Sofija Knezevic: Inspirational Voice From Serbia

As raised up with « clean and sweet  jazz when [she] was a little girl »

In her voice rises the Soul of Ella Fitzgerald

Sofija Knezevic, also known as Sofijazz, is a young diva, based in New York, enlightening the Jazz World with a brilliant career behind her shining with the light of her awards such as the Marianne Mendt Jazz Award, or the Golden Siren award.

More recently the rising star was recently chosen in 2013 for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program which identifies outstanding, emerging jazz artists and composers.

Obviously, her work and talent are recognized. Sofijazz embodies a new dawn shining from Serbia to the United States, in New York.

Beside her song « Lipstick », « Don’t Explain » appears as another great hit for Sofija, as it is the soundtrack of the awarded movie ‘Love Comes After’, by Hadzi-Aleksandar Djurovic, a beautiful movie that deals with love and loneliness, and a profound philosophy, all brought up on the screen.

Talking about movies, the movie director Igor Simic is the origin of all these colorful harmonies surrounded by charming lyrics, written by himself, Sojija and Igor are two great thinking-heads working together: Sojijazz is collaborating for his new film.

This creative young lady is also a committed artist. Indeed,  if love and romance are part of her universe, womanhood too.

She stands for Breast Cancer Awareness, and contributes to many charities through her concerts.

If she started with traditional Jazz, her imaginative inspiration does fly and stand by other music styles.

Her jazz slowly followed up other flows that did allow her music to evolve influenced by very different genres.

As she reveals: « I started with ‘clean’ and sweet  jazz when I was a little girl and that for me was Ella Fitzgerald.

It was playful and I heard a wonderful combination of classical music feel and the playfulness of children’s songs, which was what my parents played me at home.

But then with the different influences in my surroundings, friends, teachers, family members etc, I started listening to different kinds of music and different kinds of jazz.

And I have to admit that my jazz evolution was actually influenced a lot by the choices that i made listening to other kinds of music. It still is. »

As far as the influences are concerned: « It went from fado to tango to flamenco, blues, hard rock, metal and  many other genres.« 
To best illustrate these tastes, let’s add her favorite artists so far, may they inspire you too and enrich your playlist:
« Guns `n` roses, Sarah Vaughan, Iron Maiden, Carmen McRae, Coltrane, Mariza, Vicente Amigo, Beyonce, Chick Corea, serbian traditional music, Zakir Hussain and many others.« 

Tracks like the following one illustrates too her musical diversity, turning to get more funky records:

Her music universe, she brings it up on stage, in front of a diverse audience, at least as much diverse as as her musical universe, and she enjoys creating and sharing moments of music in live with her audience.

It takes feelings and unique emotions, making these moments memorable and impacting the artist and the public’s mind and memory.

Regarding live performance, Sofijazz confides again:

« I believe that when I’m performing I share the world with my audience, I color it and I help them taste it so they can feel what I feel. 

It`s a lot of power, but that also makes it fragile. »

This double impact is, in any shape or form that it may be, a deeply enjoyable blessing:

To conclude with the most important, Sofija, has been teaching vocal lessons at the Music School of New York City since 2012. She’s currently working on a fun project called « Guess The Verse », which consists in discovering forgotten jazz verses. A tool very useful for young jazz artists.

Enjoy the playlist summing up this brand new project and keep waiting on this beautiful artist who’s got lots to give yet.

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Sofijazz Inspirational Voice From Serbia

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