Sofreeya Soul sells crystals and jewellery at Brixton Station Road market on Saturdays – and has a lot of other projects besides her stall. Simone Richardson finds out more
Sofreeya spent a lot of time on her own as a child. Her favourite game was making up songs.
“I remember the first song I started, I called it Sunny Days and I used to enjoy getting my friends involved,” she says.
In recent years, Sofreeya has performed at several UK festivals including Small World, Noisily, Know Your Roots and Lovejam, as well as shows in and around London like 11:11 events, Poetry Alliance and Poetic Justice nights.
She released her first single Butterfly last year. It touches on her transformational experience with the Earth Goddess, expressed with ukulele and melodic poetry. Her debut EP, So Free Ya, was released a year ago.
Her interest in crystals began in 2011 when she was in the Occupy the London Stock Exchange camp in front of St Paul’s protesting against capitalism.
“I made friends with a band called Will and the People and they gave me my first crystal, a chrysanthemum – to do with your life path.”
Sofreeya was born in Gravesend, Kent, with a Punjabi father and Spanish-Irish mother.
She lived in Northolt in West London for 10 years before moving to Brixton around four years ago.
Now Sofreeya lives in Gipsy Hill with her cat Sebi “with a lovely little garden, near the ancient woods and parks, close to Brixton.
“Sebi – short for Sebastian – chose to live with me shortly after his previous carer died,” she says. “He is such a mystical loving friend. We go for walks in nature.”
As well as playing on her own and making up songs as a child, Sofreeya says she had “a great talent for acting at primary school and was praised for my performances.’’
She went to college and did media, film and drama – “against my father’s wishes”.
“I had emancipated myself,” she says. “There was a lot of domestic abuse and so this affected my acting skills later on, due to lack of confidence.
“I was accepted into uni – last minute without an interview, due to one teacher seeing my genius.
“The course was in creative industries, but I only lasted a month there and wanted to pursue my own path.”
Since the age of 16, Sofreeya had been on a “spiritual search as a way to be supported”.
She has always felt close to the spirit world – “I have had mystic, psychic experiences,” she says.
“I was always very creative, great imagination, artistic and good at writing.
“I am also very much into philosophy and mysticism alongside the power of the mind.”
Her first crystal opened the way for more – “and for me to experience some healing energies with them during meditation.
“I then wanted to wear them, so I started making my own jewellery for myself and friends.
“I then started selling my creations at parties and events. Then, when I moved to Brixton, I started at the Brixton Station Road market.”
Her route through lockdown “was full of realisations that really puts everything into perspective – the importance of life and living fully.
“We never know what will happen and when.
“So I want to live with no regrets, no fear holding me back.
“I started seeing all these opportunities that I didn’t fully embrace and saw how I took them for granted.
“So something snapped in me and I said: No more of it!”
Not able to be open in the market during lockdown, Sofreeya was “grateful for the community, as customers always came back to me and spread the business through word of mouth, so over this time I had a few private orders and started setting up an Etsy online shop.”
Sofreeya believes “crystals activate with intention and meditation. I have felt their effect on my energies and they teach me, align me.
“I have had many instances where I have felt their energy healing.”
During lockdown, Sofreeya’s focus returned to her love of singing and she recorded her own songs.
Her first single was released and her debut EP with the help of various friends and producers.
Sofreeya has enjoyed singing outside and Upstairs at The Ritzy, and performing at the Congregate Brixton festival.
She definitely wants it to be a permanent part of her life. “Singing is a prayer for me,” she says, “a place to share my true feelings, my soul, my love, my philosophies and my lessons.
“I have a goal to improve and grow more in the music, musician, singer and writing fields.
“In the next five years I would like to be touring, band, festivals, and be at a professional level.”
In the meantime, she is selling many crystals at the Brixton Station Road market on Saturdays.
They all have different meanings, including health, love, courage. and more.
Her favourite crystal is “a hard one” – menalite, which is also known as The Goddess Stone.
“My friend won it in a raffle while taking a few of us women to one of our first festivals, where I met so many great women.
“This friend, Jay, passed away last year November and the stone was passed on to me as a gift from her son after I relayed him the story.
“This Goddess stone holds collective healing energy for the whole of the collective consciousness of women, it is also a shamanic stone to be used in rituals.”
Explaining her love of Brixton from a musical and spiritual perspective, she says: “What I love most about Brixton is the people and the culture and the many friends I have made and all the wonderful connections.
“My market stall on Station Road has attracted some great souls who I am now very close to, and some I do music with along with spiritual projects.
“I feel a community spirit here which is wonderful and I hope that it is given the space to thrive.
“I used to enjoy going to Club 414 – which is now closed – on Sunday band nights.
“I love Hootananny, especially Thursday events.
“Upstairs at the Ritzy is cool as well, and I have just started going to Brixton Street Gym classes.
Her EP is also available to listen to online as well.