What kind of art do you do?
"I write and sing songs."
What inspired you to start creating art?
"After college, I was working at a consulting firm. I was probably 95% happy — I loved living in San Francisco, I loved my friends and coworkers, and the job was interesting. But there was this 5% curiosity for something different that kept popping its head up. One evening after work, I wanted to try to write a song. I had grown up learning violin, piano, and flute classically, but I’d never been creative with these instruments. In writing that first song, I fell in love with music again in a different, more personal way."
How has art changed your life for the better?
"I used to be extremely passive about things. I didn’t raise my hand in class or speak up much in conversations. And from little things like small talk to bigger things like career choices, I would let others speak and decide for me because I figured whatever I had to say or think, other people knew better than I did."
When I started writing songs, it was a very gradual process, but I started to realize, song by song, that I did have opinions and things to express, even if just to myself. Music woke me up. I started actually participating in my own life for the first time. It started with expressing myself in songs, but spread to other parts of my life too. I’m very grateful to have found songwriting for this reason."
How has your art affected those around you / your community?
"Growing up, I saw very few Asian-American artists. I think we can only become what we can see, so movies, ads, and TV shows play a huge role in shaping what we think is possible for ourselves. I think this is very slowly starting to change as more Asian-Americans choose to go into the arts and as the media start to show Asian-Americans in less stereotypical ways, but there is still a long way to go. I know I am only one person, but I hope that in a small way, my pursuing something that breaks stereotypes will contribute to this change."
You can check out Sonia's art here and her new album Meet Them at the Door on Spotify.