If you are plugged into the music scene in South Pasadena then you’ve heard Sophie Reynolds’ heartbreaking vocals at the city’s Arts Crawls, around town, and singer/songwriter sets hosted by David Plenn. Music has always been a part of Sophie’s life, but crippling stage fright stopped her from performing live. It wasn’t until high school when her soccer teammates encouraged her to audition for the SPHS talent show that she finally put herself out there. The outpouring of support she received spurred her on to perform more and to eventually write her own music. She sang her song “Southern California” at her own baccalaureate and says it was the first song she wrote that she thought she’d really like to play for people. It is a crowd favorite, I can attest to that.
“Writing songs has elevated all aspects of my love for music,” explains Sophie, “it has also given me an outlet to relieve a lot of stress and anxiety over the last couple years and make sense of all the changes taking place in my life. Writing allows me to be creative and dramatic, embellishing my own feelings and also writing from entirely new narratives.”
Sophie just dropped her first music video to her new song, “You’ve Got This”, a gripping contemplation about reaching through the darkness to give someone in trouble a lifeline, to let them know they can hang on and they can be okay. The song has personal resonance for the artist, and, as she explains, for many of her peers. “It can be really easy to feel like whatever you’re dealing with is the end of the world,” she says, “I often find myself losing perspective and becoming really worked up about situations that are not as dire as I’ve made them out to be. That being said, I also think that these feelings are valid, and when intense, they can have long term effects. With this song and video, I am hoping to help raise awareness of the very real feelings that many teenagers, and people of all ages, struggle with every day. I also wanted to remind people that they do not need to struggle alone.”
She began writing the lyrics after a late night phone call from a friend who was in distress. After writing it faster than any other song she had written, she says she knew that although it was specific to her friend, its meaning was universal. Family friend and television producer, Rob Fox, was struck by the song and conversations led to him executive producing the video. The rest is a made in South Pasadena story that involved friends, neighbors and the community starting with an Indiegogo campaign and culminating in a two-night, professional shoot ending on Christmas Eve 2019.
“The shoot was unreal”, says Sophie, who had very little on camera experience leading into the shoot. “The hair and makeup artist and our volunteer wardrobe stylist, Brett Barbour, were amazing at calming my nerves and our director of photography, Michael Rizzi, who filmed the entire video, was the best!” She says all of her expectations were blown away by the cast and crew, many of whom she has known for many years. “Shooting in South Pas and working with my friends was the best part about making this video” says Sophie and she acknowledges that it wouldn’t have been possible without them. Among the cast are friends, Cole Fox, Maya Bonk, Jonah Beadle, and Cornelius Roberts, who was discovered through a casting call, and is directed by veteran music video director, Andrew Molina.
“I have known Cole and Maya my whole life and it was unbelievable watching them in front of the camera” exclaims Sophie. “I can’t thank them enough for the work they put into this video. Filming the support group scene was my favorite part of the shoot,” she goes on, “we filmed at Calvary Church on Christmas Eve. I couldn’t believe how many of our friends were willing to show up and help us out in front of the camera.” In fact, throughout the shoot, many friends helped out as production assistants, working spotlights, transportation and Jonah Beadle played a large role in scouting locations and overseeing a smooth production. The rest of the video was shot in South Pasadena and at Sophie’s house and she is thrilled with the way it all looks in the final result telling us, “it was amazing to watch these places, which I had already thought were picturesque, transform. The effects, lighting and occasional smoke machine had a stunning effect on the final video.”
April 30th saw the official launch of the video with Sophie leading a group Zoom party, including supporters and those involved with the shoot, which was joyful and emotional for all. “Everyone involved could see this was a passion project,” said Rob Fox, “ the crew heard the song and the energy shifted to “we’re in this together and let’s make an awesome video” so I think they did some great work, Sophie did some amazing work. Kudos to Sophie for writing a great, impactful song that inspired people and I was just happy to be part of it.”
The video is lush and beautifully shot, matched perfectly with Sophie’s achingly beautiful vocals. It grabs your heart and demands your attention; to see that people are indeed battling things we can’t see and offers the hope that they/we are not alone.
Follow her @sophiegreynolds on Instagram