Sophie Backlund is a singer who’s passionate about science, and also a budding scientist who loves creating music. Born in Kristinehamn, Sweden and growing up in Leksand, Sophie left her homeland in the middle of last year for a study abroad year in environmental science at Southern Cross University Lismore campus.
“I started my studies at SCU but soon discovered there was a music course. I’ve been studying music since high school and I thought that I wanted to put it aside for a bit to focus on science, but realised I didn’t need a break: I’m a musician rather than a scientist. So I enrolled in the Bachelor of Contemporary Music degree.
“For me there’s always been a battle between science and music. Science and music are similar for their patterns – equations and sheet music – so it’s not difficult for me to shift between the two.
“My musical influences are Bjork, Tom Waits, Ella Fitzgerald and adult jazz (and no, not ABBA!). I’ve worked out I want to be a performer but also a producer. My majors are Performance and Audio Production. I want to write my own songs but also record and mix them. In fact, I want to go the whole way and be a role model for women in music. In sound engineering there are a lot of guys and not many girls. I’ve always had in my head that I’m not good enough to do sound, but not anymore. I’m doing what I really want to do which is great.
“I live the music lifestyle here in the Northern Rivers; it’s easy to start something new and get gigs. Everyone is so open-minded here compared to where I used to live back in Sweden. I feel like I’ve found my people and it’s cool to see a young music scene.
“I came to Australia to do something different: to travel to somewhere I’d never been before and improve my English. I didn’t want to go to America, and England is too close to Sweden. It was scary travelling here on my own but I fell in love with the place and stayed. SCU International helped me with the transition, especially Kim Sainsbury who’s like a mum. I’m living in Lismore with SCU music graduate Kate Stroud; she’s great.”