Softee's dreamy voice and ethereal melodies instantly take you to another world. We talked to Softee about the inspiration behind her latest songs, what we can expect from her upcoming album, and what her best advice to her younger self would be.
How did you get started in music?
Softee: There were several key moments where I realized how important music was going to be in my life: the first was my dad teaching me how to harmonize with Beatles songs. The second was when I had a solo in a 5th-grade music concert; the theme was "Music Through The Decades," and I sang a Connie Francis song. That was the first time I realized I loved performing. The third was learning how to use GarageBand in high school and developing a passion for producing. Softee started in 2019 when I finally decided to take music seriously and not just as a side hobby.
What was a big turning point in your career?
Softee: When I started performing as Softee instead of under my own name, having a persona was key for me to feel free in my artistic expression. Once I was able to embrace that, a lot of doors opened.
Tell me about your song "Come Home" what's the inspo behind it?
Softee: Come Home is a horny song I wrote about lusting after my lover. She'd been working all day, and I was feeling antsy, so I wrote a song about it. My co-producer Jeremy Chinn (aka sweetbbyj) had sent me this gorgeous beat that I wrote the song over. It came together very quickly, which is always super satisfying.
The music video is so interesting! How did you come up with the concept?
Softee: My fiancé Machel Ross had the idea to get God Complex, the drag king who stars in the video, involved. The song always had a sexy dark vibe to it, and she envisioned God Complex lip-syncing to the song. I thought it was a great idea, and then there was a lot of back and forth about what container to put him in. We eventually settled on this idea of demonic lust. I summon this demon, and then I'm not able to control what happens when the demon is unleashed.
What else has been inspiring you lately?
Softee: Religious medieval iconography, the work of Leonora Carrington, drag, my fiancé, and right now, I'm obsessed with Kate Davis's new music.
What has been one of the biggest challenges in your career?
Softee: Not believing in myself. When I start to doubt my instincts, my work really suffers, and I get anxious and depressed. Also, social media has been challenging for me lately. It feels important to stay active on social as an up-and-coming artist, but the toll it takes on my mental health is something I've been thinking about a lot recently.
How do you stay motivated?
Softee: Collaborating with friends, going for walks, aligning myself with people who make me feel good, saying NO to things that don't make me feel good, and seeing drag shows.
Are you excited to be at SXSW this year? What are you looking forward to?
Softee: I am excited! This is my first time, so I don't really know what to expect. My sister Ariana lives in Austin, and I'm very excited to see her and spend time with her. She's also singing backup for me, and we haven't sung together in quite some time, so I'm really looking forward to that. I also just love the vibe of Austin a lot, and excited to see my friends' shows!
What's your best piece of advice for your younger self?
Softee: Oof... you're gonna make me cry!!??? I would say TRUST. YOUR. GUT. It's ok to let people down if you don't feel good. Don't put yourself last.
Tell me what we can expect from your upcoming album.
Softee: This album is the most honest and direct I've ever been in my songwriting. It is a chronological journey of heartbreak and falling in love again in quick succession, and all the conflicting emotions that accompany that journey. Sonically, it's a fusion of me and my co-producer, sweetbbyj. Our collaboration is very meaningful to me, and I can't wait to share it.