Grappler Sofia

Grappler Sofia discusses main inspirations, debut album ‘Unrelenting Suicide’ and more: Interview

Leaving no doubt to the imagination, Grappler Sofia has opted for a new outlook on music production, where boundaries of music genres and themes are pushed in the most immersive of manners. With this said, this is one interview that you most definitely do not want to miss out on.

Pushing the boundaries of music genres and themes, Grappler Sofia is the epitome of an artist that has been mastering his craft to the utmost of perfection, whilst his attention to detail helps him stand out from all the rest. Taking matters in his own hand, DJ/Producer Brendan Khoo focused directly on the creation of a musical project that will not follow the so-called “norms,” and instead, would focus on producing music with more substance, that would not be influenced by “superficial social media trends” and “unemotional tracks.” Kick-starting his quest with a more progressive house vibe, Grappler Sofia would then follow a different and more versatile direction, as his debut album ‘Unrelenting Suicide‘ would incorporate elements of metal, punk, ambient, post-punk and industrial. An album that portayed a clear and direct message, that despite themes that may seem controversial and in some-cases even unforgivable, it is always your true passion that must be followed in order to achieve your goals, no matter if they are not as perfect as other people may like or force you to achieve. Impacting the dance scene from the offset of this project, we could not be any more thrilled to be joined by the man of the moment, as he discusses main inspirations and influences, his outlook on music production, the significance of maintaining a versatile nature in this day and age, the creation of his debut album and any challenges faced along the way, inspired by the 90s edge and in turn using more controversial themes for his music, the effect of technology in this modern era, his future plans and so much more.

Hello and thank you for joining us! Could you give us an insight on the main inspirations/influences that led to your chosen career pathway?

Hi We Rave You, thanks for interviewing me! My main influences come from a diverse background ranging from my past as a rock enthusiast and as an electronic musician. These acts are such as Trentemoller, Nine Inch Nails, Joy Division, Solar Fields, and even Goth acts such as the Cure. My whole purpose is to blend the influences of my past with my present to create a unique future of something in between.

Pushing the boundaries of music genres and themes, we would like to know your own outlook on music production, as well as how your sound has evolved in recent times?

I started out back in the early 2010s as a progressive house producer shifting in and out of genres from EDM to whatever was on the charts. It really more about clout and money back then just to see what blows up. When I look back at that I tend to cringe because it was so inauthentic. In 2021 my previous project was hit with copywrite and the name was completely unmarketable. Compound that with a misalignment from an image and I started feeling really uneasy. I was going through a really bad time with work, friends/family, and my personal life. I simply needed a huge change to shake things up. This change came from watching Trentemoller for the first time in Maastricht. I’ve never seen such an emotional and visceral performance in my life especially coming from an electronic artist. He sounded better than any DJ I have seen. He was a mix between my past and my present. This show made me pick up a guitar again and start something new.

With versatility a key aspect for any artist, your ability to adapt to an array of genres, helps you stand out from the rest. Could you give us an insight on how your style of play came to be, as well as the significance of thinking outside the box and producing music that caters for all types of people?

Going into different styles was just a natural way to go as I wanted to give a human experience with music. People in general don’t listen to one style of music and I wanted something that was more like a diary. People write about their life in a diary, but I use my music. The difference in style simply represents the changing nature of my life. The music is also not perfect and it’s on purpose. We are not going to make the perfect art but as long as there is passion the connection will be there. As quoted by Glen of Spectre Sound Studios “music isn’t math”. It’s just a shame now a days that most artists especially in electronica would rather focus on the perfect mixdown, the fattest noise, or how many social media followers they can get. A lot of artists don’t want to be themselves. Especially in the Netherlands where I’m based, the majority just want to ride trends and make a lot of money. That’s not a sustainable way to go.



Grappler Sofia

Image Credit: Grappler Sofia (Press) / Provided by Artist


Incorporating elements of metal, punk, ambient, post-punk, and industrial through your first album, ‘Unrelenting Suicide,’ we would like to know of any challenges faced when looking to produce out of the so called norm, as well as the overall message that you have set out to portray through your releases?

