Interview: Sofía Reyes Talks Rising Hit “R.I.P.” & Her Sophomore LP

Sofia Reyes, Rita Ora & Anitta's 'RIP'
The Mexican pop star has a crossover hit on her hands with the feisty 'RIP.'

Sofía Reyes has a gift for blending languages and cultures within the confines of an extremely catchy pop song. The 23-year-old first displayed the talent on “1, 2, 3” — a Spanglish collaboration with Jason Derulo and De La Ghetto — and then perfected it on “R.I.P..” The latter, a fiery female empowerment anthem featuring Anitta and Rita Ora, has already racked up more than 50 million streams on Spotify. The sexy video, which boasts countless costume changes and improvised choreography, has already been viewed 80 million times on YouTube.

I recently caught up with the Mexican pop star to learn more about her rising summer hit. Sofía explained how “R.I.P.” came together and raved about working with her friends/collaborators. She also revealed that her sophomore LP is slowly taking shape and will have an international flavor. It will features songs in Spanish, English and possibly a couple of other languages. Other topics of conversation included the breakout star’s very musical childhood and long list of dream collaborators. Get to know Sofía a little better in our Q&A below.

How did “RIP” come together?

I wrote the song over a year ago, so it has been a while. I wanted to make a song that was fun, that people wanted to dance to, but also I wanted to talk about something deeper. It just came out. I wanted to make a video that was inspired by my culture. I just sent the song to Anitta. She was my friend already. She loved it and recorded it right away. Everything happened really fast. With Rita, I wanted her on it, but I didn’t know her personally. My Warner family sent the song over and she loved it. It’s great because she recorded it in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

That’s impressive.

She’s amazing. She sent it over and then I met her here in LA. She was performing at a Spotify event and invited me to join her. We instantly bonded. I feel like the most special thing with “RIP” is that we are actually friends. It has been really fun.

You must have had a lot of fun filming the video?

Yes, we did. A lot of fun! It was a long day. They were coming from different parts of the world, like very far away. It was really fun and they were very easy to work with.

What was it like learning the choreography with them?

I had dance rehearsals with my choreographer one day before. We did the whole thing. At the end of the day, we didn’t use the whole choreography because once we were on set, Anitta, Rita and I were like, “Okay why can’t we make it more simple?” We wanted to do things that fans could replicate. We made it up right there. I think when you improvise things, they are the best. It seems more natural.

Are you all friends now?

We’re friends for sure. I went to Anitta’s party in Brazil last week. That was crazy! I haven’t seen Rita since the shoot. Or did I? No, I saw her at a Grammy party. We’re friends and we text each other all the time. They’re the best.

The producers are incredible too. What was it like working with Tainy?

He’s blowing up. I’ve worked with Tainy for a long time. He produced the single I released before “RIP” as well. I feel a sense of peace inside of me because, since I moved to LA about seven years ago, I’ve been working with so many people — session after session. I finally found my team that understands me and I understand them. We work incredibly together and we know what we want. It’s hard to explain. As an artist, trying to find your sound really takes time.

You also worked with some incredible people on “1, 2, 3.” You’re the queen of the Spanglish banger.

I’m a huge fan of cultures and languages. With “RIP,” I wanted to do a song with two girls, but not only two powerful girls that I admire, but two girls that come from a completely different background to me. I feel like that’s the world and it should always be like that. I don’t know. I just want to put things out there that are different. I love how Latin culture is exploding all around the world. It has been exploding all around the world for a while. That makes songs like “RIP” and “1,2,3” possible. I hope that it’s not just a trend. I hope it lasts forever.

There are so many huge Latin artists at the moment. Are you inspired by the success of artists like J Balvin and Bad Bunny?

Of course. Growing up it was Shakira and Ricky Martin. I love them. I admire J Balvin so much because he takes care of his brand in a really intense way and he’s very disciplined. He is also very humble. I feel like that’s really, really important. It makes me happy to hear Beyoncé, Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo, and other artists that don’t speak Spanish, collaborating with Latin artists. It’s great.

Is your album almost finished?

I have seven or eight songs already that I know will be on there. I’m still working on the rest. I’m just really excited about this new album. I love my first album, but…

It’s really cute.

It’s cute. Thank you! I wrote some of the songs when I was 17 or 18, but didn’t release them until I was 21. That’s a big difference. I’m really excited about this album because it’s a new step. It shows who I am now. I know you’re gonna love it.

Will there by any collaborations on the album?

I can’t say. I’m sorry, it’s a surprise. But they are really cool artists. I sent the song to a guy that I admire a lot and he loved the song. This is actually happening right now! It’s really, really exciting to work with artists that you love and admire. I feel like the album is going to be very fresh. It’s going to bring something new to the industry.

Is it mostly in English or Spanish?

Both. I’m trying not to force things. I have songs that are fully in English and fully in Spanish. If it feels good like that, I’m just going to leave it like that. There will be some Spanglish songs and maybe some other languages here and there.

Do you come from a musical family?

My parents are not artists professionally, but they are both very artistic. My dad plans the bass. He writes music, we have our home studio. I always had my home studio growing up. That was a big influence. He taught me how to use GarageBand when I was eight. I would make songs with my friends. We would put together dance routines for the songs when I was very, very little. I was really intense. I remember inviting my friends over with the intention of writing a song. It was super fun.

You were so young when the first album was recorded. Is this album the real introduction to you?

For sure. I mean, hopefully. I really hope that my music touches more and more people. I believe in God’s timing. It gives me peace to know that I have to enjoy every second of my career. And that whatever I’m living right now, it’s what I’m supposed to live.

That’s a nice way to think about it.

That gives me peace. I’m in a very creative space right now. I’m really excited about “RIP” and about the music that is going to come out very soon.

How long before we hear something new?

We’re still working on it. It really depends on how “RIP” goes. I am working on the next few songs. I have my next singles ready. “RIP” just came out, so I’m enjoying it. But more is coming soon!

Who is your dream collaborator?

I have so many. I’m gonna tell you a lot of names. I would love to work with John Mayer. I would love to work with Ed Sheeran, but actually write a song with him from scratch. Anne-Marie as well. Dua Lipa. So many artists. I’m also obsessed with Alec Benjamin. His new song is amazing. That would be really fun too.

What about a K-Pop song?

I would love to. We’re actually talking about it now.

Thanks so much for your time.

Thank you!

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