In a world of glitz and glamor, being authentic is hard to come by, even more so when you’re a woman of color in an industry that favors men. For 28-year-old Sofia Carson, being humble and authentic was key in carving out her own path as an artist, and along the way she became an inspiration for many young aspiring musicians within the Latin community.
Music Is My Heart
Music has always been in Sofia’s heart. According to Sofia’s mom, she began singing before she was talking, and dancing before she was walking. Having written her first song when she was 11-years-old, Sofia fell in love with the process of songwriting and storytelling. “It’s something so magical about how your deepest, darkest, most heartbreaking thoughts can feel safe in a song and how on a stage beneath a spotlight lives the courage to share those thoughts with the world,” Sofia shared on Zoom.
Being vulnerable and sharing one’s darkest thoughts with the world can be scary, for Sofia, it was a way of creating art that serves as a reflection of who she is in her heart. A fact that remains constant whether she’s playing a role in a film or writing her next single, Sofia is always ensuring that she remains true to herself and her passion.
“The roles that I play, like the songs that I write or the music that I sing are a reflection of who I am in my heart. And even though the stories that I tell on camera might not be my own, they are still a part of me within them and more so I admire the women that I have been lucky enough to play,” Sofia expressed.
It was her humility, the same one that captivates her audience, that was felt as she shared her artistic story. A feature that seeps into the characters she plays and the music she creates. “I made a promise to myself before I was lucky enough to do this for a living, that I would never lend my voice or my body to something I don’t believe in whether that was a song or a film. And that was my way of being true to myself.”
In her latest single “LOUD,” Sofia advocates for equity, encouraging those who have been underrepresented and repressed to break free from their silence. And as a young Latina working in the entertainment industry, Sofia is aware of the racial and gender prejudices she must overcome, something she articulates perfectly in her lyrics: “If I was a man, then you would understand / You wouldn’t say I’m causing all this drama / Are you getting uncomfortable now? / I’m a little too loud for you now. Don’t try to calm me down / I was made to be loud.”
The metaphoric music video depicts Sofia transforming as a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, breaking through the chains that once held her, and freeing her voice louder than ever. In parallel to the butterfly breaking free from the cocoon in the video, Sofia’s breaking free from her own cocoon in real life, emerging as an empowered woman, amplifying not only her voice but the voices of the most vulnerable.
“The butterfly represents the silent voices of generations who are now breaking free, who are now louder than ever. The voices of women, and the loud voices of change who are fearlessly loud to be at the forefront of history. Amplifying not only their own but each other’s voices, so that together we are louder than ever and we are the winds of change.”
Since August 2019, Sofia has served as the first-female Global Ambassador for the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation, where she has advocated, promoted, and increased awareness of the foundation’s mission and educational programs. As part of her role as ambassador, she’s also participated in countless events to help raise funds and promote the primary charitable focus of providing scholarships to students interested in Latin music, along with grants to scholars and organizations worldwide, to research and preserve diverse Latin music genres, and music education programs.
Most recently, Carson has signed as co-sponsor for their $200,000 Prodigy Scholarship, towards a bachelor’s degree in Berklee College of Music starting in Fall 2022. For Sofia, co-sponsoring this scholarship and being a global ambassador is just another way for her to use her platform and voice to inspire young aspiring musicians to pursue a career in music.
“I feel so honored and grateful, and it makes me emotional to extend my role as ambassador and to partner with the foundation to co-sponsor a scholarship. This scholarship will help to change the life of an incredibly talented Latin musician in a corner of the world who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have an education and it gives them a four-year scholarship at Berklee College of Music,” Sofia wholeheartedly shared.
It was the smile on her face that shined through the screen, as she expressed the significance of this scholarship and what it means to her, “It makes me emotional because I had the same dream that so many people around the world have and they don’t have the access to the education that I was so lucky to have. So I feel so honored.”
Sofia reiterates the shared goal of breaking through the gender disparities within the music industry in hope that young women are inspired to pursue a career in the industry– whether they hope to be an engineer, or a producer, whatever that goal may be. Sofia and the foundation hope they can encourage young women to be fearless when pursuing those dreams.
Voice of Change in Latin Community: Amplifying Latin Arts, Culture & Voices
“The most important thing that we can do with our lives is to give. And for me, amplifying the voice of one girl, in one corner of the world to lift her up in any way that I possibly can, is the honor of my career and of my life,” Sofia said. “Because I truly believe that to give is to be loud.”
From her acting and music to her activism and philanthropic roles, Sofia Carson ensures to always give back to her community and those who have always supported her career. Amplifying the voices of young Latin artists within her community, through her ambassadorship with the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation is a life-changing opportunity, and it opens a gate into the world of Latin culture and arts.
“In doing so we are amplifying Latin arts, and amplifying Latin culture, Latin music, and Latin voices. Diversity in the industry is the knowledge and the celebration perhaps that there is space for all voices, all music, space for all cultures. And through opportunities like this scholarship, we are opening the door to that space. A door that perhaps otherwise would’ve been closed,” Sofia told the press.
As Sofia continues to support and encourage aspiring Latin artists, she also encourages us as a community to support our Latin artists and uplift their voices, as they use theirs to spread Latin culture and arts. “By supporting Latin artists, Latin music, by watching films produced and directed, and written by Latin artists in doing so we are celebrating and amplifying Latin art which is a reflection of Latin culture and history. The culture that the world has fallen in love with throughout the last couple of years.”
Likewise, she advocates for us to use our voices within our own community or social media, to use that platform given to us to stand up for our beliefs and against injustices: “Using your voice, using your platform within your own community or using social media to stand up for what you believe in, to use your voice to stand up against injustices because our voices are our greatest and most powerful weapon and it’s our duty to use them.”
You can listen to Sofia’s latest single “LOUD” on Spotify and follow her on Instagram & Twitter!
Want more? Check out our latest artist spotlight on Tobi Lou, here!