It takes more than just incredible talent to make it in today’s crowded, digital music-verse. Musicians these days need drive… artists need more than a voice to be reckoned with, but a relentless spirit… and – above all – they need to be charged with unique talent for cutting through the noise, and not letting setbacks stand in their way.
After catching up with Sophia Montero (known mononymously as Angelic) over lockdown, we soon realised the viral sensation has all of these qualities in ample amounts. And as for her rise to the top? Her journey is one full of twists and turns, solidifying the worthiness of all that she has achieved and what it took to get there.
Born in Miami to Venezuelan parents, Angelic grew up much in the same fashion as other second-generation Latin Americans: speaking Spanish and English fluently. But it wasn’t just her bilingual skills that gave her an uncanny ability to create lyrics that resonate with the masses – in fact, it was her home environment that paved the way for the vibrant sound she’s known for today. Hailing from Miami, musical influences flooded every corner of Montero’s hometown city, with genres as diverse as salsa, bachata and reggaeton regularly blaring through the streets until dusk.
“I fell asleep to those traditional Latin sounds just outside my window,” says Angelic. “I fell in love with music during block parties, with those sounds blaring through the streets until well past midnight.”
When talking about her journey so far, Angelic looks back fondly on the whirlwind that was her explosive appearance to the scene. How did it all begin? A scene any Gen-Z kid can relate to: playing around with videos on your smart phone. Montero was just eight years old when she recorded herself singing and sent the video to her mother, unaware that this very action would pave the way for her success to follow. After her mum shared the video with a friend, the artist tells us that before she had time to blink, she found herself in a professional studio for the first time and her career was well on its way to growing wings.
“From there, I broke out on YouTube with more than 2-million subscribers and relocated to LA where I signed my record deal,” the artist tells Student Pages.
That said, to say Angelic was catapulted into the spotlight is putting it mildly – and if her entrance into the industry is anything to go by, the next steps of her career are about to be as explosive as those first footings. Ahead of another promising year, we caught up with Sophia Montero to unpack the story behind her latest single and find out what lies ahead for the young artist.
9 Times Outta 10: inspiration behind the lyrics
To release a track as lyrically powerful as “9 Times Outta 10” is a feat for any artist. To do so at just the age of 17 is another feat entirely – the words behind the track have such an emotional maturity to them that, when you listen, you’d be forgiven for forgetting Angelic is just a teen. Throughout the single, the young star not only shows a raw and authentic side to herself lyrically, but proudly shouts of her heritage by incorporating words from both of her cultures.
“By contributing Spanish lyrics to the song, I feel it brought much more passion to the track,” she tells us. “The combination of English and Spanish made it more accessible to a much wider audience which is so fantastic.”
And as for the motivation behind the lyrics? The message behind the song has come straight from the artist’s own experiences. Almost every human in existence understands the feeling of going back to an ex that they know they shouldn’t, and none more so than Angelic herself.
“I’m telling a story about how I used to come back to my ex, nine times out of ten,” says Angelic. “Even though it was completely bad for me and I totally knew that I shouldn’t. I think a lot of people go through similar feelings with relationships. I was drawing from personal experience, but it won’t happen again!”
Speaking of her sound more broadly, the singer categorises her artistry as R&B Pop with Spanglish thrown it. Her long-term goal is to create tracks Gen Z Latinos can relate to because, as the rising star aptly puts: “some of them only speak Spanish, so I try to be their in-between. I feel bilingual tracks are going to be a big trademark in my career – watch this space!”
Angelic Strength: rising above negativity
Ask almost any creative what their school experience was like, and they’ll tell you it was bleak. It’s not known why this is so common among musicians in the limelight, but if we were to take a guess, it’d be because their peers envied their talents.
Sadly for Angelic Montero, her school life was no different to those creatives who came before her. Facing taunts of her peers became such a frequent fact of Montero’s life that she would often hide in the bathroom until the school day was out. Now reflecting on those years of unhappiness, Montero admirably tells us she’s grateful for the experience and having come out the other side.
“I’d hide in the bathroom, cry and call my mom or sister to pick me up. But it’s made me a stronger person, because at the end of the day, not everyone’s going to like you – so do whatever makes you happy! Don’t let others get in the way of your dreams, because everyone has opinions.”
Thankfully, the Angelic we see today is a far way away from those years of relentless taunts at school, but the singer-songwriter does admit that scars have been left from the countless knocks to her self-esteem growing up.
Admiring detailing her experiences with anxiety to offer solace to others, the Latin songstress has a few tips of her own that she hopes will help others in the same position. “I do my best to work through it and distract myself,” advises the Miami-born artist. “I avoid sugar and coffee to not amplify the anxiety and always try to take five minutes to breathe. Working out and chewing gum helps as well as doing my nails so I don’t bite them down!”
So should you ever find yourself in a nail-biting situation in the future, make sure to take Angelic’s mani tip in mind!
Destined for the charts: no looking back
It’s clear that, aside from her God-given talent, one of Angelic’s key strengths is her fighting spirit. No matter how many knock-backs life throws at her, the Floridian singer always gets back up and gets back at it.
Speaking of her fight-back nature, Montero credits her relentless strength to the infectious spirit of those in her close circle. “I have several very strong women in my life that drive me to the best version of me,” she tells us.
Hoping to inspire others to do the same through her music, the rising star wants her fans to feel at ease when they listen to her tracks. Social media played a pivotal role in her career, and she’s certainly not forgotten how much value these platforms hold when it comes to connecting with her audience.
“Through the years, I’ve used social media to build my fanbase and so my fans can get to know me better,” Angelic explains. “It’s an important tool as an artist as it allows me to reach, nurture, and engage with my targeted audience no matter their location and helps to generate more streams on my music platforms.”
Now looking to take over the global market, the Miami-born artist tells us finding the right people to produce her music was vitally important to the overwhelming success of her latest releases.
Hoping to inspire anyone who wants to follow in her footsteps to kickstart their journey and get out there, she advises: “find your groove and study. If you want to be a music producer, go to classes, go experiment with style and sound then put yourself out there – you never know if something will go viral! Dedication and patience is key!”
Follow Angelic’s words of wisdom wisely, and you might just find yourself climbing the ranks as the next viral hit.
Credit: Gabriella Wieland (Senior Features Editor/Student Pages Magazine)/Finlay Christie (Podcast Host)