Vancouver’s Sophia Danai delivers a new feminist album

Sophia Danai takes the reigns on her love life and artistic vision on Love Royale

Kristi Alexandra
@kristialexandra

When it comes to singers in Vancouver, Sophia Danai is in a league of her own. Not to say other raincity based musicians aren’t worth their salt — but the sultry R&B tinged croons and howls by the chanteuse evoke impressions of LA, or perhaps Toronto.

Her sophomore album, Love Royale, delivers strikingly honest and heartbreaking lyrics amid soulful, electro-pop grooves. Set to release March 1, the record marks a coming-of-age revelation for the young songstress, who’s made strides in taking control of her own artistic journey.

“I feel like there’s a more feminist approach to my music now, and I tackle those issues about co-dependency and that ugly part of relationships where you want out,” Danai reveals to Loose Lips Magazine, recounting a brief marriage to a former music producer.

On Love Royale, Danai cops to co-producing most of the tracks herself and taking less direction from mentors.

“With this record, I co-produced the majority of it, and that was really important for me,” she says, noting she worked closely with Vancouver rapper Matt Brevner. Danai previously worked with Juno award-winning Chin Injeti — not the producer she married, just FYI — on her debut Wishing Well.

While she happily sings Injeti’s praises for his talent and work ethic, Danai felt she needed to work with someone who felt more like a peer than a teacher.

“Chin [Injeti] found me when I hadn’t done anything yet and he was my mentor, and at some point I kind of felt like I really needed to step out on my own.”

On Love Royale, that’s exactly what she did, penning a 10-track album full of themes of loss, heartbreak, learning to love again, and ultimately, independence.

“The record has some more light, upbeat songs about falling in love, but I think some of the stronger ones are the ones where I write about breaking out as a woman on your own, and really being able to stand on your own two feet,” Danai divulges.

“I think I write about these ugly themes, but people feel them. If I can write about it and express it, and somebody can be like, ‘You know what? I’m there,’ then I’m not crazy.”

Crazy she’s not, but as she exudes a newfound air of confidence and empowerment, it’s easy to imagine she’ll be gathering a following of dedicated feminist fans in Vancouver.

“I really feel like as a woman, that if it’s your voice, your artistic vision, your music and your face and your body, then you should be the one leading it and creating the blueprint so that everyone can work within it and do their thing.”

Amen, Sophia.

Love Royale drops March 1, and can be previewed on Danai’s website here

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Kristi Alexandra is an unabashed wino and wannabe musician. Her talents include drinking an entire bottle of cabernet sauvignon, singing in the bathtub, and falling asleep.