MN-based DJ Sophia Eris discusses her musical journey

Thursday, March 31 saw DJ Sophia Eris at Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Lift Every Voice event sponsored by the Women’s Center. Eris, who is currently based out of Minneapolis, will soon be going on tour with award-winning R&B singer, Lizzo.

Eris has been a music-lover for as long as she can remember. The Minnesota native grew up with a love for music as it impacted her everyday life. 

“I would watch “Star Search” on TV when I was young and pretend to be the singers on there. In high school I would burn CDs and make mixes for my classmates and sell them,” shared Eris. “I remember my junior year I saw ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Brown Sugar’ in the same week and was like, ‘Oh my God, I want to be like them. I want to change the world of music.’”

Being a professional musician wasn’t always in the cards for Eris. In her childhood, she was a star soccer player and continued playing in college.

“I had a lot of offers from colleges for soccer, and my parents were much more supportive of that than they were of my musical interests. I went in already having had three concussions, though, and so I was protective of myself and not playing at my best,” said Eris. “I wasn’t really happy, and eventually my parents became supportive of me moving to Minneapolis to pursue a music business degree.”

Eris met Lizzo in 2011 and the singer quickly became a fan of Eris’ work, even though she was making music low key.

“I wasn’t really showing it to anyone until I met Lizzo, and she was like, ‘Oh, I love your songs, I make music too!’ I met her not really knowing anything about her except that we have mutual friends,” shared Eris.

The pair, seeing a gap in the Minneapolis industry, formed a group with artist Claire De Lune called The Chalice. The group bonded over knowing several female artists, but not knowing ones that worked together. Eris, while determined to get into the industry, was intimidated. 

“I was the most amateur in my circle for a long time. I was kind of just jumping in with these artists who have been doing it forever and I just got my foot in the door,” she said. “I remember when The Chalice got our first EP, it was my first time being in a studio. I was having to catch up with everyone, pretending that I was comfortable when I was really terrified.”

While the specifics of her upcoming tour with Lizzo were not something Eris could comment on, she said, “It is coming, and we are working to be better than ever when we come back.”

Eris’ music career has been based on saying yes, something that she learned from one of her first music industry professors. She encourages those with similar interests to do the same. 

“I say yes to everything, because you never know what you’re able to do. When people say fake it til you make it, I see it in a different way. You aren’t faking your passion, you’re just faking being nervous,” shared Eris. “The worst thing you can do is limit yourself and say no to something you could be amazing at because you’re scared. Greatness is on the other side of fear.”

Header Photo: Minneapolis-based DJ, Sophia Eris, performed at the Lift Every Voice Event last Thursday. Later this year, Eris will be touring with pop superstar Lizzo. (Maddie Behrens/The Reporter)

Write to: Syd Berggren at sydney.berggren@mnsu.edu

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