Sophia Fracassi releases her debut six-song EP ‘Marathon’ – Photo by Wendy Wei
By Keith Sharp
Think of Coalition Music, and you would think of the Toronto-based music incubator operation, which has successfully nurtured careers by the likes of Our Lady Peace, Simple Plan, The Tea Party and, more recently, Scott Helman. So, when Rob Lanni’s company starts to promote the new signing of Sophia Fracassi, you sense she must be something special.
Yet such is the case for 18-year-old Fracassi, who has just released her debut six-song EP titled “Marathon.”
A native of the tiny village of Everett, located 45 kilometres southwest of Barrie, Ontario, Fracassi has channelled the angst and experiences of growing up in a small location into material featured on this record.
“I started writing songs when I was five years old and started playing piano when I was nine,” informed Fracassi, who names Joni Mitchell and Taylor Swift as her major influences. Yet, her sparsely produced productions are also synonymous with Chantal Kreviazuk. “When I was about 15, I decided that writing and performing were what I wanted to do with my life. I was going to use music as a vessel for my engines.”
Fracassi saved up enough cash to enter a Toronto recording studio with local producer Steve Kerr and lay down some demos of her first writing attempts, “just to see if I liked being in the studio and experiencing the creative aspect of it.” Little did Fracassi know that one of her aunts had a personal connection with Coalition head Rob Lanni and sent him along some of her demos for his perusal.
“So, it was a little bit surreal when I received an email from Rob (Lanni) saying he wanted to have a chat with me,” Fracassi enthused. “Like, how did that even happen? But the meeting went well, and I ended up signing with Coalition in October 2020.”
Fracassi says she always had difficulty expressing herself in speech yet found that channelling her thoughts into music proved therapeutic and productive. Songs like “I Lied” and her latest single, “But I Do,” reflected a very difficult time in my life mentally; “I was feeling extremely alone and down. This EP has a storyline, and those songs would be in the middle of that process. I couldn’t fake being happy. I couldn’t pretend everything was hunky dory. I had a lot of things going on in my head.”
“I was trying really hard to convince myself everything was okay. It was the moment I took ownership of my own feelings,” Fracassi admitted. “I stopped putting the blame on everyone else. I needed to find support. I needed to get better.”
Francassi found that support in her music and sessions with top producer Steve Molella in his Woodbridge home studio has produced a quality EP release, and she has already received encouraging feedback on her four previous singles.
“I haven’t toured yet, I haven’t played live, I know I have a lot to learn, but I am gaining experience from the rest of the Coalition roster,” enthused Francassi, who is now being managed by Rob Lanni’s son, Cole Lanni. “It’s all positive so far.”