing. I’ve been spending a lot of late nights with music, exploring what my next song or EP would be. Music brings a lot of happiness out of me and that’s really what’s kept me upbeat.
What’s your go-to pump-up song/album?
My go-to pump-up song and album would be “PMW” by A$AP Rocky/SchoolboyQ and Fan of a Fan by Chris Brown & Tyga. These choices are songs that bring back a lot of wonderful nostalgia of a night out with friends.
Your EP is called “BOLD.” Can you tell us why?
My EP BOLD signifies standing out and being as vibrant as possible. Each song on my EP is distinctively different because they each represent different genres and styles. I wanted to showcase my diversity when it comes to music—I don’t discriminate and I don’t like to place myself in a box. I love expanding myself as an artist and pushing the boundaries. I don’t want to do something because that’s what the majority are doing, I want to do things because I want to do it, even if it means being the odd one out.
What’s your advice to other women to be bold?
My advice to other women to be bold is to remember that as women we are dimes. Our aura is naturally bold, but to really exude it we must walk with confidence in ourselves. Our decisions must be executed with confidence and we must always have faith in ourselves while not giving energy to the naysayers.
Who would be your dream collab?
My dream collaboration would be Jon Bellion—he is absolutely amazing—or Skepta.
What are you up to in quarantine?
The first time we went into lockdown, I loved it because I had a lot of time to get things done, such as doing more writing, listening to old songs, and loving my space, so it was really a tranquil time for me. Now that we are back in lockdown once again for another six weeks, I really miss performing, being on a stage, and meeting different people along the way. So to keep myself busy, I’ve been trying to learn Spanish online which is a nice challenge, and I also have some videos coming up which is very exciting.
What are your goals, musically and otherwise?
One of my goals musically is to become very successful in my music while staying true to who I am, in regard to my style and personality. I really want to use my platform to start a mental health foundation that helps not only up-and-coming artists, but also young adults who are dealing with mental disorders but aren’t seeking help because of the stigma or because they are struggling to cope. I also want to help the young kids and families in Nigeria who are homeless and struggling to meet their daily needs. There’s so much I want to do, and that’s why I need to keep working hard.
Hello hello, we have officially made it to Friday, and can anyone tell me if we are still doing Halloween stuff this weekend? Personally, I think it feels stupid to. Like, Halloween was Wednesday. You can’t celebrate Halloween after Halloween—seems like that should just be a rule. That being said, people are still doing it. Personally, I will be practicing self-care all weekend. And by “practicing self-care” I mean drinking wine and watching The Disappearance of Phoenix Coldon on Oxygen and applying a face mask or two. Whatever you’re getting into this weekend, you’re going to want some new music to listen to. Or at least, I presume you do, because that’s why you’re here. There’s tons of great new music that dropped, and a lot of good albums—not just singles. Here’s what you should be listening to this weekend.
“Feel Me” by Nawms feat. Adrian Daniel
I’m just going to stream-of-conscoiusness my actual impressions. Yooooo who the f*ck is Nawms because this beat is fire?? Also like, wow, holy sh*t, I have yet to hear Adrian Daniel sing a more up-tempo song, but I am super f*cking into it. Wow this song is so good and my exact personal taste in music if you had to capture it in one song. Hi-hat rolls? Check. A pitched-up almost chipmunk-like sample? Check. An underground R&B crooner? Mothaf*ckin’ check. I can die happy now.
“Insomnia” by Takeoff
First of all, I love that Takeoff’s new album is called The Last Rocket, because let’s be real, he’s the least famous member of Migos. And I think the last one to release an album, LOL. I like “Insomnia” because, unlike a lot of other songs on The Last Rocket, this one doesn’t have a very long, slow intro. It just gets right to the beat, which is what I want with a song. Don’t waste my time with a slow build-up. This song is also pretty much everything you’d get from a standard Migos song: lots of autotune, repeating the last word of every other line, random ad-libs, shouts of “Mumma!” It makes me wonder… do the Migos even need each other? I literally cannot tell that Quavo and Offset are NOT on this track.
“Broken” by THEY. feat. Jessie Reyez
Here we f*cking go. My two favorite men in the world combine forces with Jessie Reyez (who has a dope voice, btw) for this slower, more personal track. It’s a lot more pop-y than THEY.’s usual stuff, but I will continue to include them on all of my lists until the day I die.
