Singer, actor, activist, and now producer, Sofia Carson, is quite possibly the next big thing to cross the airwaves.
Carson sat down with Her Campus at a Press Conference and discussed everything from her career, to her work with UNICEF, to her culture, and demonstrated the poise and activism the entertainment industry needs to see more of.
Music, COVID, and being LOUD
The ever-glamourous yet relatable singer expressed clear excitement for the release of her new single LOUD.
Carson reflected on how music has always been a part of her life and that her mother used to say she was dancing before she could talk, singing before she could speak.
“[Music] is something that runs through my blood and is the beating of my heart.”
She noted that the song was meant to be the voice for all those women and girls who have been silenced in their lives. That every woman should get to be loud and speak their mind.
“[LOUD] is a song dedicated to the voices of women and to the voices of change who have been previously silenced but are now louder than ever.”
Carson said that creating and recording the song was a very emotional experience and that her mother was in her heart the entire time, adding that she raised her and her sister “to be fearlessly loud.” She explained how the experience of creating this song along with her two songwriters was unique in that it was birthed during the pandemic via Zoom.
Not even COVID-19 was going to stop Carson and her team from releasing the empowering anthem.
“We all feel an immense duty as women in the industry to tell a story like LOUD, amplified by not only our voices but each other’s voices,” Carson said.
The single seems to be just the beginning of Carson amplifying the voices of women to see real change around the world.
Movie Magic: Purple Hearts
Carson plays the lead character, Cassie, while also taking on a significant behind-the-scenes role as executive producer of the film. She also brought her musical talent beyond the screen by co-writing and performing the original soundtrack.
The director of the film, Liz Allen, had approached Carson on the set of Pretty Little Liars, gave her a copy of the script, and asked if she wanted to develop the script and play the lead.
“It was the most fulfilling and extraordinary experience to tell [Cassie’s] story,” Carson said reflecting on her journey with the film. “It was the journey of a lifetime and I cannot wait to share it with the world.”
Ambassadorship, scholarships, and making change
On top of her music and acting career, Carson has also been named a UNICEF USA ambassador. Her work for UNICEF is the most cherished of her time and she’s immensely proud to be part of life-changing activism.
“It’s the greatest honour of my life, to be able to champion for the rights of children, especially young women around the world…It’s the most important role I will ever play.”
In 2019, Carson travelled to Brazil with UNICEF where she was able to meet the young children and see firsthand the change UNICEF and herself have enacted. Carson discussed how she was able to meet and hold the young women who told her that UNICEF changed and saved their lives.
“Even as I say these words out loud, I find myself pinching myself because it feels surreal.”
Along with her work at UNICEF, Carson also teamed up with the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation. As a co-sponsor and global ambassador for the foundation, she’s aided in creating the $200,000 Prodigy Scholarship, toward a bachelor’s degree at Berklee College of Music.
Carson said a scholarship like this gifts the opportunity to change a life through music and education, giving a voice to someone who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it.
“In doing so, we’re amplifying Latin arts, Latin culture, and Latin music, and Latin voices,” she said passionately.
Her roots and inspiration: Latin culture
Carson spoke extensively on how being a Latina woman has shaped her experiences in becoming a musician, actor, and activist. She feels especially lucky to have been raised bi-racially, in that she got to listen to American icons like Elvis Presley while also getting to sing along to Spanish music icons like Celia Cruz.
Though she loves her American roots, Carson’s Latin culture has immensely inspired her to create in the biggest and most loving ways possible.
“Still to this day, I am drawn to the passion of music and I’m drawn to the rhythms and the drumbeat that exists in rhythmic Latin music and so, it will continue to be reflected in my music and in my art.”
Carson said her heritage has also heavily impacted her experiences with activism and making a change in the world; her upbringing with her mother and grandmother grew a passion inside of her to help others.
She spoke of a trip she took with her family to Columbia when she was 12, where they visited a shelter for battered women. Carson explained how they met an 11-year-old girl, Maria, who had just given birth to her stepfather’s child. That moment changed her life forever.
“To open your eyes to true need confirms that the most important thing that we can do with our lives is to give and that’s why I made it my mission to dedicate my voice to uplifting and helping girls, like Maria.”
Carson continues to help other young women and girls in all aspects of her life. Looking to the future, she is especially excited to continue being loud with her music, releasing her new movie, and continuing her journey as an ambassador for UNICEF.
“[I’m] just enjoying every day as it comes and giving every day my all.”