Slidin’ Thru: Symphani Soto

October 12, 2018

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

With her undeniable beauty and charm, Symphani Soto has the ability to light up the room in any given situation. Now, she carries that same energy into her music, unleashing that smooth, sultry, soulful R&B that most of us not only grew up on, but miss greatly. Read more…

Hailing from Florida but now residing in sunny LA, the fashion and beauty connoisseur trades in makeup brushes for the pen and paper, creating standout records that are up to par with some of today’s hottest R&B singers. Thanks to Bizness Boi and his signature production, Symphani recently unleashed her I AM project, home to her standout single titled “all i know.”

For those who don’t know, who is Symphani Soto?
I am 25 years old and I sing. I create content on the internet and social media. I first started in the beauty space so that’s kind of my background, but before all of that, I was heavily into music. That was one of my first loves. I always used to do it growing up. I went to a performing arts middle school and in high school, I took drama classes, acting classes, dance, and also was part of choir. Kust continuing that entertainment aspect of my life, I would say I am a creative.

So music was always number one?
Yes, always number one. Beauty kind of came after.

Where do you fit in the realm of R&B and hip-hop?
I fit perfectly. [laughs] I fit in just a very nice little nook that a lot of artists right now are in, this nice pocket where people are really ready to have that R&B back. When I was growing up, I listened to Neo soul and R&B heavily, and jazz as well. Now, the 90’s babies are coming up like, “Hey I want to bring that feeling back.” That’s where I feel like I fit.

You’re from Florida, how does that play into your life and career?
I’m very Southern. You might not hear it but when I go back home, it’s like a full-on country accent. It keeps me humble. It keeps me in a good space because coming from a place like Florida, it’s very homegrown. Everybody is very nice and kind to each other. Growing up in that space just carried with me as a person, and also into my music.

What’s your ethnicity?
My mom is black and Native, and my dad is from Puerto Rico. People actually think I’m Asian too. [laughs]

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
I feel like you can grow anywhere, but LA just has so many opportunities. You can really bump into so many different creatives, like yourself. It’s easier to build here.

How long have you been here?
I’ve been here for a year. It’s just about who you know but also meeting the right people. Because everyone’s not for you and wants you to win. But fortunately, I found somebody like Bizness Boi who I’ve been working with since October.

How did you guys link?
Actually, I met him through another friend. Me and her were sitting down at Tender Greens, she was like, “Hey, you trying to get into music?” I was like, “Yes, that’s why I came here!” I wanted to get back in that space. She was like, “I think I have somebody for you.” I was like “who?” She was like “Biz.” The crazy part is he had reached out to me before I even moved here, but I didn’t see his DM. He had heard something before and was like, “Let’s work together.” It’s just crazy that how life comes full circle. When we followed each other, I saw that he DM’d me in May, and I linked up with him in August.

How important is social media for your career?
I always get into this but mentally, you really have to filter yourself with social media. As far as for your career goes, you can grow so much through just connecting with different people, and people hearing your things instantly. [claps] It’s so easy. That’s why I feel like it’s a good thing to be an influencer or whatever the case may be, whatever path you’re going down, it’s easy to connect with people instantly. That’s why I feel like social media is so important.

Talk about your journey in music. At what point did you realize this was forreal?
I want to say this year, to be honest. Well actually, my first initial “okay, maybe I can do this” was when I did a campaign with GOOD AMERICAN, which is Khloe Kardashian’s brand. Funny part is that I was going to model for them, but then my manager at the time was like, “Hey, she sings too.” And at that time, I didn’t have any music. I was like, “Uh I sing, but I don’t have nothing to show for it.” She said, “Okay, why don’t I put one of her songs in my campaign?” Me and my friend at the time were like, “Wow, we gotta make a song like now,” and we did a song. They actually used it in that particular campaign, and that’s how Biz found me.

