Sophie Auster

Eclectic and creative. Born and bred in New York, she grew up amid artists who came and went from her parents’ home. Successful actress and model, with a passion for acting and music.

Eclectic and creative. Born and bred in New York, she grew up amid artists who came and went from her parents’ home. Successful actress and model. With a passion for acting and music: «I went to classic voice school at the age of eight». Simply Sophie Auster. A touch of that sophisticated nonchalance of an upper-class wasp and just enough naivety and modesty to make her fascinating. That typical mood of the daughter of famous parents. Of a certain level. Her parents are, in fact, writer and director Paul and essayist, poet and writer, Siri Hustvedt. «I am grateful to them because they let me express myself as I thought best», says Sophie. Particular people who left a mark on her early years. «I remember my father walking round the house in his slippers and repeatedly saying to himself, “writing is no longer a free choice for me, it is a matter of survival” and my mother who would whisper to me “family is the place where we become ourselves”». At nine years old, her first experience as an actress in the film Washington Square by Agnieszka Holland alongside stars of such calibre as Jennifer Jason Leigh, Albert Finney, Maggie Smith and Ben Chaplin. At fifteen, her first homonymous album, in which, with her father’s help (who, in 1998, directed her successfully in his Lulù on the Bridge), she set the poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire, Robert Desnos, Tristan Tzara, Paul Éluard and father Paul, to music with the musical contribution of Michael Hearst and Joshua Camp, aka One Ring Zero. The work, which was more of a diversion, mixes French atmospheres and folk music in New York café style.

The first release was a self-produced Ep entitled Red Weather (2012), sophisticated pop rock with a hint of lounge jazz. And then, in 2015, came her first real album, Dogs & Men, which kept faith with the folk style of her beginnings. She became a female crooner, adding bluesy and vaguely jazz tones. At 32, with the help of Swedish producer Tore Johansson (New Order, Emiliana Torrini, Saint Etienne, a-ah, among others), Sophie Auster the singer, a confident icon of style with her seductive and alluring voice, published Next Time in April this year, a series of bittersweet, yet highly striking, torch song stories, where «the recurring theme is a reflection of the errors of the past, on who I was compared to the woman I am today». A mature album of up-beat alt pop with American folk where the sensual voice of the singer is enhanced by 1960s guitars and woodwind instruments, as in the album’s first single, Mexico, with its Tarantino-style atmospheres, that John Turturro included in the soundtrack of his Going Places, a spin-off of The Great Lebowski. For the girl with the “cumbersome” surname and who, artistically-speaking, is the «daughter of Tom Waits and Billie Holiday», it certainly is extremely satisfying.