Rancho Santa Fe has long been known for its overall affluence, decorated by miles of green, lush landscapes, and award-winning golf courses and country clubs. It is certainly no surprise, then, that its neighborhoods have attracted all kinds of unique and talented individuals over the years. From Olympic gold medalist Shaun White to Man Vs. Wild star Bear Grylls, Rancho Santa Fe has had its fair share of notable residents. One rising individual is Sophia Bouhaddou, who more often goes by the stage name of Sophia Alone. Earlier this year, the singer released her debut album, ‘Heart and a Half.’ It seems this Soul Pop singer is on her way to success, and she’s definitely worth getting to know.
Alone grew up in an atypical household in Utah, with a French mother and Moroccan father. “I always remember wanting my mom to pack my lunch in a brown paper bag with some inspiring message written on it, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich like the other kids,” Alone said. “But instead we would get a plastic bag with dates, and a butter and honey tartine — different, but delicious.”
At the young age of six, she was introduced to the piano. Soon after, Alone began experimenting with every instrument she could, including the flute and the cello. It was then that Alone told herself that what she really aspired to do, was sing.
“I’ve always known I wanted to sing,” Alone said. “When I was younger, I planned to act and then segued into music, much like Hilary Duff. But the more I studied, the more music took over, and it’s become all I can do; there is nothing else for me. I remember watching Christina Aguilera sing on TV and thinking, with tears in my eyes, ‘I want to do that.’ Then I would go into my room and dance around, singing and flipping my hair pretending I was performing for thousands.”
Alone has had quite a journey to get to where she is now. She lived in Los Angeles for awhile before settling in Rancho Santa Fe.
“I was doing a lot of competitions and finally decided to try out for ‘American Idol,’” Alone said. “I only made it through a couple of rounds and finally grew tired of trying to be what they wanted me to be in order to win. As I walked out after being cut, I said, ‘It’s time to start writing my own music. I want to create my own sound.’ I wrote my first song that year and have continued writing since then.”
Today, Alone performs at various venus in both Los Angeles and San Diego. Her work has included performances at the House of Blues, Troubadour, and Club Metropol. She has also performed alongside artists such as Grammy Award winner Patrice Rushen and Dorian Holley of Tonight’s Show.
“The biggest reason I went into the music is that I wanted to inspire people,” she said. “I want to be the one to help you laugh, help you cry, dance, fall in love, and most importantly follow your dreams. I want people to know that you can follow your dreams no matter how much the world tells you, you can’t.”
Alone’s debut album, “Heart and a Half,” is available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. Her next show is Jan. 12 at Le Papagayo in Encinitas.