Sophie lives in London with her husband and four sons, Sonny, 12, Kit, 7, Ray, 4 and Jesse 10 months
You’ve just released your sixth album, Familia, tell us all about it… I wrote it with Ed Harcourt and it picks up where my last album, Wanderlust, left off. Ed and I wrote that one together too. It is inspired by some of the characters and themes from the last record, but the last one was all set in an Eastern European, cool climate and now we’ve moved everyone to Latin America. All the colours are more vibrant here.
And your launching with a one-off show at Bush Hall in London? Yep. It’s funny because even though this album is set in foreign sunnier climes, I am doing the launch gig about 10 minutes from where I live. It’s exciting to let the songs stretch their live legs. I can’t wait to introduce it to everyone.
You have four children yet seem to effortlessly combine motherhood with a demanding career, how do you do it? Well it’s not effortless but I do seem to function better when I’m busy and I love having a big family so I guess it suits me. Plus, I think you can do quite a lot if what you’re doing brings you joy. My family is at the core of everything, but I do adore making music too.
What’s it like being the only girl in the house? I think no matter what gender kids I had I’d still be the only mum so I don’t really find it that weird.
What kind of mum are you? Fairly relaxed and fun I hope, but I also want to raise nice kind thoughtful people so I’m quite hot on manners and that kind of thing. I hope my kids find me funny. I’m always trying to make them laugh.
What’s been the biggest surprise about motherhood, and the greatest challenge? The greatest surprise I think is how much of the whole essence of who they are is there right from the start. You think a lot about having a ‘baby’ but then when I had my first child I realised I had had this person, called Sonny, and he just happened to be a baby when we met.
The greatest challenge is probably trying to get the right balance between letting them make their own choices and doing what you think is right for them, even if they don’t agree in the short-term. I’m not at all pushy, and in fact I sometimes wonder if I should be a bit more pushy. I hope they don’t look back and think I should have made them do more stuff, stuff they are reluctant to do here and now, but could be good for their future.
What life lessons do you want to pass on to your kids? I want them to be true to themselves, to be thoughtful and aware of the consequence of their actions, and I want to help them find the thing that makes their heart beat faster. If I can manage to do that then I’ll feel I’ve done a pretty good job.