Written by Christian Bischoff
Sophie Beem is on the fast track to superstardom. The 17 year old up-and-comer just wrapped a tour opening for Charlie Puth, and dropped her first EP with a guest spot from Fetty Wap. The singer-songwriter is also the personal protégée of Beyoncé, who signed Beem to her record label last year, and has played Beem’s single Skyline at nearly all of her tour stops. We stopped and chatted with her about her upcoming record and her life on tour after her set at Made in America.
So you’ve recently signed with Parkwood Entertainment, Beyoncé’s label…
Actually, I signed when I was 15. I’m 17 now. I had two years of development, writing my songs, performance training, media training, the whole thing. I really got to figure out who I am as an artist. I wasn’t just thrown out there, which is really nice. My first big performance was the VFiles Showcase. I got to open the runway show for VFiles, this brand I really love. Then I toured with Charlie Puth, which was my first real tour.
You just finished that up, right?
Yes, it was so great! I just want to be on tour all of the time.
So what was life on tour like?
It was definitely gritty. I’m an opening act. My mom slept on the floor of a van, I slept on the seats. We had to eat at weird times. Sometimes, I’d finish a show and eat McDonalds at midnight. I didn’t love doing that. It’s not really good for my body with my dancing and all that. But you forget about everything when you hit the stage and see all the fans react to your music in such a positive way. All the nitty gritty stuff didn’t matter. Going out there every night is so amazing.
This is your first major festival. What’s it like in comparison to opening on the road?
I think the set definitely changes. When you’re on tour, it’s your show, but here I’d rather do more upbeat songs to get everyone hyped up and excited. But I don’t really know the difference. I performed just now, it was so much fun.
Your set was great! I caught a bit of it. For people who weren’t fortunate enough to see your set, how would you describe your sound?
I would describe it as rhythmic pop with an urban slant. I love dance breaks, and bringing in cool beats that you’d hear in a hip-hop track.
What’s it like to be personally mentored by Beyoncé? Did she play a big part in your development?
Yes definitely, she’s very involved. She gives me advice and lets me know if she likes a song for the EP or the album. She’s also always asking me what I like, what I love. We’ll be in a meeting together and she’ll always ask me “What do you want to do? What’s your vision?” It’s really nice to have that. She allows me to be myself and express what I want to do through my music. It’s really special.
So you have a lot of creative control then?
When is your first full length album coming out? Is it still in development?
I don’t know when it’s coming out yet, but it’s definitely in the works right now. I’ve been writing for it, and I’m so excited. I just can’t wait to put it out.
So this fall you’ll be mostly in the studio writing?
Yeah. I’ve been writing so much already this summer. But I’ll definitely keep on writing until I feel like I’ve got my favorite body of work, and then I’ll present it to Beyoncé and see what she thinks of it. Then we’ll go from there.
Can we expect more guests like Fetty Wap on the upcoming album?
I hope! I definitely love features. I think they bring such a cool aspect to the song, so probably, yeah. I definitely want to.
How far along with the album are you?
In the middle? [laughs]
Who are you most excited to see at the festival?
I was really excited to see Justine Skye. I’ve been performing a lot with her. At another festival, at a Galore party in LA, so it was cool to see her perform again. Obviously I want to see Rihanna, Coldplay, Chance the Rapper, DJ Khaled. It’ll be fun!