Known for her “bright vocals” and “lyrically complex narratives,” Sophia DeLeo is a New York City based folk-pop singer/songwriter. Her writing focuses on themes of love, loss, and nostalgia, typically drawing from personal experience. Her sophomore EP Drama Queen is an intensely personal concept record that tells the story of her own coming of age, growing up in Falls Church, Virginia.
When talking about how the EP came to be, Sophia explains, “In January 2021 I started therapy, and it was like this window opened and all this unprocessed trauma from my adolescence came flooding in. I told myself for almost a decade that some of the things I was going through when I was that age weren’t a big deal, that I was just being a ‘drama queen’. But when my therapist said to me ‘You need to forgive your younger self for all the things she didn’t know,’ everything changed for me. That’s what this project is all about.”
Recorded over the course of 2 years with co-producer Jean-Luc McMurtry (founder of VLV Records in Brooklyn, NY), Drama Queen is an introspective exploration of the complexities and emotional landscapes of teenage girlhood. Featuring five powerful tracks, each song offers a unique perspective and emotional narrative, drawing listeners into the relatable and authentic experiences of young women navigating the rollercoaster of adolescence.
Opening track “Maggie Rogers” reflects on a chance encounter with a high school crush and the fleeting nature of connections in the digital age. Over the sweet strum of a banjo, Sophia sings, “I feel like I’ve been here before / Just don’t have braces anymore,” with a wink and a smile, inviting us into the world of Drama Queen.
On “Everything,” Sophia’s poignant lyrics and captivating melodies evoke the overwhelming emotions experienced during a teenage romance, capturing the essence of being in love for the first time. “It was such a special relationship, because even though it ended in heartbreak, it was when I was the most broken hearted afterward that I began writing songs, and that changed the whole trajectory of my life,” Sophia notes. The final line of the song reflects this, as Sophia sings: “It’s crazy, but it made me who I was meant to be / I was in love, and it gave me everything.”
We get an inside look into that heartbreak with the short but sweet interlude “david (voice memo).” Recorded in her bedroom with just solo vocals and an acoustic guitar, this intimate track is the perfect transition into the latter half of the record, where Sophia’s songwriting begins to tackle some tough topics.
“My Body Was My Own” explores the impact that societal pressures can have on a young person’s sense of self-worth and body image, as well as the harmful impact that hookup culture can have on young people. Acoustic guitars, soft piano, and a haunting synthesizer work together to create a simple, yet powerful soundscape on this track.
And finally, title track “Drama Queen,” encapsulates the essence of the album. We hear Sophia speak directly to her teenage self from the present, forgiving herself for mistakes made and offering comfort. The lyrics “You’re not a drama queen—you’re just 17” float over a softly plucked banjo as the record draws to a close.
Drama Queen is a testament to Sophia DeLeo’s talent as a songwriter. Her relatable lyrics and captivating melodies will undoubtedly resonate with listeners of all ages, evoking a sense of nostalgia and reflection. When discussing what releasing this record means to her, Sophia shares, “It was always my dream as a teenager to have people listen to my original music, but I don’t think I ever really thought it would happen. I just didn’t think anyone would care. So, everything I’ve done in my music career, but especially this project, has been an effort to prove that insecure 17-year-old girl wrong. I like to think she’d be proud of me. God knows I’m proud of her for making it through those difficult years so I could become the artist I am today.”
Drama Queen will be available everywhere June 28. Following the release of the EP, this August Sophia will play Big Lawn Music Festival in Poughkeepsie, NY just before setting out on the Worth the Wait Tour alongside Alex Petti, frontman of NYC based rock band good thoughts. Click here to stream Drama Queen on Spotify or Apple Music and follow Sophia on social media for more announcements.