Ohsergio, the Glitchfolk Masterpiece
Singer, songwriter, and music producer Sonia Schmidt is a walking dichotomy and that’s no insult. The contradictions in her music are the push and pull that culminate in greatness. Painfully honest while remaining defiantly convicted to her own vision and methodology, this European talent has crafted her own signature style while simultaneously contributing to that of other artists with a drastically different sound (as on Otm Shank’s electronic hit “Ravish”). While many artists and musicians flex their virtuosic muscles, Schmidt’s bare sincerity floats above this, winning her legions of fans. She divulges, “My music is simple and complicated at the same time. It is a musical embodiment of my self-reflections. Whenever I have an ‘aha’ moment about life, I write a song about it. Making music is a therapeutic experience for me. It’s an outlet and an experiment. I have clear ideas of concepts I want my music to move toward but it rarely ends up being what I thought it would be. I’ve learned to listen to my music and not try to dictate it. It’s very hard but I think it’s the most organic and genuine way to make music.”
Her debut release Ohsergio has been dubbed with the stylistic reference as glitchfolk. While she worked with producer/electronic music artist Otm Shank on the single “Hunter”, all the other tracks on Ohsergio were written and produced exclusively by Schmidt. Self-described as a bit of a control freak, she’s adamant that her music embrace imperfection and the “happy accidents” that she values. Sonia communicates, “The minimalistic aspect of Ohsergio is subconsciously intentional. I think it translates my shyness as a musician. Humorously, I think I’m what people call an extroverted introvert. People rarely believe me when I tell them how insecure I am as a musician and as a person. Ohsergio is simply who I am. There is no difference between my experience as a human being and what I put in my music; they’re one and the same. I value silence in music. I think that creating the space in music for people to make it their own is indispensable. I hope people can relate to my music because they essentially experience life as a person with everything that it entails, just as I do.”
While the aforementioned track “Hunter” contains a soundscape courtesy of Otm Shank, it’s the lush and layered vocals which are the emotional bait for listeners. It’s appropriate that the song’s message focuses on loneliness as the singer’s process for recording vocal takes was with her serving as artist, engineer, and producer alone in Bedrock Studios. Recording each individual track by herself and then returning to the control room to reset for the next track allowed Sonia to place herself in the optimal emotional space to communicate the song’s message. On the song “FIDITL”, Schmidt made the decision to leave the sound of her footsteps (as she walked back to the control room) on the track. “FIDITL” or “Fear Is Dancing In The Light” features Schmidt on all vocals and instruments including Xylophone. As with much of her music, she describes writing and performing this song as therapy for her. “Dream” contains one of Sonia’s calling cards, her own designed and implemented samples. In this case, it’s a tea bag. The artist reveals, “Towards the end of the song there is the sound of a tea bag tag hitting a cup. My tea cup happened to be right under the air conditioning and the tag was repeatedly hitting the glass, producing a very soothing sound. I recorded this and used it. I really enjoy paying attention to the sounds that occur in life and making these a part of my songs.” “Dream” was included in director Adria Baratta’s film Girl.
Sonia was excited to work with acclaimed engineer and producer Adam Moseley, known for his work with Tina Turner and U2, on her debut release Ohsergio. Adam’s forty years of experience with a range of artists spanning Chaka Khan to The Cure and Nikka Costa confirms that he’s interested in artists who have a unique and identifiable musical personality. Concerning his work with Schmidt, Moseley proclaims, “She has a natural and rare understanding of music. Her outstanding talents not only as a musician, but also as a producer, songwriter, and as a performer, are qualities that I recognized immediately.” Currently working on a new release titled “Eliah”, Schmidt continues to prove that she’s in the midst of a streak of creativity that has established her as a complex artist who simultaneously rediscovers and redefines who she is.