Sophie Janna plays folk with a pulse: strong, soothing songs that tell a story, paired with driving rhythms on guitar or bodhrán. Her sound is reminiscent of that of folk artists like Joan Shelley, Karine Polwart and Ane Brun.
Sophie’s natural singing style and her clear tone reveal that she was born into a family of singers. But she truly found her own voice when she lived in Edinburgh, where traditional ballads are still performed in pubs and living rooms, accompanied sparsely by a guitar, a violin or a softly hummed harmony. Sophie took her love for traditional songs with her to hometown Amsterdam and kept singing them in the years to come.
In 2013, Sophie met sound engineer and musician Nicholas O’Brien. He invited her to record an album with him at Upcycled Sounds studio in Paris and Oxford. For that album, Sophie chose to record eleven of her favourite traditionals: old songs with stories that have been sung forever because people have always suffered and enjoyed the same things. To lose yourself in that universal experience helps to put your life in perspective and makes you feel less alone. It is that feeling that drives Sophie to create music: the hope that someone else feels less alone by hearing her stories.
In 2011, Sophie worked with Flemish balfolk group Hot Griselda, lending her voice to their Tinderbox album and performing with them at folk festivals in Belgium, France and The Netherlands. From 2005 to 2010 Sophie also sang with Gilles Rullman (fiddle), Ies Muller (flute), Rob Forkner (bodhrán) and Theo Burghouts (bouzouki) as Bound for the Waves.
Sophie’s musical life revolves around Mulligans, an Irish pub in Amsterdam that hosts traditional music sessions every Wednesday and Sunday. At that pub, during one of those sessions, she met with fellow singer Margot Merah. They soon formed a band called The Lasses and started performing all over the Netherlands and Europe, and even went as far as the US, Canada and Japan. Most of Sophie’s live gigs today are with The Lasses, but she also loves to keep performing solo.
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