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Summer 2016

Barrow singer and songwriter - Sophia Dady at ‘Glastonbudget’ 2016

Did you go to ‘Glastonbudget’ in Wymeswold on May 28th this year? I hope you did as you might have heard Sophia Dady’s music! She’d have been at the piano playing her own compositions and singing her own songs in the relative peace of the VIP tent. Of particular interest for Barrow readers is that one of her songs, and her most recent release, was inspired by an experience at Hall Orchard School one morning in March last year. Together with children, teachers and parents, Sophia was standing in the playground watching the solar eclipse and was captivated by the eeriness of the dimmed light and momentary chill caused by the moon blocking the sun’s rays. She thought the moment quite magical particularly as one solitary bird started singing just as the darkness began to lift; it was welcoming a second dawn. This moment is now captured forever in a song entitled ‘The Eclipse’.

But how do you become a singer songwriter, signed for a large music festival? (The three-day event ‘Glastonbudget’ attracts over 12,000 visitors.) Well, first of all you have to audition, usually at ‘The Shed’ in Leicester, proving to the organisers you have a range of captivating songs for a half hour set. Secondly you have to prove you have a core group of followers, a fan base. Having met these two conditions Sophia sailed through.

Yet ‘Glastonbudget’ is famed for its loud cover bands not soulful singers. In 2015 ‘Coldplace’, ‘Four Fighters’, ‘Oasish’ and ‘Fleetwood Bac’ were all signed, so it seemed a strange place to fi nd a lyrical singer like Sophia, from a jazz background, for whom an audience, listening to the lyrics, is all important. Sophia said, “That’s why I’m in the tent!” Here, among the VIPs, the atmosphere should be much quieter, an escape from the mega-amplification of everything outside. People will be able to hear the words.

Putting words to music has been important to Sophia since she began writing songs at 14. At that time her father had recently died and although her two elder sisters had both received piano lessons her mother was unwilling to pay for yet another daughter’s studies as, in her opinion, the lessons had been wasted! In frustration Sophia taught herself to play. As she got older her creative side remained somewhat hidden. Sophia was put under pressure to get ‘a proper job’ so took a Social Care National Diploma and for 19 years was a Funeral Director in the Cotswolds. She still has the top hat and gloves!

She did, however, find success as a singer with an Alcester jazz band called ‘Almost Blue’ and still sings with them from time to time even though it involves travelling over to Worcestershire. Life has always been very busy for Sophia in the past, but in Barrow she has had the time to really concentrate on writing songs. Since moving here in 2014, to be with second husband Ian, she has written over twenty songs. This impressive number has been possible as the children from her first marriage are now older: son Ben is 17, daughter Eliza 10. Ben is musically talented too. He plays both sax and drums and often forms part of the band, which accompanies Sophia.

In the Alcester band, ‘Almost Blue’, he played sax. On the release ‘The Eclipse’ he plays drums and he too will be playing at ‘Glastonbudget’, only with another group. May 13th is a key date in Sophia’s calendar this year. It is the ‘Impact Date’ for ‘The Eclipse’. Although yet to be confirmed, on May 13th her manager is hoping the song will get airtime on Radio 2, which, with its audience of millions, would be a great coup. But even if this doesn't happen, it's already being played on internet radio and dozens of local stations around the country. Word has it that it has even made it across the pond - playing on American radio.

Sophia's recordings are made with record producer and musician George Shilling who has worked with such famous acts as Steve Winwood, Texas, Frank Turner, The Corrs, Mike Oldfield and Lisa Stansfi eld. To learn more about Sophia go to www.sophiadady.com
Gaynor Barton