Sofia Rei

Sofia Rei Photo
Sofia Rei, Photo: Shervin Lainez

Biography

Sofia Eugenia Koutsovitis, known professionally as Sofia Rei, is an Argentine singer, songwriter, producer and educator.

With a voice that’s been hailed for its captivating beauty and versatility by such prestigious publications as the New York Times and DownBeat Magazine, Rei’s talents fit comfortably into any number of genres. A self-described “frog from another pond,” Rei’s natural inclination is to leap, an instinct that has taken her on a circuitous route from early classical training and Argentinean folk music through the punk rock nightlife of Buenos Aires, into some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S. and on to a wealth of festival stages around the world.

Rei has been named “an ambassador of Latin America’s experimental voice in the contemporary international circuit”. Her frequent collaborations with John Zorn and the downtown music scene have led to 5 releases on Tzadik records and 5 independent albums under her name, which received international acclaim including a Grammy nomination and 6 Independent Music Awards. Rei has been an advocate of South American culture through her work. She is the co-founder of El Colectivo Sur, an arts collective that increases public awareness of South American arts embracing contemporary and experimental works, bringing together diverse communities.

In 2019, she was presented the Spirit of Folk Award by the International Folk Alliance (Montreal), for her active involvement in the preservation, presentation, and promotion of folk music, community building, and demonstrated leadership. Rei is currently a Professor at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute and teaches New Perspectives in Latin Music, a course she created that explores rhythmic training and the broad stylistic diversity of Latin American music.

Current Album

Sofia Rei - Umbral

Sofia Rei - Umbral

Sofía Rei: Lead Vocals, Back up vocals, Vocal loops, Charango
JC Maillard: Electric guitar, Acoustic guitar, Ukelele, Electric bass, Charango, Back Up Vocals
Jorge Glem: Cuatro (La Caída and Negro Sobre Blanco)
Jorge Roeder: Upright bass (Helvetica 12 and La Quinta Pata)
Leo Genovese: Synths and piano (Helvetica 12 and Un Mismo Cielo)
Franco Pinna: Drums and percussion (Negro Sobre Blanco)
Tupac Mantilla: Drums, percussion and body percussion (La Quinta Pata)
Martin Vejarano: Colombian gaita (Un Mismo Cielo and Escarabajo Digital)

Buy Album

GRAMMY Award-Nominated Latinx Artist Sofia Rei Unveils the Elasticity of the Human Voice in a New-World Digital Realm With Boundless Explorations on Latest Album: UMBRAL
A soul-searching trip to the Elqui Valley in Chile Sofía, armed with only two back packs of recording equipment and her charango, she created the core of her newest musical venture: “Umbral” (Threshold). Her unorthodox compositions are built almost exclusively from vocal loops and incorporate the series “Cinco poemas cínicos” (Five Cynical Poems), in which the songwriter displays her natural inclination towards lyricism. Incisive and imaginative, Sofia’s poetry responds to heartbreak, deception and disappointment with unrestrained candor, elegant humor and a heavy dose of sarcasm.

In 2019, Sofia was awarded the Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation Music Production Grant, to help finish the recording of Umbral. Produced by world music luminary and long-time collaborator JC Maillard. Umbral was released in June 2021 and has been receiving raving reviews among which The New York Times NPR, Songlines, Rolling Stone Magazine, Flood Magazine, BBC Radio 3, Página 12, Billboard Magazine.

It was included on the top 20 albums of 2021 by NPR Alt Latino, #6 on the European World Music Charts and #1 album of the year on Mixed World Music magazine.

Quotes:
"Sofia Rei, an Argentine singer now based in New York, conjured a wildly eclectic, near hallucinatory international mix from her living room with her band: Andean, jazz, funk, electronics. True to Globalfest’s boundary-scrambling mission, she sang about living under 'Un Mismo Cielo': 'The Same Sky.’” - Jon Pareles, The New York Times

"It's a fascinating exploration of her own creative process, as well as a capsule history of musical traditions from the southern-most tip of the Americas.” - Felix Contreras, NPR “Alt.Latino”

“...award-winning Argentine vocalist and songwriter Sofia Rei provides a concert that blends South American folk traditions with experimental pop and electronic music. That mix of tradition and modernity extends to her surroundings, which features traditional iconography, robotic 'saints,' exuberant plants and looping pedals.” - Bob Boilen, NPR “Tiny Desk Concert”

Discography

  • Umbral, 2021
  • La Otra, 2021 (single)
  • Negro Sobre Blanco, 2020 (single)
  • El Gavilan, 2017
  • De Tierra y Oro, 2012
  • Sube Azul, 2009
  • Ojala, 2007

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