"DJing is not about choosing a few tunes. It is about generating a few tunes."
So, you live in Los Angeles, you're out gettin' lit with friends at some music festival, a concert or what have you, and you see Power 106's, Flava Unit where you're at. You were just walkin' right through when you hear a voice that is just so unique, it makes you turn and go, "Who is that?"
Ladies and gents, allow us introduce you to DJ Sophenom.
Sophia Biggs, aka Sophenom, has been a part of the industry since 2003. Her skills on the turntables allows her to spin various genres, with hip-hop, top 40, house, classics, and eclectic under her belt. On top of that, her energy and amped up 'radio voice' can definitely keep the crowd hyped up once she's on the mic.
With that said, our team wanted to acknowledge that her vibe is definitely not going unnoticed, and to put light on this Influential Individual. Read on to get to know more about this amazing soul.
The basics: Who is Sophenom? Where did you grow up and where do you currently reside?Wow…Where do I begin. I grew up in Pasadena, CA, but during the summers growing up I would stay with my cousins in Chicago. I currently reside in the Pasadena surrounding area. Since my father gave me a boombox for Christmas (age 7) I was obsessed with listening to music and making tapes. I started making up words to songs I became tired of. I began to make up my own raps. I started emceeing and after many name changes I called myself Sophenomenal when I said it in a freestyle. In high school, I was asked to prom by a DJ and he used the turntables to ask me. I entered an emcee battle in college and started buying vinyl records for the DJ to play the instrumental of my choice. That DJ told me that I was a DJ and taught me some DJ essentials like digging, etc. Then, I stuck with it. When I started Djing out, I called myself Sophenom so it would fit on the flyers.
It’s hard to imagine you having any spare time. You seem like you’re always on the go. But when you do, what are some things you enjoy doing?Spare time? What’s that?! Right now, I have so many things on my plate, it is difficult to find time. I like to go to see live music, bowl, dig for records, and discover new foodie spots.
You definitely have an ear for good music. Was being a DJ/MC always part of the plan? What was the inspiration/motivation behind choosing this career path?
I have always wanted to be on the radio since I could remember. In high school, I wanted to be an emcee more than ever. But, I remember watching a lot of TV when I was in elementary and being an MTV VJ always seemed kind of cool. I feel like I have always been a DJ at heart. My motivation is I want to be a cool person/role model for kids to look up to. My inspiration is I want to keep good music alive.
Speaking of good music, which era of hip hop (90’s, 80’s, etc) do you prefer and why?
I love Golden Era Hip Hop because it reminds me of a really good time in my life and it is just naturally good. You don’t have to think about whether the records are good or not, they just are. Straight up.
Out of all the genres you typically play at your events, what do you feel keeps the crowd going most? Any specific artist that is the most influential to you?
Anytime I play any 90’s throwback I usually get people complimenting my track selection. I feel like when you take it back, it touches people right in the heart and takes them to a happy memory. It is hard to pinpoint that one artist for me because I have had some phases where I was really into Gwen, Kurt Cobain, and Lauryn. But, I feel like if I have to choose someone specifically, it would have to be Tupac. I have books of lyrics that I used to handwrite and print of his. I have memorized all of his songs. There was a really low point in my life and I really feel that I bonded with his music more than anyone else’s. His songs and his delivery really got me through some stuff. Thanks, Pac ;) R.I.P.
Did you ever come across certain family members or friends who criticize your career choices? What were their objections and how did you handle it?
There are times when my parents are really supportive and say those motivational speeches to keep me going. Sometimes, my parents get a little scared because I chose something a little unconventional. I have to keep them updated or they will get impatient sometimes.
What did you have to give up/sacrifice to follow your dream? If you could go back and change one thing, knowing what you know now, what would you have done different?
Well, I stopped going to school for a while so I could just DJ and I decided to go back after a guy that I dated insulted my intelligence. After that, I put my education first and realized how important it was. I learned how to maintain/fuse the school and Djing situation. If I could go back, I would have put school first from the beginning. I wouldn’t have been so rebellious.
Define a go-getter.
A go-getter is someone that has his or her eyes on the prize and is willing to work in any role in order to reach that goal.
Speaking of go-getter, where do you see yourself 3-4 years from now?
I can’t tell you everything ;) But, I want to tour eventually and some beat-making/production is in order!
I admire the fact that you’re a female in the scene that is admired by many. It’s a tough crowd, and it’s always great to see those that break the barriers. What can you say to those that think it’s a male dominated industry, yet here you are, proving them otherwise?
When I first wanted to do this I never knew that the gender thing would ever come into play, but we are here, and it has. Things are changing, but just know that music should have no face. If someone is passionate, physical attributes shouldn’t have to come into play. When you think like that, it is going to be a really hard road for you.
You’re talking to a group of admirers and people who find you as an inspiration. What is the best advice you can give them about following their dreams?
Focus on what you want and don’t be afraid to collaborate with others. Make sure your heart is in the right place and that you are not just doing something to prove “haters” wrong. Try to be inspired to build the industry up and bring something different to the table, instead of being a copy of someone else. Be the best version of you, not a cheap version of someone else’s dream. Find your thing and put your own spin on it.
There you have it, y'all. Thank you, Sophenom, for allowing us to know you a bit more. You're an inspiration to many who are out there who are barely starting on their journey. We know you'll do great in upcoming years - we'll be cheering for you!
**Reaching your goal and having the drive for it is not always an easy task. The hustle is real and you have to realize that at times, it takes all your effort to reach your dreams. However, as long as you keep your eye on the prize and keep that focus, you'll be unstoppable. Remember that you're not living any other person's dream, you're living for yours. It's never a competition with others, it's always about being a better you.
Get the party crackin' with Sophenom weekly at Magnolia House in Pasadena, CA!
And of course, follow her social media accounts!
Instagram: @SOPHENOM // Twitter: @SOPHENOM // Facebook: /SOPHENOM