Meet Sofia from Drum & Lace
Sofia Hultquist Founder of Drum & Lace
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
My name is Sofia, I’m a musician and founder of Drum & Lace, an audio company that aims to create music for up and coming designers in fashion and beauty industries. My background is in Film Scoring and Music Tech, but I’ve had a love for fashion since being a little girl growing up in Florence, Italy.
How did you discover your passion for music/audio could be turned into a company?
It all happened very organically- as in, it was never something I’d set out to do once out of school (undergrad nor grad)- it evolved on its own. I was with a few audio and branding companies in the years leading up to Drum & Lace, and throughout those years of working with bigger clients I noticed how underserved up-and-coming companies were due to their budget restrictions. I was already spending most of my free time on fashion sites and blogs, and it became more and more apparent that the music most up-and-coming designers were choosing for their fashion content did not represent their collections and brand as well as it could. I also knew (ballpark figures of) how high licensing fees were for many bands/artists’ tracks, and that a designer just starting out couldn’t afford that. So with this, I saw a real opportunity to help out designers by creating a company that could give them custom music as opposed to using stock/can music, or spend their whole budget on a song license. Then I just went for it!
You create custom music looks for fashion companies- can you describe the creative process of going from fabric to sound?
Yes, I love that you mentioned fabric to sound! I always ask people- how can you write (music) for fashion if you don’t know the difference between polyester and silk? Fashion is based on tactile and visual cues, and I think it’s vital to know how different fabrics feel - and more importantly- how they make you feel. Anyhow, the creative process is always a bit different depending on what a designer/brand is looking for. First, I ask them whether I’ll be writing music to content or whether it will be off of a brief (so no video/content beforehand), that will usually determine the amount of references and descriptions that I need to get started. Usually, though, I will ask them for either moods, textures, fabrics, song references, or send photos/videos my way. Once I get these I will start writing- sometimes I write a melody first, sometimes it’s a bass line, and often it’s a drum beat. I want to include the designer as much as possible, so once I have a rough track I will send it over to make sure we’re on the same page, and then it continues on from there. It should always feel like a collaboration, not like a ‘job’.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to enter audio development/or start their own business?
I would say that although it is really tempting to go off and start your own company right out of school, it was so important for me to have had as many internships/jobs in audio as I did. There are so many things in audio that you don’t learn in school and that you have to learn with hands on situations, such as how you work with others and how you handle pressure. Looking back, I definitely could have used more experience business-wise, but those are things that you learn as you go. Also, don’t let your others demoralize you. As a woman in tech/audio you are constantly outnumbered gender wise (9 to 1 in my experiences) and you can’t let that and general attitudes make you think you can’t do it (I’ve been asked if I was the assistant when showing up for my audio gigs before).
What would you like Feminist Wednesday readers to know about Drum & Lace?
Apart from creating music, I’ve also tried to focus Drum & Lace on highlighting designers that are creating products with an emphasis on sustainability and made in the USA. I think that the ‘makers renaissance’ that is happening in the US right now it so important for the economy and women entrepreneurs. I try to meet these designers and visit their studios often- so follow our adventures on Instagram if you’re into that!