Following the release of her critically acclaimed EP ‘Habits’ earlier this year, alt-pop singer-songwriter Sofia Lafuente reflects on her musical journey on defiant new single, ‘If You Care’, out on 4 November.
With ‘Habits’ receiving critical acclaim from a host of key tastemakers including The Independent, Notion, Wonderland and more, and her previous single landing a coveted sync on ITV’s Love Island, Sofia Lafuente returns with her latest offering ‘If You Care’. Written in Los Angeles with producer Erick Bardales, (Kehlani, Ambré) the song can be interpreted in several ways, a complexity listeners have come to expect from the accomplished songwriter. Described by the artist as “a breakup track without going through a breakup”, it embodies Sofia’s frustration towards the music industry, singing “So if you care about me now / Remember what you found / Don’t ever take for granted what you could not live without”. Having worked as a songwriter for years, she calls out the industry’s unfair expectation for artists, especially women, to be quiet, respectful creatives when what is actually needed is self-confidence and drive. The universality of the lyrics will connect with anyone who has felt alone whilst chasing their dreams, whether that be in a career or relationship that doesn’t fulfil them.
Darker and more introspective than previous releases, the track is driven by pulsating synths that mirrors the release of pressure Sofia felt when writing the track. “It’s the type of song that when I listen to it, it reminds me that I can be badass” she says.
Inspired by artists like Lana Del Rey, BANKS and Rosalia, Sofia sought to strip back the track to its most essential elements. Producer Erick Bardales, known for his brooding synth-led work was the perfect choice in amplifying each, whilst Sofia juxtaposes her biting delivery on the hook with a soaring falsetto throughout that creates a captivating dynamism.
Reflecting on producing ‘If You Care’ in LA and its competitive environment where so many are trying to catch their break, Sofia notes “there’s something very empowering about the fact that when nobody expects anything from you, you have a freedom to do whatever you want”. In an industry that pressures women to “make it” as young as possible, ‘If You Care’ is emblematic of Sofia’s mindset, as she now feels confident in belonging in the room as a songwriter and artist. “I wrote it about being a woman in the industry but I realised it can also relate to people that are in a relationship with someone who’s not fully in, and what’s helped me, regardless of whether it’s your job or romantic life, is surrounding yourself with people that empower you”.
Born in the United States and raised in London by her American father and Spanish mother, Sofia Lafuente turned to music at an early age as a form of escapism from her trans-continental upbringing. With this new music, Sofia was able to reconnect with her Spanish roots and has taken inspiration from the traditional Spanish folk songs that her mother would sing to her as a child.
After undergoing significant surgery on her back at the age of 13, songwriting became a vital part of her life. “I picked up a guitar because it was the only thing I could do in a back brace! Songs just started coming out of me. I needed an outlet.” By 14, Sofia was performing live and quickly got herself into writing and studio sessions.
Sofia’s music is deeply inspired by the theatrics of Kate Bush, the charm of Stevie Nicks and the confidence of Shakira to constantly evolve and develop a new sound. Drawing from her combined influences, she thrives on being able to experiment with her music and the concepts and emotions she’s able to portray, and the Sofia we hear today is as real as it gets.