Sonia Espiritu for The Meadow

interviewer: Sara Sharif (@sarangelic)

interviewee: Sonia Espiritu (@sonia.espiritu )

Coming directly from Oakland, Sonia brings the vibe of the Bay Area alive within her music. With her music originating in her bedroom, Sonia has one dream, for her indie and alternative music to be heard and understood by the masses. Sonia’s music is available on all streaming platforms. She has put out 3 singles-- debuting with her hit, Ultra Quiet-- as well as her first EP containing 4 songs.

Sonia's ideal 2021 Summer

"I would go out there and do some shows! Travel! Kiss and hug and tell everyone I love them if it were absolutely safe. I’d go out there and do as much as I can because I see I took it all for granted."

* in relevance to our issue #3

t h e   i n t e r v i e w

1. Please start with a little introduction about yourself! 

Hi, my name is Sonia Espiritu (she/her), and I’m a 20-year solo artist from the East Bay Area (Oakland, CA, USA). I am half Mexican and half Filipino and I am currently attending college, majoring in Political Science. 

2. What is the story behind your musical journey?

Well I’ve always wanted to do music, but I was too shy to. I tried to be in a band many times, but it wouldn’t really work out for a lot of different reasons. It wasn’t until the lockdowns when I finally took up my friends’ advice and just put myself out there without needing anyone else (except for my bassist, James Litiatco). My first single, ultra quiet caught a bunch of attention and since then, I’ve been putting out more and more music and the response has been positive and amazing.

3. And how has your journey been so far? 

As far as I’m concerned, I can’t really complain. Things have been slowly, but surely moving along well and I’m putting in as much as I want to get out. I have to admit, I’m definitely kicking myself for not putting myself out there sooner, pre-quarantine because that means I could’ve done a few shows. But it’s going really, really well.

4. The MV for your first hit single, “Ultra Quiet” comes out soon! Tell us about the MV release and what inspired the song when you initially began working on it.

I’ll be putting the ultra quiet music video out on my youtube channel on February 22nd! I’ve been informing my friends and family by word-of-mouth, but I’ll be campaigning for it all over my Instagram very soon. The song is about all the bands in the California rock scene getting cancelled due to using their platform to lure in fans, minors, and other musicians into sleeping with them or doing any sexual favors without their consent. It’s a big issue in which a lot of artists that stand against these things turned out to be hypocrites and it really disappointed many fans, myself included which is what compelled me to make music and actually put it out there. The people representing our values clearly don’t believe in them and so I felt it was time to bring in people that do.

5. Do share more about the making of the “Ultra Quiet” MV!

I was honestly putting off the music video for a while because I wanted a safe environment and a lot of people involved. But my friend Cat had the suggestion to have everyone film themselves from home and send it in, which was definitely genius. At first, I didn’t really know what to ask people to do in their video submissions, so I just said to say something (mean or nice) about my music or dance. I actually thought like maybe two people would send in videos, let alone, dancing ones, but apparently many people are fine dancing in their room like no one’s watching. One of my friends mentioned in their submissions that they miss dancing at concerts, so I thought I would make the video an ode to concerts and the thrill we all used to get from attending them. I didn’t want the song to be just my anger anymore, but a celebration of everyone who makes up this community and what better way than to show them.​

BTS with Sonia!

6. You clearly had a very productive 2020 and have released multiple tracks in that year! Do tell us more about that and what kept you going?

I actually took this semester off from school. My last university closed due to “misuse of funds” a week before the pandemic lockdowns and online school is an absolute nightmare— I am not going to pay a full price tuition for a half-assed education. I also couldn’t work, so I really threw myself into music from there. I told myself that I still needed to do something and there’s no way I could mess up if I had all the time and energy to pour myself into this.

7. What is your creative process? 

I save pieces of memories and ideas and quotes and come back to them when I can. I really base my song off a dream, thought, or event and build off from there. Sometimes it’s lyrics first, but other times it’s a guitar part and then I just take some unused lyrics and pile them on top there. I try not to entirely “plan” a song because I don’t want to restrict it’s potential from what it could possibly become. Like I can’t have a vision for my song to have this meaning when it clearly works best as something else.

8. Who is your musical inspiration? 

SZA, is such a huge idol for me. I also look up to the works of David Bowie, the Arctic Monkeys, and the Strokes— they’re all creative geniuses.

9. Any musical tips from your experience for our musicians out here?

Be consistent, be active. You need to decide whether or not this is a hobby or something you want. A hobby doesn’t go anywhere unless you want it to. I feel like you have to chase your own opportunities and keep putting yourself out there because no one’s really waiting for you. It’s one thing to catch someone’s attention, but it’s another to keep it— and it’s worth more to keep it.

10. So, what should we expect next, in the near future?

You can expect more music, I’ll tell you that much! I will be in school for this semester, so just expect a couple of singles for the time being.

11. How do we gain access to your music? 

I’m on every music platform you can think of— Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple, Bandcamp, Deezer (if you’re into that), and then some. Just look up “Sonia Espiritu” and my music should be there. I know a majority of my listeners are on Spotify so here’s the link!

A message from Sonia to
YOU!