Paradisia discuss their debut album, Sound of Freedom and musical bond

Sophie, Kirsty and Anna of Paradisia photographed by Lost in Talent Sophie, Kristy and Anna photographed for Lost in Talent. 

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In a quaint coffee shop in West London, the girls of London based band; Paradisia, are chuckling and sharing how a “gangsta” had a part in the story of their debut album’s cover. The cover image features a portrait of Sophie, Anna and Kristy with their faces covered by blossoms. “That’s real blossom [Anna] picked in the streets in Stoke Newington.” Over smoothies they tell me about the album, Sound of Freedom and their musical bond.

Before there was Sound of Freedom, there were three friends who could not imagine doing anything else struggling as part of a larger band. “There was a time in our previous project where we’d have weeks of silence. No one would react to what we were doing. There was nothing coming in, in terms of press, gigs, interest in general. That’s really hard because online it is so easy to spread love. It’s like being ignored by your boyfriend —it’s the worst feeling ever.”

Once that project folded Sophie, Anna and Kristy stayed in touch and soon after Paradisia was birthed. “Communication was endless, we didn’t have a minute were we weren’t talking. Communicating ideas, discussing inspiration, emailing pictures and texting each other about what we wanted to be.” When I ask, how did you know this is the right mix? Sophie’s response is simple; “We were the only ones who had respect for each other.” In that respect, coupled with love and support, Paradisia flourished and produced an interesting body of work with Sound of Freedom.

Sophie, Kirsty and Anna of Paradisia photographed by Lost in Talent

Their bond is most obvious on the album opener “Tell Me”, as they sing in perfect harmony. Although this album is their tribute to songwriting, on some level it is also an ode to their friendship. When describing the themes of the album, words like “nostalgia”, “connections”, “experience” and “introspective” are put on the table. “It’s about real stuff really. We can’t bear songwriting that you can’t understand -that’s so abstract.” Operating as a three piece where everyone’s involved in the process of making music provides them room to explore personal things or “real stuff” as Sophie says. “It’s also great because it means we have three times as much to write about.”

Beyond enabling them to share their experiences with us and between themselves, their debut brought with it new experiences and lessons. “We were invited to stay in this beautiful house in the mountains in France by André Manoukian, who is a French musician. He supports independent artists and he invited us to play two shows in this house and record and write at the same time. We literally stayed there, for a week, and wrote.” There is a lot of excitement as they talk about their time in the cabin, with everyone pitching in to the story. “We were cut off, surrounded by mountains and snow. It was quite surreal. [As] it was so cold, we had no options but to stay in. We were writing songs in our pyjamas, it was really fun. We can’t do that in London, there is so much distraction. We were really fortunate to have that. We came with 10 ideas and left with 3 new full recordings and 4 brand new songs. We were really intense; 10am until 1am everyday.” It wasn’t only about recording, the invite got them an opportunity to test out the songs as they were created and get feedback. This feedback helped shape the album.

As did their personal growth during the five years it took to write the album. “If [our] album had come out when we were 16, I’d be really embarrassed. [We’ve changed a lot as people]. I am quite happy we’ve done it like this.”

Sound of Freedom is out now.
Find out more about Paradisia via their official website.

Updated: An earlier version of this article was updated to correct a typo in band member Kristy’s name.