Behind the Scenes: Sonia Reid Noble

Behind the Scenes: Sonia Reid Noble

by Casey Ling

February 15, 2022 in Industry Profile

Music has always been a significant part of Sonia Reid Noble's life. Daughter of a preacher, Sonia has been entrenched in gospel music from a very young age. After moving to Saskatchewan eleven years ago, she has made an effort to diversify herself and expand into different genres such as R&B, soul, and jazz. Sonia also works as a vocal coach and aims to develop the individuality of her students through their voice. 

Throughout her decade in Saskatchewan, Sonia mentions how music in the province is growing but that there is a long way to go. She notes how Saskatchewan is known for genres such as rock, alternative, and country, but she aims to broaden those horizons.

"I see it as growing and evolving but Saskatchewan still has a ways to go. I feel that this province has a lot of potential and that there is a lot more diversity... Musically I think that we can work a little harder to see more representation in these other genres."

Sonia says that a large part of this growth can come from music education and what is being taught in the classroom. Classrooms can be exposing their students to a wider range of genres and working for that greater representation.

"Are we factoring in other genres so that our children are experiencing this in an environment where they are open and exposed to learning?" she asks.

"When we think of things like choirs and bands, and as our children grow up and start to learn about all of this, what are we using for our music curriculum there? Those are the questions I have been asking a lot of."

As an educator, Sonia emphasizes the need for authenticity and individuality not only in herself but in her students. Sonia raises the point that the audience can clearly see through a false representation of a performer. Being true to one's identity is the best way to move an audience.

"If I can't be proud of who I am, I've already lost the battle. So I allow who I am, the cultures I was raised in, what I've experienced, to influence my performing absolutely."

"The audience knows whether you are being authentic or not. And personally that is one of the biggest compliments I can ever get."

Overall, Sonia aims to create a community that is more welcoming and inclusive for new artists; with greater opportunities for other styles of music at venues such as festivals and clubs. Sonia aims to be part of that push and to embrace all musicians.

"There's many different elements to the diversity of people that are here, and it is lovely. But we need to be say a little more, maybe more loudly 'hey you are welcome here and we want to talk to you'."

Sonia's next performance will be livestreamed on February 26, 2022 as part of the Black History Month Saskatchewan event held by The Black Canadians, Africans and Caribbean Professionals Association Incorporated.

You can find more about Sonia Reid Noble on Instagram, Facebook, and on her website.