Since the start of her musical journey, Sophie B. Hawkins has shown an uncompromising devotion to her singular truth, endlessly transcending boundaries and offering up new ways of experiencing the world around us. Rooted in Hawkins’ raw yet poetic lyrics and effortlessly captivating vocals, her new single “Love Yourself” – a soul-stirring piece of symphonic pop threaded with Hawkins’s true-to-life storytelling – is an undeniable anthem for rising above negativity of all kinds and embracing absolute self-love.
Hawkins emerged as a vibrant force on the musical landscape with the arrival of her platinum-selling debut album Tongues and Tails, and its iconic lead single “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover.” She defied categorization and embraced her individuality by embodying a daring fluidity as a musician, working with some of the most creative jazz musicians of the era on her debut album. She also challenged the norms of gender expression and sexual orientation at a time when political, social, and sexual labels were more rigid. Her ever-evolving career has included releasing six widely beloved albums, breaking chart records with her smash hit “As I Lay Me Down,” four worldwide singles from Whaler, songs in cultural touchstone TV shows and films (from recent hits Stranger Things, Euphoria, Ozark, and PEN15, to landmark series Beverly Hills, 90210, Dawson’s Creek, The L Word and more), and a starring role as Janis Joplin in the critically acclaimed musical Room105.
The trailblazing artist will be releasing new music culminating in an album in the Spring of 2023. Featuring some of her most emotionally powerful material to date, the new album immediately affirms Hawkins as a truly essential artist, capable of instilling each listener with the strength and courage needed to follow their own intuition. Rooted in Hawkins’s raw yet poetic lyrics and effortlessly captivating vocals, the music expands on the colorful eclecticism that’s always permeated her music, encompassing everything from folk to soul to Brill Building pop. In a departure from the self-contained process behind 2012’s The Crossing, the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist co-produced alongside engineer Ken Rich (Ani DiFranco, Ingrid Michaelson), working with musicians like pianist/string arranger Andrew Sherman to shape the album’s gritty but graceful sound.
The album came to life after a tumultuous period that Hawkins refers to as “my personal tsunami,” which included splitting with her longtime partner and returning to New York after 17 years in Venice, California. “I came back to where I’m from and decided to have my second child, and through all that, and from all that, this album came to be,” says Hawkins, who’s also spent much of the past decade collaborating with Broadway legends like Thomas Meehan and Kristin Chenoweth as well as bringing her mesmerizing live show to sold-out venues all over the U.S.
An album of extraordinary depth and scope, it’s a fitting addition to the legacy of an artist who discovered her passion for music at the young age of four, began studying percussion with world-renowned African musician Babatunde Olatunji in her early teens, got her start playing in historic venues like CBGB, and later landed her first professional gig as a percussionist for the legendary Bryan Ferry. Her acclaimed 1992 album Tongues and Tails achieved massive global success and earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist, vaulting Hawkins into the limelight and revealing her as a cultural luminary way ahead of her time.
Hawkins’s sophomore album Whaler yielded the chart-topping ballad “As I Lay Me Down,” which shattered records as longest-running hit single on the Billboard charts in American music history, spending 67 weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart (including six weeks at the No. 1 spot). Hawkins continued to expand her artistic reach with her third album Timbre, praised by Rolling Stone for “showcas[ing] a singer who has honed and gathered her various vocal styles—somber folk singer, saucy pop gal, note-bending jazz chanteuse—into a sleek, multifaceted whole”), Wilderness (one of her most musically layered offerings, spotlighting her jazz-influenced sensibilities), and The Crossing (an intimate document of such life-changing experiences as the death of her father and the birth of her first child, Dashiell).
Also a passionate activist, she’s emphatically supported such causes as environmental protection, animal rights, and LGBTQ equality, unceasingly using her platform for positive change as the culture slowly caught up to the forward-thinking outlook she’d espoused all along.
A dynamic creative force known for a spellbinding live show that all but erases the divide between audience and performer, Hawkins is currently on the road celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Tongues and Tails and will be touring through late next year. “I’ve never enjoyed performing more—it’s incredibly freeing to me now,” she notes.
Hawkins cherishes the opportunity to deepen her bond with her ardently devoted fanbase. “One thing I’ve heard from people is that my songs have been like teachers to them, and helped them along on their journey,” she says. “With this new album and with all of my music, I hope it helps people to feel more connected to their own heart. I hope it brings them closer to whatever makes them feel so special and valuable, and makes them feel like they’re here on this planet for a reason. That’s what the music I love most has always done for me.”