Sophie Kilburn | 5 Minutes With

Sophie Kilburn recently made a captivating return with ‘Afterthought’, an angst-ridden Indie/Pop hybrid that proves once and for all that her storytelling speaks volumes whilst providing listeners with an ample boost of serotonin. We caught up with Sophie to chat about the new track and her wider inspiration.

Congratulations on the new single! ‘Afterthought’ is about exactly that- being an afterthought in a relationship. Do you take inspiration from your own experiences foremost when writing new music?

Oh thank you so much. I’m super proud of the single so that means a lot. Well, with every song I write I always share something personal whether it is a specific line that someone has said to me or simply conveying what I was or currently am feeling. I think that is the best way other people can connect to a song if there is something real to it. Feeling like the afterthought in someone’s mind is ridiculously common and the mistake in taking a person back into your life when you know they treat you badly is something I think we have all done in some way. Writing from what you know or how you feel is where the freedom is because you know what you are going through or what you are feeling is real. I guess if I can figure out my feelings and empower myself through my music hopefully other people can listen to my songs and do the same for themselves.

Since the release of your debut EP ‘My Room Made Public’ last year have you noticed a shift in your approach to making music?

Yeah there has definitely been a shift to my writing. I have learnt to let the song go when it is done. Procrastination seems to be one of my favourite pastimes, especially when I feel overwhelmed but as lockdown lifted I found a new ‘fuck it’ attitude, like I reinforced my belief in what I was writing about was worth listening to, it has purpose to it. I think this pandemic has forced many of us to stop and reassess and I am definitely in that boat. 

You’re playing some exciting shows this year, tell us a bit more about them and what you’re looking forward to the most.

I am super excited for my first ever London headline show happening at Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney on the 27th April. It is my band and I bringing my new music to a live set up. I am obsessed with live music and being able to bring out the recording to life, especially after being unable to connect with audiences face to face because of Covid. I am looking forward to getting out there and performing, not just singing in my room. The energy and the unpredictability of live music is something I can’t wait for. I will be announcing other gig dates soon but for now I will say get yourself down to the headline show because it’s going to be great.

You’ve also received backing from the likes of Ivors Academy, Sentric and Help Musicians, how does it feel to have the seal of approval from such renowned organisations?

After so many attempts at applying for funding, getting close and not getting it, or feeling like I am doing it all on my own, it is a great feeling to have that approval for sure. I know you shouldn’t rely on the approval of others but to be backed by such prestigious organisations who I look up to does help and I would be lying if I said it didn’t help me ‘keep going’. You definitely need resilience in this industry so thank god for Ivors Academy, Sentric and Help Musicians for supporting independent artists like me because I couldn’t have made more music and developed as an artist without them. I have worked really hard to step up my music and focus on why I do music because that is how music can build a bond between people and that is what I always aim to do. 

Finally, what has been inspiring you most recently? Not just in music but in the wider world.

I know it sounds a bit bizarre, but it’s when the sun is out and the beer gardens are bursting with laughter and noise that I find inspiring. Hearing life again. After everyone being behind closed doors there is an appreciation for those little things and that is what is inspiring to me. The thought of what it is that makes you feel alive is something I keep thinking about.

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Stream ‘Afterthought’

Photography: Marieke Macklon