TikTok famous singer Sophie Frear on going viral in lockdown
- Credit: SOPHIE FREAR
A Cambridgeshire-born Hertfordshire-based TikTok-famous singer-songwriter is living her music dream, having gone viral in lockdown with 11.2million likes for her videos promoting female body positivity.
Born in Chatteris and now living in Hatfield, Sophie Frear has clocked up 500,000 followers on the social media platform in the last year.
"My life has totally changed," says the 20-year-old independent artist who started taking music seriously a year-and-a-half ago and recently took on a manager.
Having started to write her own songs and play instruments from the age of 13, Sophie says she "can't remember a time when I wasn't doing music".
As a teenager, Sophie sang in many pubs across Cambridgeshire - an experience that she said was crucial to her development, as it allowed her to grow as a performer and meet many musician friends.
Fast forward to 2022 and the self-described "ranting songwriter" - whose new folk-pop single, 'Objectified', tackles male misogyny and the sexual objectification of women - is reaching a global audience.
"I blew up in lockdown and, because of the internet, you don't really see much difference in your physical life," she said, putting her TikTok success down to her "just being genuine".
However, Sophie didn't always find it so easy to be vocal about things she'd gone through.
"It took me a long time to get to that point - a year to be happy opening up about my own mental health problems.
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"Because it felt like people were listening on the other side."
Now, she wants to "empower" other women and musicians to speak their truth.
"I get so many messages from fans," she adds; "I'll be reading my DMs and I'll just start crying. It's crazy to me how much music can actually touch people.
"When you realise there are people on the other end resonating with the things you're talking about, it makes you realise that you are actually doing something."
Sophia however says she has faced her fair share of criticism online: "I do get a lot of negativity when I post, but it happens.
"If I upload a video of me singing, it'll be fine but then when I say 'I'm a feminist' they'll just unfollow me."
She's not overly phased by the trolls, though, especially as she's "connecting with music idols that I had looked up to for years", including speaking to a member of the Pussycat Dolls and having indie band The Wombats follow her on social media.
For any aspiring local artist, she says "get on TikTok and just post - that's the biggest thing that puts people off, people say they don't know what they'd post.
"But you just have to put yourself out there, you're never going to believe in it 100 per cent because being an artist comes with imposter syndrome."
Sophie hopes to come back to Cambridgeshire to play some shows at some point but, at the moment, says it's all about "getting myself out there.
"I've got loads of tracks written and I hope to release five or six songs this year."
Sophie Frear's new single 'Objectified' is out now.