Well the overall message was mentioned earlier which is that passion over technical skill should be emphasized. I think the challenge was the fear of what people would think about when I released something so close to my heart. However, I came to realize that having people who also hated the album and the project was also a good thing because it repelled the people who I didn’t want to listen to my music. Also I wanted people to question themselves and how they feel about the world. It’s hard for young people as there is a taboo about talking about difficulties in life because of social media and contemporary society. However, I wanted to encourage this discussion through my art.

Inspired by the 90s edge, and with different themes that my seem quite controversial in this day and age, we would like to know the main thought process behind your first album, as well as your own view on how various subjects can be perceived in a different manner to what they might usually intend to?

This album was a reaction to toxic positivity especially those on social media and in the music scene. When I was at university I was so tired of people trying to force me to smile and changing my stupid Instagram page to make it more “normal”. Compound that with the reality that social media is playing a higher importance than the actual music and that made me very frustrated because this was a sign that the interest in music is diminishing. All this fakeness and pressure from the professional environment pushed me into a really bad situation which attracted some pretty awful people in life. I had all of these problems but nobody wanted to talk with me about it. As a result I started checking out darker things such as POSTAL 1 and listening to a lot of metal/grunge bands like Alice in Chains from the 90s. Thus, I began to channel all that negative energy into the music. I had eureka moment in my head going “wow maybe I can write about my struggles and people will relate”. It was also a reaction to watching the mental health of others go into the drain. As of now there is a real mental health crisis with many youngsters. Instead of trying to be solve their own problems many cope through the bottle, drugs, or sheer ignorance. I’m honestly surprised about how musicians haven’t written anything about these things and even sometimes encourage them. As I said before many musicians don’t want to question the establishment as they want to join them instead. The establishment of social media companies and influencers that control the narrative of our lives. Regarding the album, I don’t want people to view this as an album that encourages self-annihilation but as a celebration to the challenges that all of us face as people. We are all in this together.

Emotive in every sense of the word, it is evident that the technological aspect of music has taken over the raw feels that were once generated through various forms of production. Could you give us an insight on how you perceive this change, and in turn, your overall thoughts on how music should be portrayed from your own standpoint on the matter?

Well AI seems to be the big debate that is currently ruling our airwaves right now. Personally I feel that AI will take over a lot of music especially those that have a formula such as pop, edm, and rap. The way for my own project to combat this is to actually have some form of humanity within the tracks themselves. Such as a vocal without autotune, real instruments, or unquantized rhythms. These simple forms of work can elevate an artist in an industry especially since it’s only becoming more fashionable to follow the crowd with AI tools. Sometimes doing it the hard way is the best way so I try not to be lazy.

Leaving your own mark with each endeavour, we would like to know what the future holds for Grappler Sofia in terms of new music, live performances and of course spreading positive vibes along the way?

Ironically by spreading positive vibes I would like to make and perform music about negative ones as well. We all go through hard times and I feel it’s important that we don’t ignore these important emotions. We should connect not just on the basis of our pleasure but also on our suffering in life as we need a balance of good and bad vibes to be working personality in the world today. Focusing less on social media and what’s the latest product is also important in really finding inner peace with ourselves. For the future of the project I hope to continue DJing when I can but my real focus is on creating a band in the future to tour through Europe or maybe even North America. It’s a bit of a fantasy that I’ve always had but it’s hard finding musicians that have the same vision as I do. Plus I feel like the new stuff is more band related anyways. The next release will be an EP with even more diversity in the genres along with more vocals from myself. I’m quite excited to be honest!


Remarkable in every sense of the word, we could not be any more fascinated of Grappler Sofia’s outlook on both music and life in general, and with this latest project set to achieve ultimate success, we are most definitely, all for it. Having said this, we will be keeping a close eye on this artist to watch and all his future endeavours, but for the time being, you can stay fully up to date with all things Grappler Sofia, by following him on Instagram and Spotify.

28-year-old dance music enthusiast from Kos, Greece. Find me at a rave/festival around the world.