Sofia Carson may have originally graced your television screen with bright blue hair back in her breakout role of the 2015 Disney channel’s hit musical Descendants but most of us who have grown up with the star, have been following her incredible career as an artist, actress and activist. She has racked up over two Billion streams on her music, became UNICEF’s newest US Ambassador as well as being the first-female global ambassador of the Latin GRAMMY cultural Foundation. Amongst all of those accomplishments her ambition for storytelling on the silver screen hasn't slowed down and has recently starred in Netflix films Feel The Beat, Songbird, and & has an exciting project starring and executive producing Purple Hearts coming soon. She's the Global Brand Ambassador for REVLON along with launching her own makeup collection! Sofia Carson is a cultural icon, role model and multi-talented artist who is using her voice in her art and work to be loud.
I had the chance to talk with Sofia about her recent inspiring and empowering single “LOUD” that features powerful 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,” referencing the double standard women face on the daily of trying to make our voices heard in risk of being called dramatic and unprofessional when men get praised for being vocal and voicing their opinion.
The instant pop hit came to life during covid via zoom, she said “ I had the honor of working with Alida (Garpestand) and Paris (Carney) on bringing Loud to life, and I feel honored to be the voice of this incredible message … it was the kind of song that when it was sent to me it just felt like the most beautiful continuation of the story that i've been telling throughout the last year with the music i've been writing as well as a beautiful marriage of who I am as a person and as an artist and a message that I had to tell. I know we all feel that it is an immense duty as women in the industry to tell a story like loud to amplify that not only our own voices but each other’s voices and so LOUD is dedicated to the women of the world and to all the loud voices of change who are now louder than ever.”
Because of the strong message in the song, who are some women that inspire her to be loud?
"I’m going to start with my mom, first and foremost…I mention her every chance that I can but it's because she was the voice that raised me to be loud, and she was my example of a loud and fearless woman. I also feel so incredibly honored to be apart of a generation that is lead by the voices of young women who are at the forefront of history, women like Malala, Amanda Gorman, Greta, voices who are making real and tangible change shattering one glass ceiling at a time and one loud voice at a time and I am constantly inspired by them."
With Sofia's activism and volunteerism through her work, what is one thing she has learned about herself?
"I would say the one thing that's most confirmed is the lesson that my mom instilled within me as a young girl is my absolute truth, that is that 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. Because I truly believe that to give is to be Loud."
The LOUD music video directed by Uri Schutzer, with choreography by Avihai Haham features a beautiful transformational metaphor through visuals. Sofia says “The butterfly represents the metaphor of the silenced 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 and using their voices to be at the forefront of history. And to amplify not only their own but each other's voices so that together we are louder than ever. We are the winds of change.”
Sofia is the first ever female Global Ambassador of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation, co-sponsoring a scholarship to provide a young Latin musician the opportunity to attend Berklee, so what inspired her to create this scholarship and what is it like stepping into this role?
She responded “As Global Ambassador of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation it has been an honor to witness the truly life changing mission of changing lives through the power of music education. And I feel so honored and so grateful, and it makes me emotional to be able to extend my role as ambassador and partner with the foundation. To co-sponsor a scholarship and 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. And 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 lucky to have so I feel so honored and how tremendously important it is to myself and the foundation, doing our part in helping to close the gender gap that exists in the industry and we hope that with that scholarship will help to inspire young women especially around the world who hope to have a career in the industry weather that is as a musician or an engineer or a producer whatever it may be I hope it encourages them to fearlessly follow their dreams, and I can’t wait to watch them soar."
Her Activism doesn't stop there, she also spoke about her ambassadorship for Unicef and what that experience has been like so far, "Being an ambassador for Unicef is the greatest honor of my life, to be able to champion for the rights of children especially young women around the world whose voices have been silenced by unfairly being denied an education is the most important role that I will ever play and with my time as an ambassador with Unicef, I have had the privilege of traveling to Brazil on my first field trip where I was able to meet with and hold the young women who told me in their own words that Unicef not only changed their life but saved their life by giving them an education and I also have been able to fight for real and tangible change within the United States as well I’ve wrote to congress to support the keep girls in school act which fights to reduce the barriers that teenage girls around the world unfairly face when accessing an education… I feel so eternally grateful to Unicef for trusting me to be their ambassador."
With her diverse career in music and film, who are her inspirations of women who tackled both industries?
"I have always been a bit of an old soul growing up... I used to come home from school and I would watch Cher’s concerts and my mom introduced me to women like Cher, Barbra Streisand and to Audrey Hepburn and those were kind of my examples from a young age apart from also my obsession with watching Disney channel of course [laughs] but I was drawn to these women who were trailblazers who did it all who were not only musicians but they were actors and not only actors but directors, producers and they kind of reframed what it meant to be a woman in the industry and I would say that the one that has impacted me the most throughout my life has been Audrey especially her work with UNICEF, her activism and how she, has one of the most beloved careers in film, and she did everything with such grace and such timelessness but most of all because she dedicated her life to giving."
Lastly, if your'e a young aspiring musician, Sophia shared some of her words of wisdom on the journey you will entail: "first and foremost you have to believe in your voice and in your dream more than anyone in the world. And you have to fight for it fearlessly and endlessly and there will be perhaps many doors that you knock on that won't open for you until the one that is meant for you does open. And I would say to always stay true to your heart and to who you are and to the stories that you want to tell and as my mom always says to me is to enjoy every minute of the ride."
For the extended interview with more content about Sofia's up and coming projects be on the lookout for the release of Never Mind's third print issue coming soon!