“FUN!” by Vince Staples
Vince Staples released his new album, FM! today, and I highly suggest everybody listen to it right now. Vince is criminally underrated, IMO. “FUN!” is, to put it simply, fun. The production is pretty stripped down, but it bangs in its simplicity. This is like, the exact song they’re going to use on season 3 of Insecure during a backyard BBQ scene. Mark my words. But tbh the whole album is so good, so go listen to it.
“10 Freaky Girls” by Metro Boomin feat. 21 Savage
I almost made this column just the best albums to listen to this week, but I didn’t because 1) I don’t have the time to listen to more than three whole albums today and 2) there are so many new singles that I also want to show love to. Metro Boomin’s new album, Not All Heroes Wear Capes, is one you should listen to in full. It’s got features from 21 Savage, Drake, Offset, Swae Lee, and others, so any given song on it is a banger. I like “10 Freaky Girls” because… idk I just like it. I like 21 Savage, ok? Sue me.
“Baby” by Clean Bandit feat. Marina and the Diamonds and Luis Fonsi
Not gonna lie, I mostly included this song because Luis Fonsi is on it. I loved your work on “Despacito”! This song obvi has Latin influences and it reminds me of back in the early 2000s when we all listened to Spanish music. Nostalgia alert!
“Know Me” by NAV
NAV is like, going to be the next Travis Scott in the sense that you can put him on any song or hook and he will kill it. And also in the sense that his vocals are autotuned and his sound, to me, is Houston-inspired. “Know Me” just came out today, and it’s a solid bop.
“Willie Lloyd” by Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs, and The Alchemist
Shouts out to Demario Jackson’s Instagram story for this rec, because otherwise I would not have found out about Fetti, the new joint album from Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs, and The Alchemist. The whole album is pretty diverse in terms of sound. I like “Willie Lloyd” because it’s dark and kind of creepy, and it reminds me of Tupac’s “Hail Mary” in that way. Fun fact about me: “Hail Mary” is my favorite Tupac song. So by the transitive property, I am including “Willie Lloyd” on this list. Thank you.
“Emoji” by Galantis
I can’t believe we’re really making songs about emojis in 2018, but I guess it’s better than The Emoji Movie, so I’ll take it. If you can get past the fact that the prevailing lyrics to Galantis’ new song are “oooowee, send me an emoji let me know how you feel”, this song has a solid beat and a good drop. Tbh this is the kind of song that you’ll sing ironically at first, and then slowly, bit by bit, you’ll stop singing it ironically and you’ll just genuinely like it.
Drake was supposed to perform in Amsterdam on Monday night, and now he has fans angry because he had to cancel the show at the last minute—a power move we honestly kind of respect because it didn’t affect us personally. The official reason given was that he had “extreme food poisoning,” which is the excuse we all give when we call out sick at work with a massive hangover. Because most of us weren’t born yesterday, rumors are now swirling that Drake wasn’t sick and was he really just high. So was he? Let’s investigate. *cue Law & Order DUN DUN*
First of all, this “food poisoning”. Drake said he ate some sushi that “messed up his stomach,” and “had to get medical treatment immediately.” Then a doctor supposedly told him not to perform. Okay, so bad sushi is definitely a thing, so this would check out if this happened to you or your boss, but not one of the most popular (and rich) rappers in the world. Where the fuck was he getting this sushi, a stand on the side of the road? This is a guy who goes to Nobu with Jennifer Lawrence; the notion that Drake would even BE at a place that serves questionable sushi is highly suspect.
So the food poisoning claim is dubious at best, and let’s not forget where this concert was happening: Amsterdam, the weed capital of the world. Drake has certainly been known to enjoy a bit of la marijuana now and then, and it’s hard to believe he would go to Amsterdam and not stop at a “coffee shop” for a little pick-me-up. So what if it was bad weed and not bad sushi? Or what if Drake was just super blazed and couldn’t remember all seven words to “Hotline Bling”? We’re just saying, it happened to Dave Chappelle, it could certainly happen to Drake.
Another important thing to note is that this is the third concert Drake has postponed in Amsterdam in 2017. And it’s only been 2017 for three months. The other two were for technical reasons or some shit like that (too much codeine?), so maybe he just hates the Netherlands. Either way, his Dutch fanbase is probably getting smaller by the day because he’s hurt them so many times. Which might not be that bad, actually, because Drake of all people can surely relate to being burned by an ex one too many times.
So did Drake really eat bad sushi? We think the fuck not, but technically we’ll never quite know for sure. One thing is for sure, though: if you’re in Amsterdam and still buying tickets to see Drake, you’re just playing yourself at this point.
