PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — At 17, Pasco singer-songwriter Alanis Sophia is already breaking down barriers and making her mark in music.
- Sophia competed on Spanish version of "The Voice Kids" at age 11
- YouTube video caught attention of major record label CEO
- 1st album expected to be released next year
- More Good News stories
The Pasco County teen just became the first Latinx singer to sign with a major country music label.
“I’ve been working for this since I was eleven. Finally, my dreams are becoming reality,” she said.
Found on YouTube
Sophia first competed on the Spanish version of The Voice Kids when she was 11. That appearance led to the chance to do commercials, including being part of Visit Florida ad campaigns for four years.
But it was one of her YouTube videos, a cover of Selena's "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," that caught the eye of Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Label Group.
“I was eating tacos and I was with my mom and she goes, ‘You just got contacted by the same guy who signed Taylor Swift.’ My face was full of tacos and I was just like, what?” she laughed.
Ironically, Borchetta first approached Swift when she was Sophia’s age.
Sophia officially signed to Big Machine last year and recently signed a publishing deal, as well.
The label represents names such as Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, and Cheap Trick.
Her new life
She now travels back and forth from Pasco County to Nashville to record, working with songwriters who’ve worked with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Natasha Bedingfield, and Sugarland.
“Scott [Borchetta] is always trying to find time to give me feedback on my songs, help me in how to improve, same with Julian [Raymond]. They actually gave me my guitar so I can practice, as well!” she said.
Sophia says she’s proud of being a trailblazer in the music industry.
“There’s not a lot of people of color or Hispanics, so I want to be that person to, you know, kind of start that,” she said.
Sophia plans on releasing music sometime next year. She says it’s influenced by her idols, Linda Ronstadt, Cheap Trick, and Journey.
After all, she says she wants to make her hometown proud.
“I want to be able to represent Pasco County in a positive way, trying to inspire kids that are trying to figure out what they want to do with their life and just say, ‘Hey, I came out of your area. I lived there. You can do it too.’”