Sohayla Smith is a rising international award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter who delivers a diverse musical experience. Sohayla recently won Best Country Recording with "Burn it to the Ground" in the 2018 Clouzine International Music Awards. Her band was nominated for a 2017 TIMA for Best Country. Her single "Bridges" was a Roots Grand Prize Winner, awarded First Place place in the Americana category. "The Breakdown" was the November 2017 Pop Winner on OurStage where she is currently at the top of Best Country Artists charts.
Sohayla and her band are known for their engaging live performances. They were headliners at: the Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan, the 2018 Peak to Shore Music Festival, and the Singhampton Small Hall, Simcoe Street Theatre's 'Music for a Sunday Evening Concert Series'. Sohayla and her band have opened for Irish Mythen and Ken Yates. Sohayla's songs have been on radio rotation at stations throughout the country including: Erin Radio (NY), Salford City Radio (UK), Amazing Radio, KB Radio, and PopCanRebel.
Sohayla Smith is one of the featured artists on BWH Music Group's upcoming album, Keepin' It Country.
What is the name of the song you have on ‘Keepin’ It Country, Vol. One’?
"Burn it to the Ground"
What is the inspiration behind your song? Or what is your song about? It's a song about being done with love, arguments, double standards, and the tireless quest for peace through conflict.
How did you write your featured song? Or can you describe your songwriting process? Songwriting is a very natural process for me - it's not something I sit down with intention to do. It's more therapeutic in nature. For example, any extreme emotion, be it stress, loss, fights, love, hope, faith, happiness, etc.. all those feelings manifest as song when the time is right. I just pick up the pen and and instrument at hand, and as long as i'm not interrupted, I end up with a song in a few hours, and I almost always feel better too! It's my way of mentally coping with life, and creating something others can hopefully relate to and enjoy.
If you could share the stage with one Country artist, who would it be?! Blue Rodeo - I'd love to sit and talk with Jim and Greg and the rest of the band, ask them all of the questions about music, the industry, band mechanics, and so much more. I hope to one day open for them or play with them. They're a huge inspiration, and roll models for the Americana genre.
Who or what has inspired you the most in your music career? The feeling that there is nothing else in my life that I'm supposed to do more than this - that's the driving force - the inspiration - music has always been so integral and synonymous with my identity, my perception and processing of the world, and my ability to cope with my own humanness. 25 years of inspiration to date, and I've never been more inspired.
How did you first get introduced to Country music? Or what made you decide to pursue Country music? I grew up listening to a lot of my parents records which varied in genre, country was just one of many early musical influences. As I began to sing and write, people would say "that sounds like a country song".. and, not really understanding the comparison, I'd press on that they're mistaken, I'm Americana! Two and a half decades later, I have now sung on stages sandwiched by singers from Nashville - and, I can honestly without a doubt say, I'm not country enough for country, I stand out like a sore thumb! A little too rock or a little too roll, I'm not sure which. However, I have maintained my affiliation with contemporary Americana, in the alternative country arena. ...and people still say "that sounds like a country song", and that's OK by me!
Of the songs you have written, which one was the most challenging to write and why? Mascara - it was hard to write, and is hard to perform. I found it difficult translating what I was hearing in my head to the guitar, but after a bit of focus and dedicated rehearsal, I was able to play it as written and intended. To this day, I have to specifically rehearse Mascara well in advance to make sure I'm comfortable and ready to nail the solo live, but it's well worth the work in my opinion, I'm really proud of that song.
Where do you live and how is the Country music scene there!? I live in Shelburne, Ontario, a small town an hour and a bit north of the GTA/Toronto area. We have a country radio station here, and the community loves New Country, but my music isn't quite country enough to be on local radio here, so we've found a niche in other radio stations that embrace our brand of Americana country, such as Erin Radio, KB Country Radio, KB Indie Radio, Amazing Radio, and PopCanRebel Radio to name a few.
So, what’s coming up in the future? We have a Canadian East Coast tour coming up at the end of September, a few festivals lined up (Georgian Triangle Music Festival and Ancaster Fair), and a Monday Music Lab for Live & Original Collingwood. We have a new album coming out late summer, as well as another already in the works, so there will be a lot of music coming your way over the next year, so visit the website, and sign up for the mailing list to stay up to date!
Tell us where fans can access your music. You can find more of my music on itunes, Amazon, cdbaby, reverbnation and more! itunes/applemusic or visit my website.
Along with Sohayla Smith's song “Burn it to the Ground,” BWH Music Group’s Keepin' It Country, Vol. One, by Various Artists, will host an eclectic mix of 17 songs today's best Independent Country Artists and Songwriters.
Stayed tuned for the release of Keepin It Country, Vol. One, by Various Artists, just in time for Labor Day, 2019! The album will be released worldwide on CDbaby and available on all major digital outlets.