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The Tireless Chanteuse

Sophia Brous is one of those friends that you never see, except for on posters, in magazines, at concerts and on TV. At just 24, she generally has more on her plate than Pavarotti at an all you can eat pasta buffet.
1.11.09

BY ROYCE AKERS

PHOTO BY BRIONY WRIGHT Sophia Brous is one of those friends that you never see, except for on posters, in magazines, at concerts and on TV. At just 24, she generally has more on her plate than Pavarotti at an all you can eat pasta buffet. She also sings like a fucking angel, which is the main reason she’s always being asked to do stuff. Vice: Hey Sophia, tell us some of the things you’re doing at the moment.
Sophia: Well, the major thing that’s taking up my time is preparing for an album recording this December with Scott Horscroft and my band, which I’m really excited about. Great, can’t wait to hear it. What else?
Then there’s the Melbourne Jazz Festival which I curate and my RRR radio show, which is a weekly thing that I love doing. I get to speak to heaps of interesting people and listen to a lot of stuff, which has been really good for my own music. You just get flushed with lots of different music every week. Oh, and law, every so often. You study law as well?
Yeah. Wow, that’s a lot.
Then I play in a few jazzamataz and improv type bands with great musicians like Paul Grabowski, Shags Chamberlain and Evelyn Morris from Pikelet. I’m in Koko-Nuts! with them. We were into exotica so we started this exotica band. Then I got interested in tropicalia and so our tropicalia gig happened. I also play with my friend Tarquin in a band called Make Up Sex. Were you always this busy?
Well everyone’s busy now I guess but yeah, my entire childhood memory is made up of a series of extracurricular activities. I used to do art classes and Mangala dance classes, and every Saturday morning I’d do National Theatre drama and then go have spanakopitas with my mum on Acland Street. And that was how things were. But what about regular teenage mucking about? Did you have time for any of that?
Yeah, I hung around in Greville Park drinking in Mytico pants when I was fourteen, vying for the attention of the fifteen year old boys from Mentone. I suppose in my teens it was all kind of a balance between doing all that kind of stuff, you know, but I was really into music and jazz, like all the time. Eventually I went to the New England Conservatory in Boston and lived in a sorority and went to frat parties. I went there when I was nineteen but it felt like I was fifteen again. I’d never met so many virgins in my life. What, like: American Pie Presents Band Camp?
It was hilarious. Heaps of drinking games with ping pong balls, played by genius musicians—eighteen year old boys who practiced for ten hours a day and then got drunk each night on Bud Light or something. So what’s your music like now?
I’ve developed a really big interest in film music and pop orchestras from the 60s and warm synth sounds and psychedelia and stuff like that. Because I sang all my life, and did loads of new music and jazz, I kind of began to forget how much I enjoyed singing songs. Jazz had a funny way of making me feel like I had to be embarrassed about being able to sing. Now I feel like I’m enjoying singing more than I ever have and I’m enjoying using my voice again. And it’s not so much about jazz?
It’s just about music now really. I like the idea of each song having a backdrop and mood. I really like drama, and acting was what I did before I started singing, so.. …Oh shit, you were on TV recently.
I was on John Safran’s show a few weeks ago. He made it look like he stole my fucking underwear when he didn’t steal my fucking underwear. What I walked in with, I walked out with.