Did you know what you were doing when you were creating the song?
I didn’t. I always used to write anyway, and my brother was going to school for music at the time. He was making beats here and there. We used to make music together, but it wasn’t like anything serious. It was just something that I liked to do.

What do you think of the industry? Have you gotten a taste?
In the beauty space yes, but I feel like they’re kind of synonymous. They’re kind of the same in the aspect of the people you run into. I think it’s a good place, but you can also get lost in it. You just have to be careful of that. Like you said, just being around the right people.

What was the inspiration behind your name?
This is a funny story, it’s my real name. You know how a symphony has different instruments to create a symphony? Since my parents have different ethnicities, they’re like, “Okay, well she has different ethnicities, let’s just name her Symphani.”

“all i know” is a vibe. Talk about the inspiration behind the record and working with Bizness Boi.
At that time that I was writing that song, I was in this space of not knowing where I was with a certain relationship. I just felt very confused. The song is just about being in that confused state with somebody. You really like them, but you’re seeing things that you don’t particularly like about them. During that time, I was like, “Yo what is going on?” I don’t want to put this guy on blast right now. [laughs]

I was gonna say, has he heard it?
Yes. I was writing with my friend Travis and my friend Dialo. I was like, “I’m going through this, and alI I know is I don’t want to put up with this anymore.” It’s so crazy because a lot of girls people can just relate. We’ve all been in this state with people, and not really knowing what we want and where we stand with them.

What is it you want fans to get from your story?
That you can do anything. Everybody knows me for being in the beauty space, as far as me being a creator and always doing makeup tutorials, but you can always step out of your comfort zone and do something different. You don’t have to be in a box. There’s a lot of people my age that feel like, “I’m at this age and this is what I’m supposed to do.” No dude, you have so much life. Do whatever makes you feel good. Do whatever you feel like is cool, and whatever makes you happy.

Any upcoming collabs? Are you working on a project?
I want to have some collabs. I have some people in mind that I would really love to work with. The I AM project is out, but I am already working on my next one. I already have that excitement.

What are some goals for yourself as an artist?
I just want to touch people. I want them to relate to things that I put out and find inspiration in it. Find themselves in the music, or find themselves in the person that I am and kind of relate to themselves in that way. Just touch people, travel the world, see new places — that’s coming from my platform and my music.

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
I stay at home a lot, I’m a homebody. I live in Noho, so that’s a little creative area. I just kind of stay home and I work on my music. I’ve been traveling a lot lately, so I’m not really always home. Outside of just being home, I’m in the studio or working on content for different brands.

3 things you need in the studio?
I like very quiet. I like whoever’s supposed to be there and that’s it. I don’t like to have a big group of people. I really work well when it’s just me and whoever’s writing with me, or just me and myself. I need Fruit Roll-Ups. I love Fruit Roll-Ups. I’m not a drinker or a smoker, but everybody who’s usually there with me smokes and drinks and I get secondhand, so that’s fine for me. [laughs] And maybe water, or some tea.

How is your fan base responding?
I was very nervous because I didn’t know how they would respond. Because like I said, they know me for mostly beauty, but it’s been so cool! Some people that I didn’t even think listened to my music, like it. This girl just posted a video of her and her baby dancing to my song. I was just like, “This is freaking cute!” It’s awesome. It’s been a great response so far.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Recently… oh my gosh. I can’t believe I’ma say this, but Tay-K 47. I love him so much.

Dream collab?
J. Cole.

Who are some of your favorite rappers?
I love J. Cole. I love Kendrick. I love that they’re so jazz-influenced because that’s what I grew up on listening. Listening to their music just gives me nostalgia. I would love to work with Cardi B. She’s one of my favorite rappers, she’s really good. Oh and Drake, but everyone wants to work with him.

Anything else you want to let us know?
Listen to my music. I hope you enjoy it. The I AM project is out. There’s six songs, which is kind of a lot for an EP, but this is my introduction for people to hear my sound and who I am.

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