Forging his own path, sora takes a timeless approach by taking emotional and personal experiences and bringing them to life, using a vast arsenal of sounds and influences and unique, striking visuals. The end result is pop-rock for the digital age. Alt-pop made easy.
With a heart as big as his sound, this up-and-coming pop sensation is ready to show the world what he’s made of. sora released his first full-length album, PARAMOUNT, on June 14th, 2019, and features singles from both The Insomniac EP: Sleepless Nights on Illuminated Roads and EP gloire as well as singles “Love’s Worth” and “Only For Tonight”, culminating in a 17-track sonic adventure. He kickstarted his latest musical project, VOL.24, on June 18th, 2021, releasing a single a month with accompanying music video and limited merch line.
Bridge: When did you first know you wanted to become a musical artist? What was the first song you ever wrote?
sora: I’ve been singing since I was a kid, starting off with musical theatre productions and choir concerts, which led me to studying classical vocal performance in college. I love all genres of music, but pop music has my heart. I listened to Britney Spears and Japanese artist Utada Hikaru, and the more I delved into pop music, the more I imagined myself doing the same, releasing music and touring the world.
I dabbled in songwriting in high school, but the first song I attribute to sora’s discography is Hello, November. I wrote it all in one day November 1st, 2011, so I just celebrated my ten-year anniversary last year! However, one of my songs off of my debut album PARAMOUNT, “I Wish It Wasn’t Like This,” was written when I was in high school. So…probably technically that one haha.
Bridge: We hear “Body Party feat. Synamin Vixen and Laveau Contraire” is your next single. Tell us what the song is all about!
sora: “Body Party” is the 7th single from my latest musical project, VOL.24. Rather than release an album, I decided to go for a single-a-month deal, starting this past June. “Body Party” is also the first song in my discography that has a featured artist on it, and for this track I invited two of my dearest friends, my burlesque sister Synamin Vixen and drag mom Laveau Contraire, to flaunt their stuff. We’re the founding members of the Haus Contraire, so you could say this is a haus track haha.
The inspiration for the track comes from a few key points. I came across a tweet online, talking about how funny rhyming is and how one could rhyme “body” and “party” together, and thus the song title was born. I’ve also always wanted to write a good ol’ pop banger that wasn’t about love or emotions (which is a forte in my personal songwriting arsenal). Lastly, I had a verse from a different song for a project that ultimately fell through, but I loved the writing too much to let it go to waste, so once this song came to fruition I plugged it in and bam, we had ourselves a certified club banger. I wanted to ring the new year in strong, and what better way than to be fierce and fearless.
Bridge: If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
sora: How long of a list am I allowed to have? HAHAHA. Ooh wait no, I do have an answer. Namie Amuro is this really great J-Pop musician, and it was always one of my big big goals to do a collaboration with her. She unfortunately retired a few years back (deservedly so), but the selfish fan in me always wonders if she’ll ever come back and do another release later down the road. She’s still one of my favorites though. Other artists I’d love to meet and/or work with though would be Lady Gaga, Rina Sawayama, Tiffany Young of Girls’ Generation fame, Taiwanese icon Jolin Tsai…I could go on and on ahaha. I just wanna be friends with everyone!
Bridge: Between your very first performance and now, how would you say you have grown, as both a musician and an artist?
sora: Physically I’ve definitely grown, quite literally and also just in terms of what all I do. My very first performance as sora was ten whole years ago, and I remember the nervous college student behind the grand piano keys, just wanting to sing and show the world his heart, and that part hasn’t changed, but my voice has gotten considerably stronger since then (thanks to my college voice teacher Dr. Marcus St. Julien for the training!). I’ve also officially incorporated choreography into my performances, which is another love of mine as well as a goal I’ve had since I was a kid. But adding that physical component while trying to belt out the highest notes is a challenge, and I’ve loved being able to push and grow with it haha. In terms of my writing, I’ve been really playing with different genres, especially as of late. My earlier stuff learned more towards the singer-songwriter pop-rock vibe, but I love music of all kinds and wanted that to reflect in my own personal discography. Working on VOL.24 has been great because each single is unique in their own way, while still being very representative of who I am as an artist and person.
Bridge: What would you like to be remembered for in your musical career, when all is said and done, when future music lovers look for and covet your music, what would you like them to be looking for and remembering you for?
sora: I want people to listen to my music and relate to it. I want people to remember me as someone who strived to do their best in the world, while keeping as kind of a heart as possible. I turn to music to comfort me in my times of sadness, to uplift and celebrate the high points in my life, and to just be there when nothing else is, so I hope that my songs can do the same for everyone the way countless artists’ works have done for me.
Bridge: Where do you go from here, what performances are planned and are there any plans for a new album in the works for future release?sora: Due to the current pandemic (stay safe out there, y’all!), I don’t necessarily have any specific performances lined up, though I have been doing quite a few pop-up shows lately with some of the local nightlife producers. I would absolutely love to get a small tour together once things calm down, but for now I’ll just be focusing on getting as much music released and recognized as I can. I don’t have an album in the works yet technically speaking, but I’m still committing to the VOL.24 project, and I’ve got a few exciting singles lined up for it. Hope you guys check them out when they come out. Thanks again for everything!