Sometimes being a music fan who also writes about music is hard. Most weekends there are multiple places I want to be, and Multiplicity isn’t real.
This last Saturday was no exception. My friend, and once long ago student, Charles Ellsworth was in town doing a show. New Chums were over at Valley Bar opening up for Snakes Snakes Snakes, and Sophie Dorsten was performing with her brother Alex and a full band at the Marquee Theater. Choices Choices Choices. But this year I am making it a priority to write spotlights on Arizona talent that I have not yet featured. Sophie had been on my list for a long time, and the fact that she was performing at such a wonderful charity event really made the decision simple. I am so glad that I went to the Marquee!
One Step Beyond is, quite simply put, amazing. Just read their About Us section from their website, quoted below:
The founding of One Step Beyond, Inc in 2002 was inspired by one family’s need to provide a program for their daughter, Dylan, and many of her peers, who were searching for a post High School program. They envisioned a program that would allow their sons and daughters who had intellectual disabilities the opportunities required and desired to grow in skills, personal relationships, and inclusion in their community. One Step Beyond launched in 2003 with 16 participants in a small neighborhood location and has now grown to answer the needs of more than 450 individuals who have intellectual disability in four locations.https://osbi.org/
The show at the Marquee was a charity event raising money for One Step Beyond, but one of the awesome things about the show is that it showcased bands containing members with disabilities. It was awesome to see them come alive, in front of a couple hundred people, and blossom right there on stage.
Their faces were radiant; dreams had come true. I had taken my teenage daughter to the show, and she was engaged and visibly moved the entire time.
I asked Sophie, as part of our Q & A to tell me a bit about why she chose to play the One Step Beyond Show, hot off the heals of a second place finish at Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding.
I thought it was such a cool program that helps those who need it with life skills and jobs. I also thought their music program was amazing – and having a couple of their bands perform that night was so great! To get up on that big stage is crazy cool and even intimidating and they did great!!
Speaking of Sophie Dorsten. This young lady, seventeen years old and a senior in high school ladies and gents, has got a sledgehammer of a voice! Her and her band, Alex Dorsten on guitar, took the stage and immediately became the heroes of my daughter and every other girl in the room with their rocking cover of No Doubt‘s Just a Girl.
I love a solid cover, but Sophie Dorsten is more than a cover artist. She is an incredibly gifted singer songwriter. Her second song at the Marquee was one of her originals, a beautiful ballad called Roses.
A song that Sophie did not play, but is her newest single, Growing, was a song that she wrote for her mother, AnnMarie. It is wonderful. It is obvious from the range in this young singer’s voice and her talent why she did so well at Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding. Expect big things from Sophie Dorsten folks, she’s going places!
1. What three local bands in town are people not paying enough attention to besides yours?
Sophie: This is a hard question for me – I don’t want to offend anyone that is getting good attention but maybe I don’t realize it – lol – and honestly Dani Cutler is so good about talking about bands and new bands, so I don’t know who’s getting left behind. There are so many amazing bands locally – Sara Robinson kicks butt – I love her voice. Break the Robot is so fun – I love watching them!! I met Josh with The Bayou Bandits when we did a show together last summer and he is so nice and they were so great.
2. Where do you shop for stage clothes?
Sophie: I love shopping at thrift stores actually and always find an amazing steal – some still have the tags on them. Saturday’s show (Marquee) was an awesome find at Buffalo Exchange in Tempe – and just my style!!
3. What were the two best things about competing in Christmas Pudding. Two best lessons?
Sophie: I’ve competed in Proof is in the Pudding several years now and have learned so much, but a couple that really have been good lessons for me are stage presence – learning to speak on stage between songs is sometimes hard for me, but we usually had interview questions and I had to make sense when I responded – lol. Meeting new people was super cool too – I’ve met so many amazing people over the years – some of which have become awesome friends and some great contacts for my music.
4. What is the largest challenge of being so young as a performer?
Sophie: I feel some people don’t take me seriously– like this isn’t just a “talent show” for me, this is my passion to hopefully do a lifetime!
5. What is your go to cover song?
Sophie: Fireworks by First Aid Kit – I always make a cover song my own and I love how this is so dynamic and shows my range – it’s just a fun song to do! (I loved doing it with a band the other night!!)
6. What is your favorite academic subject in school?
Sophie: Does art count?
7. Ninja or Samurai?
Sophie: Ninja – because “everybody was kung-fu fighting!” HA!
8. As a band what are three of your favorite venues that you play around town?
Sophie: Three of my favorite venues are Marquee Theater – LOVE that stage – the lights – the sound – the crowd! Have performed there several times – love it. Last Exit Live – have performed there a lot and the sound is always good, the people are so great (Brannon Kleinlein is always so nice.) I had my ROSES ep release party there also – SO FUN!! Valley Bar – I only performed there for a showcase once so I’d love to perform there again. Has such a cool vibe!! Lots of cool venues around Phoenix – Crescent Ballroom – would love to be there again! I know you said 3 – lol.
Lots coming at you in February Readers: including The Haymarket Squares, Headstrum, The PsychedElephants, and The Stakes !!!!