Throughout her life, Sophia Saze moved a lot due to her upbringing. Daughter of refugees, she spent her childhood in several countries until setting camp in New York City. Life in the U.S, hasn’t always been easy, music was the only thing that always followed Sofia no matter where she was. After graduating from university with a diplomacy degree, she worked for the Georgian embassy in the U.S. and even refused a job offer from the C.I.A as told in an interview to Attack Magazine.
After a couple years of hard grind in the corporate world, working for CitiBank in WallStreet, she started to immerse herself in the local rave scene. Soon after she started DJing, producing became a logical progression in expressing her creative genius. A couple releases followed and soon she had to decide whether she could make a career out of music while her life as a corporate clerk was starting to drain her. Without much of a plan, she quit her job and embarked on a life-changing journey to call music her occupation. After struggling at first, she finally started to get momentum and created her own label, Dust & Haze, a place to release her own music and support upcoming artists.
Although known primarily as a Techno artist, Sophia Saze’s music draws influences from several styles, always infusing her own personal touch as seen in her latest album “Self”, released on Francis Harris’s Kingdoms imprint: a 14-track sonic adventure that showcases her evolution as a producer and explores her past and all the adversities life threw at her growing up. A deep and mushy ambiance packed with repetitive kick drum patterns sets the tone for a mellow vocal ambiance before things kick off in “Salome”, the first track of the album. As the track progresses, she carefully introduces crispy bell sounds bundled with crunchy bass tones and hypnotic leads. Low frequency ramble and melancholic piano lines provide clarity in a chaotic but pleasant form, highlighting a new creative direction compared to her previous dancefloor-oriented work “Solace”.
Unlike most Techno-oriented productions, in which music is created with the DJ in mind, “Self” is presented almost as a soundtrack album with tunes ranging from 20 seconds to 3 minutes, shying away from the traditional loop-based arrangements commonly found in club-oriented music. A recurring theme throughout the album is a mix between melody and ambiance, packed with glitchy textures and hypnotic synth sounds. In nice fashion “Aliens” finishes things off blending break beats a la Massive Attack with atmospheric pads filter modulated through time.
Experiences and culture can deeply affect one’s vision of the world while art is a way for many to express those emotions and how they are coping with this weird and intricate thing called life. By reflecting on her own life through “Self”, Sophia Haze demonstrates an uncanny ability to create unusual and gloomy atmospheres, yet musical and enjoyable.