There aren’t many 9-year-olds like Sofia Guerra. Though at first she may seem shy, put the humble Sofia on a stage, and the young singer/guitarist bursts to life with the confidence and fearlessness of a true rock star. Granddaughter to musician — and Chicago cofounder — Danny Seraphine and niece to Brooklyn jazz musician Gillian Harwin, Guerra was born with musical blood. She sang as soon as she could talk. “Her car seat was always an extra speaker. She would latch onto everything,” said dad Orlando Guerra, owner and operator of Santa Barbara Baseball Instruction/Young Balance. At 3 years old, Sofia Guerra took the stage with Harwin and her Gotham Groovers band to provide backing vocals.
Guerra really found her voice when she enlisted in Girls Rock S.B. as a 3rd grader and became singer/guitarist of the three-piece band The Stripes. The camp has boosted her confidence and self-esteem and given her a means to channel her musical energy. “It’s her outlet, and we encourage that,” said mom Danielle Seraphine, who, along with Orlando Guerra, prefers to use positive support instead of parental pressure. “We let her have her creativity and don’t try to block that,” he said.
At Girls Rock, Sofia Guerra has been such a hit that she was chosen to perform solo at the No Kid Hungry event on May 21 at the Westside Boys & Girls Club, where she wowed the crowd with her powerful voice and her uncommon charisma. After this year’s Foothill Elementary School talent show, she was so overwhelmed with praise, hugs, and squeezes that she fell to the floor. “She brings out the positive in people,” Orlando Guerra said.
When not playing guitar or finishing homework, Sofia Guerra likes to write stories about how and why life makes sense. “If you put together all your symptoms, stress, and things happening to you, you see all these trails going different ways that lead to one direct place, to all make one,” she said.
Guerra encourages girls like her to “think bright” and pursue their dreams. Though she knows there is no way to be certain about life’s entwining paths, she feels the trails in her life are pointing toward her dream of fame. “I’m halfway there,” she said.
Sofia will play the Girls Rock S.B. Summer Showcase Friday, July 24, at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club.