In the Summer of 2021, BIMM Hamburg welcomed six students to Juniton Studios to record the ‘BIMM Hamburg Album 2021’.
The album is being produced by Ben Schadow, who has over 20 years of experience working with a wide range of artists as a producer, songwriter and arranger, and is co-produced, recorded and mixed by Thomas Hannes, who has worked as a freelance sound engineer in the studio for many years. Philipp Welsing, who has spent time in New York City working at Avatar Studios and has founded Original Mastering will master the album. With genres ranging from indie-pop to guitar-driven rock the songs make a diverse body of work.
We caught up with each of the six acts featured on the record to find out more about the meaning behind their track. Here Sophie Sailor tells us about ‘Walking Together’
How would you describe your music?
Melancholic and equally full of energy. The piano takes the leading role which the arrangement is built around. If I had to classify my music into a genre, it would be indie-pop, but I keep including elements from other genres to create some unexpected moments for the listener.
What made you want to become a musician?
By the time I finished school I had first contemplated becoming a musician, just because of realising that music is the greatest gift in my life. Aside from that, I’ve always loved to create new things, be it by painting, crafting or writing music.
I’m sure that this restlessness in realising ideas would prevent me from finding fulfilment in another job. So, there wasn’t much of a choice, one could say.
Who or what inspires you as an artist?
I have always been very fascinated by film music, in particular by the emotions that it transports. I couldn’t find this in popular music at first and vocals sounded rather annoying to me. My favourite composer became John Williams, who wrote scores for The Lord of the Rings, IT, or Harry Potter. Today I’m equally obsessed with popular music, especially with piano-associated artists like Nina Simone, Elton John, Tom Odell or John Grant.
What’s the meaning behind the song you recorded for the BIMM Hamburg Album?
With this song, I tried to be a bit more commercial than usual. It is very personal though, but I think it is very relatable. Basically, I’m talking about the time after leaving school, figuring out what comes next, trying out things, going in one direction, then deciding for another and feeling lost sometimes. I often felt very alone with this situation and everyone else seemed to be fine, having both feet on the ground. This assumption turned out to be wrong as many of my friends didn’t find their way straight away either and I realised that it would have helped so much if we had openly talked about our concerns and could have supported each other.
How did the song come about and how did you write/produce the song?
The song is a stripped-down, almost acoustic version of my latest single release ‘Walking Together’. That initial version I simply recorded in my bedroom. I usually prefer to be in control of the entire arrangement, but for this version, I wanted to be more open to outside suggestions and just see what we can come up with during the recording session. I’m very happy with the result. There is one special part in the middle of the song, which I couldn’t have developed on my own, so the experience was quite enriching.
Can you describe your Songwriting process?
Most of the time a song doesn’t start by sitting down and starting to write. Many ideas for lyrics come while wandering around, going jogging, travelling on public transport and observing people. The music comes quite easily while jamming on the piano, but when it comes to fine-tuning, it often becomes more difficult and sometimes almost painful. It is great to have the opportunity to create full arrangements with my DAW and even record the entire song. It takes way more time than confining to writing lyrics and chords but I guess this passion for arranging is due to my love for film scores.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m working on my first home-recorded EP and all the obligations around it. Initially, the plan was to release it in the summer but as any decent release has to be delayed, I had to postpone till autumn.
What are your future plans as an artist?
After the long, pandemic-enforced break I’d like to come back to a sort of routine in performing live. If I find the right people, it would also be great to play the new songs of the EP in the context of a band setting.
Sophie Sailor’s track ‘Walking Together’ is featured on the BIMM Album from Hamburg. You can read more about the album and the other artists + tracks featured here.