Between all the breakups (RIP Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom) and Oscar winners accused of sexual assault (hi, Casey Affleck), celeb gossip has been pretty fucking depressing lately. Then the beef between Nicki “Self-Proclaimed Queen of Rap” Minaj and Remy “Who TF Is That?” Ma reared its scandalous head again, and we finally have something worth talking about. Buckle up, because the Minaj-Ma feud goes back an actual, literal decade.
Let’s start with who tf Remy Ma is, because she hasn’t been relevant in mainstream culture since the days of Blackberries and worrying about Britney Spears. Reminisce Mackie, aka Remy Ma, is a rapper and member of the Bronx-based rap crew Terror Squad. I know that all is meaningless to you, so I’ll put it this way. Remember when Fat Joe came out with that song “Lean Back” and it was played at everyone’s bar mitzvah? She was the girl who did the second verse. There ya go.
Anywho, Remy and Nicki’s stars were on the rise around the same time in the early 2000s. Remy had been nominated for a Grammy and won BET’s award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist in 2005—but her career hit a roadblock when she got sent to fucking prison in 2007 for shooting some chick in the stomach. Basically, don’t piss off Remy Ma.
Nicki is either brave or kinda dumb, though, because she proceeded to do exactly that. In 2007, before Remy got shipped off, Nicki released the freestyle “Dirty Money.” She never confirmed whether or not it was a diss track directed at Remy, but it includes the line “tell that bitch with the crown to run it like Chris Brown” over a Terror Squad beat. We don’t know anything about rap, but even we can figure out who Nicki was talking about.
Remy apparently confronted Nicki at a release party, which isn’t exactly starting down a path to friendship. There were also a bunch of rumors that the two were dating, which probably made things even more awk. But before things escalated further, Remy spent the next six years living out Orange Is the New Black and watching her competition get super famous and probably carving a tally of the days until she could finally fire back into her jail cell wall.
The shade fest started soon after, with Remy Ma releasing a song with Fat Joe and my future husband, Ty Dolla $ign, called “Money Showers” in which she rapped, “Bitch claiming she the queen, what? Not hardly / Who the fuck gave you your crown, bitch? Steve Harvey?”
So here’s where shit pops off: On February 23, 2017, Nicki Minaj showed up on Gucci Mane’s latest track, “Make Love,” with a verse directed at some unnamed lady rapper who definitely, absolutely isn’t Remy Ma. JK! Nicki obviously meant Remy. Two days later, Remy Ma released “shETHER,” an entire fucking song dedicated to taking down Nicki.
“You wanna see a dead body” (little kid from BoyzNdaHood voice) @nickiminaj #Barz #AndBARZonly https://t.co/KKPFlmTERL pic.twitter.com/3tA9sukLah
— Remy Ma (@RealRemyMa) February 25, 2017
Allow me to break it down for you. Before you even listen to the song, the cover is a dismembered, bloody Barbie. A Barbie, if you’ll remember, has been Nicki’s entire persona since, like, ever. But in case that was too subtle, the track opens with an audio clip of Nicki yelling “Free Remy.” Remy then goes on to make fun of Nicki’s ridiculous fashion choices and repeat the phrase “fuck Nicki Minaj” a bunch to really drive the point home. She even goes in on Nicki’s ass, which is sacred territory for most of America. Basically, Remy is afraid of no betch.
Nicki’s response was to Instagram an article about the low sales of Remy’s last album. Clearly, she recognized this as the weak move it was, because she quickly took the post down. Nicki then Instagrammed a video of Beyoncé singing about how great of a rapper Nicki is—which like, as amazing as Beyoncé is, is still a LAME AS FUCK COMEBACK.
So far it’s been 7 full days since “shETHER” dropped, and STILL no diss track or any real acknowledgment from Nicki.
Anyone who was alive during the infamous Drake/Meek Mill beef of 2015 (so like, all of us) knows that when it comes to rap beefs, time is of the essence. The longer you wait to release your clap back, the lower your chances of winning this beef are. You would think that the person who dated Meek Mill during this very beef would know this better than anyone, so it’s not clear what exactly Nicki’s plan is. At this point it seems like she’s going to play the quiet game and just take this giant L, and honestly, we’re disappointed.
Nicki’s big comeback so far has been favoriting approximately a bajillion negative tweets about Remy from other Twitter users. Celebrities: they’re just as petty as us!