How did you get into playing & writing music? I come from quite a musical family and started playing the piano when I was about five. I hated it at first and would always refuse to practise. But after a few years I grew to love it. Playing and writing songs was a sort of emotional outlet for me.
What made you want to learn to play guitar? I thought the guitar would be a good instrument to take up because its much easier to carry around than a keyboard.
When you started out were you writing your own material? I started writing songs from a young age. I think I wrote my first song when I was about 10. But it took me a while before I started to play my own songs live. I played my first ever open mic night when I was 16, in a tiny pub in London and I absolutely loved it. Everyone seemed to respond really well to my set and that was really encouraging.
What do you sing about? My songs tend to be influenced by personal experiences or experiences of people close to me.
Would you say your sound has developed since your EP 'Betty la Guapa' ? Yes, I'd like to think I've grown as a songwriter and a musician since 'Betty La Guapa'. I'm always discovering new music myself and I think that has helped me develop my own style.
You recently did a Thriller cover which included a mash-up of other songs. How did this cover come about? I love experimenting with songs that have similar chord progressions and putting together little mash-ups. It was just a bit of fun but I really enjoy performing this cover and it usually gets the crowd going. Its a bit livelier than my original material.
Which bands & artists have inspired you? My musical taste has changed a lot since I was a child. When I was young I was obsessed with Britney Spears and the Spice Girls but as I grew up I started discovering different styles of music. My biggest influences now are probably Norah Jones, Laura Marling and Damien Rice (although I still love to throw in the odd Spice Girls cover in my sets).
Are there any artists currently out there that you would compare your sound to? People often compare me to other female singer-songwriters like Laura Marling and Lucy Rose (which I take as a huge compliment). I'm trying to develop an individual style though and draw influences from many different genres.
WORDS Annabelle Britton PICTURES Jon Bassett
SOMEDAY is in conversation with Sobi, a singer-songwriter based in Manchester, England. Sobi has been playing music since her youth and has developed a distinctive acoustic folk sound. She released her first EP 'Betty la Guapa' in 2012 and is currently working on new material whilst performing live. Sobi's EP 'Creatures in my Mind' was released in April and is available on iTunes and Amazon.
What's your favourite venue in Manchester? Manchester has so many great music venues and I've been really lucky to have played some of them. The Castle Hotel and Night and Day are probably two of my favourites. And the Whiskey Jar is like my second home. I play there regularly at the open mic nights. Its incredible how many hugely talented artists perform there every week.
You've recently been on BBC Manchester radio what was this like? It was great. I was on the Liam Bradford show and had the chance to perform a couple of songs live (one original and one cover). I was quite nervous because it was the first live interview I'd given on the radio but Liam was great and really put me at ease.
Who are you listening to at the moment? I still can't stop listening to 'So Long, See you tomorrow', Bombay Bicycle Club's latest album. Its just perfect. And I'm a huge fan of Luke Sital-Singh. His new album 'The Fire Inside' is simply beautiful.
What are your aspirations for the future? I guess the dream is really to be making and performing music as a living. There's nothing I enjoy more, whether its playing at home or playing in front of a crowd. I hope to someday put together an album and maybe even go on tour!