Welcome back to the Musiq Scene, where we feature kick ass queer women artists from around the world. This issue, I chatted with Sofia Cristo, a prominent European DJ and lesbian icon based in Madrid. Sofia was born into a life of performance, with mother Barbara Rey, former Miss Spain and a Miss Universe contestant, who later became a Spanish movie star. Sofia followed closely in her mother’s footsteps, performing electronic dance music all over Europe and starring on numerous television shows. She has graced the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Her singles have topped the Electronic Music charts in Spain, and she has performed with famous international stars such as Pitbull, opening for him in the Canary Islands. She will also be performing this year at World Pride in Madrid.
Sofia, A.K.A SOFIC, describes her electronic style as big room, future house, and dance music. She reflects on how music has shaped her as a performer.
When/how did you first become involved in music?
Since I was a little girl, I loved music and enjoyed the work of Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton, and Kenny G, among others. My mother gave a red cassette player that became my best friend. Electronic music captivated me at the beginning of my adolescence, and as I discovered the DJ culture, I fell in love. From that moment I began to make my way through a career in music.
Who/what is your inspiration and why?
My inspiration is DJ Marta – in my opinion best woman Spanish DJ. I’ve never seen anyone play like her. She was one of my inspirations. I wanted to be on her level and play in the same places. I was young and star struck! Now I am my own inspiration. What I feel in the DJ booth or in the studio makes me happy; it’s a feeling of freedom. I am driven by making people happy with my music, and that has no price.
What do you hope to achieve as an artist? Touring the U.S. maybe?
I’m really excited for my new track to come out, “My Heart.” I hope it will take my music to another level. I also would love to work worldwide, and of course touring the U.S. would be an honor.
How has your music influenced your life? Is there a time it was integral to overcoming struggles and/or achieving your goals?
For me, music’s been very important throughout all stages in my life. Music was there through good times; special moments, trips, and unforgettable performances. It’s also been there through the bad times. It’s a constant in my life and continues to shape me as a person – it’s my therapy.
I had to leave the nightclub scene and stop performing because I was in a drug rehabilitation program. Many people believed that I could never DJ again if I were to stay sober. After 4 years of abstinence, I have demonstrated – and still do to this day – that music is my passion and I need nothing else than music to be able to fulfill my goals.
How has your life changed since your music has become popular in Europe?
There’s nothing better than getting up every morning and do what you love. That’s what I do every day with music. So from the moment that I realized I would dedicate my life to music, I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
Why is music important to the LGBTQ community?
Music is important to the LGBTQ community because we have a special sensitivity and ability to respect and understand different kinds of music. Through music we can express many emotions and messages; there are those moments that you’ll never forget, that song that will always stick with you. That’s why it’s important to support and encourage women DJs. We are special, beautiful, and integral to the music community.
Given challenges facing the LGBTQ community, in your opinion, what is most needed for the community now? How can music further that goal?
I believe that the base of happiness is to be yourself and to be able to love without fear, freely and choose what makes you feel. At first, when people started to hear about my coming out, I felt panicked about what they might say or think. But now, being out, I feel like there is a huge weight lifted off of me. It’s our right to be ourselves, to love one another, free of judgment. Music helped me come out, and since then, I started to be full, to be complete, to be me.