Why Sofia Carson Says Her Deeply Personal New Album “Filled in the Blanks of My Story”

In an exclusive chat with E! News, Sofia Carson breaks down her self-titled debut album, out March 25, and explains why she considers it her “whole entire heart.”
It’s goin’ down: New music from Sofia Carson is about to descend upon us. Although she has released a handful of singles throughout the years, the 28-year-old actress-singer is finally ready to drop her first-ever album. Aptly titled Sofia Carson, the record features a collection of songs—six of which were co-written by Sofia herself—that are reflections of her biggest role models in life, including her mother Laura Char. In an exclusive chat with E! News, the Descendants star broke down the deeply personal record, its lead single “LOUD,” and how prolific songwriters like Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran inspired her to create concept album that culminates into an epic story about love. “My mom is the single most important person in my life and I owe everything that I am to her,” she shares, adding, “She is to me the epitome of a loud woman and she raised her daughters to believe that to be a woman is to be synonymous with strength, and she’s my everything. Growing up, the role models that I admired were women who were trailblazers—women like Cher, like Barbra Streisand.” Read on for Sofia’s conversation with E! News to get an inside look at the making of her debut album.

E! News: How did you know that now is the right time to create it? 

Sofia Carson:  It’s surreal to even be talking to you about this because this has been something that I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little girl. It’s been so beautiful to see the excitement around “LOUD.”

E!: How did you decide upon self-titling this album? 

SC: I’ve been dreaming about what I was going to title my first album since I could remember. When it came to making the decision a couple of months ago, it was actually really simple because, to me, my art and my music is a reflection of my heart. It’s who I am, and so it only made sense to me that my first album would be Sofia Carson.

E!: Are you nervous to put it out into the world?

SC: You know, every time I share a piece of my music with the world, it’s like I share a little piece of my heart. With this album, I feel like I’m sharing my whole entire heart—all of me—and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a privilege to be able to make art that is a reflection of who I am and to share it with the world. At the same time, it is a little bit terrifying, but in a really thrilling and exciting way.

E!: What is the theme of this album? What’s the inspiration that binds it all together? 

SC: I fell in love with storytelling when I was a little girl and, when it came to writing my first album, I wanted to write a story from start to finish. So, I wrote a story about love about a girl who falls into a beautiful love, only to be shattered into pieces. But nonetheless, it’s a story about a girl who survives.

E!: What’s your favorite part of storytelling?

SC: I wrote my first song when I was 11 years old and I remember falling so deeply in love with songwriting, with being able to—through words and through melodies—bring to life the secrets that lied in my heart. For some reason, the most vulnerable and perhaps the scariest thoughts could feel safe in a song. I had song journal that I would carry around everywhere that I went and in the very first page I wrote, “I hope that when people listen to my music, they hear their story in mine.”

I think that’s what I love most about storytelling and songwriting. When I listen to Taylor, when I listen to Ed, hearing their story, I hear my own. I think that’s such a beautiful and magical thing. It’s almost like a little bit of magic in the world that connects us all as humans.

E!: When does inspiration strike you?

SC: In the whole process of the album, I had the greater story in mind. I had in mind the bigger movie that I had written in my head, which is the story about love. And with these incredible writers and collaborators, we filled in the blanks of my story.

E!: Do you have a song on the album that stands out to you as your favorite, or does it feel like picking children?

SC: It does kind of feel like picking children. I do have a couple that I think I hold dearest to my heart because they were based on personal experiences. So when I listen to them, they kind of take me back to that moment in time. I really left a piece of my heart in every single one of these songs and it’s kind of surreal to know that they won’t be my own little secret anymore, that they’ll belong to the world soon.

E!: Let’s hear where “LOUD” fits in.

SC: In the story of love that I wrote in the album, “LOUD” is the moment when she chooses to fall back in love with the greatest love of all—and that is herself. When she chooses from that moment on to forever and always be loud. “LOUD” is also, in a greater sense, dedicated to all the women of the world and to all of the loud voices of change, all the generations of voices who were previously silenced who are now louder than ever. This song just felt like a beautiful continuation of the story that I was telling, as well as a beautiful marriage of who I am as an artist and who I am as a woman and as a person.

E!: You have talked a lot over the years about your mom and how much she’s shaped you and how important she is to you. What has her reaction been like watching you create this album?

SC: I’m so lucky because I’m on this journey with my mom and she’s by my side, holding my hand every step of the way. Because of her, I am where I am. I think she feels proud and grateful. Both of us, I think, feel tremendously lucky to have each other and to be able to cherish these moments together—because if moments like this aren’t shared with those that you love, they don’t mean as much.

E!: You’re a role model that so many girls look up to. Who do you look up to?

SC: First and foremost, my mom. She is to me the epitome of a loud woman and she raised her daughters to believe that to be a woman is to be synonymous with strength, and she’s my everything.

Growing up, the role models that I admired were women who were trailblazers, women like Cher, like Barbra Streisand. I would come home every day from school and watch Cher’s concerts, and then I would watch her movies. I was in awe of the fact that she wasn’t just a woman in the industry who was an incredible pop artist and a musician, but she was a director and she was producer and she was an actor. My forever icon is Audrey Hepburn. She dedicated her life to giving and to philanthropy. Those were the examples that I always longed to follow.