Get to know local Toronto musician Sohayla Smith, our latest feature

Name: Sohayla Smith
Founded: 1994 is when I became a songwriter officially, but this representation of the music (this group of musicians) started working together in 2009 onward. We have gone through some member changes and additions, but the core of the group remains the same.
# of Albums: 1 album was released officially on itunes – The Red Room Recording Session.
Latest Release: The Red Room Recording Session – EP. It represents the final days of our trio, as shortly after recording it we acquired a talented drummer and more recently a bassist. Songs on this EP are I Miss You, Let Go, Make-Believe, One Sweet thing, The Man You Are.

Latest Video: Our second attempt at a home-made music video was for The Breakdown. It was a lot of fun making it. We involved many friends and family as well, and that made it very special. It is a good representation of who we are as people.

Bio

Diverse and talented Canadian singer-songwriter Sohayla Smith has been writing and performing her original songs for twenty-three years and has no intention of stopping any time soon. Her songs are catchy, with smart lyrics and a unique sound all her own. Sohayla Smith is accompanied by Adrian Smith and Nathan Smith on guitars, Nick Ovington on percussion, and Devon Eichhorn on bass. They have a large catalogue of music, and are now starting to release singles that are gaining airplay on local and international radio. Sohayla Smith’s Americana-Pop-Rock-Indie band is set to release more singles and a live EP later this year.

Latest Single

An indie-rock version of Let Go is being released very soon for streaming, digital download, and we’re hoping it gets picked up by radio stations across Ontario. It’s our first indie-rock release, so we’re very excited. But our current main releases were Bridges, released last year, which has done really well (check out the indie-spoonful review here: https://www.indie-spoonful.com/single-post/2016/11/16/Sohayla-Smith—Bridges), and The Breakdown which has also been getting a lot of play overseas in the UK. Both are available for digital download on our reverbnation page here: (http://www.reverbnation.com/sohaylasmith)

Favourite Restaurant

Il Gatto Nero, Nova Era (for coffee & Portuguese pastries), and Folly Brewpub (best fish tacos in town!)
Mrs.Mitchell’s in Mulmur, Ontario – finest of fine food!

Favourite band as teenager

Odds was by far my favourite band. I’m pretty sure I had them on repeat back in the day.
Beck, Cat Stevens, Leonard Cohen, The Pixies, Prodigy, Billy Joel, Janis Ian, Pink Floyd, Beastie Boys, Above the Law… contemporary popular music, as well as classical music were also in my collection. I listened to a lot of music when I was a teen, but I stuck to my favourites when it came down to what was on repeat in my cassette player. (Odds or Billy Joel usually).

Sohayla Smith

Favourite band now

hmmm… My taste in music doesn’t change a lot, so all of the afore mentioned, also including Blue Rodeo, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Loreena McKennitt, and many more.. Too many to choose from. I enjoy various songs for different reasons.

Guilty Pleasure Song

Meghan Trainor – Like I’m Gonna Lose You ft. John Legend

Live Show Ritual

I get nervous, so i tend to need quiet time beforehand, and I just stay focused, remind myself to breathe – get through the first song, and from there on in, everything is usually groovy. We also always take a band ‘selfie’ before or after a show for kicks and camaraderie (and for social media).

Favourite local artist

Blue Rodeo is my favourite, but many of my talented friends, The Pedestrians, Josh Oatman, Jeff Alan Greenway, Devon and the Darklight, Ed Roman, Brianna McGowan, and Kasey Carruthers deserve a shout out!

Sneaky Dees nachos, Hey Meatball spaghetti or a superfood salad from Fresh?

Sneaky Dees nachos. Nachos rule! I love salsa.

Queen or College St?

College – my old stompin’ ground. I loved my old apartment at College and Ossington so much that I named my kid after the intersecting street where I lived, Roxton Road. True story. We call him Rocky for short, and we find it pretty funny that his dad’s name is Adrian!

Trinity Bellwoods or Highpark?

Trinity Bellwooods I frequented often because it was close to where I lived, but I love Highpark too. The feeling of forest in the big city is a wonderful thing.

EP or LP?

Either or. Every collection of music – short or long – is a wonderful experience.

Early bird or night owl?

Both! Up at the crack of dawn with the birds, and still up well into the next morning-night.

Road or studio?

Road. I dream of the road – we’re planning a tour out east for next summer, but we’re currently focusing on an upcoming show in Collingwood for the Music for a Sunday Evening concert series at Simcoe Theatre. We’ve been working hard in the studio to record so we can put together more EP’s or a couple LP’s. Each process has it’s ups and downs, but it’s all part of the journey.

Swiss Chalet or Roti?

Roti – never look back.

 

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 923 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography