R&B/pop singer Shoffy opens his tour at the Valley Bar on Saturday, January 26, after taking nearly a year off. It’s his first time in Phoenix and he’s ready to perform songs from his latest album, Lenses, as well as older tracks.
Alex Shofler, is the artist behind Shoffy, a childhood nickname. He says Lenses took about a year to put together and it shows development from previous works.
“I hope as I continue to work on things and produce music that I continue to evolve. I am really proud of the project, when I listen to the older stuff I hear a step up. I’m happy to get it out there,” he says.
Constantly working in the studio led to this growth. He learned new production techniques online as well, which aided Lenses.
Lenses deals with the ups and downs of relationships. He says the name suited the project because the lyrics reflect how people see things and the influence other people have on our emotions. Shofler collaborated with Maroon 5’s Sam Farrar and songwriter Jake Torrey to produce several songs, including one of Shofler’s favorites “Cool Again.”
Shofler says the three artists took an upright piano and taped the strings down to make a plucking sound, a constant throughout the album. “Cool Again” gained traction on Spotify and Apple Music and has been climbing in the number of streams. Shofler estimates the song has been getting 150,000 to 200,000 streams daily.
His success did not come easily. Shofler says he has been working on music since he was 14 and continued through college.
He grew up learning to play the guitar by listening to artists like John Mayer and Jimi Hendrix. He specifically admired Mayer’s bluesy quality and guitar sound. Another inspiration for Shofler is Frank Ocean because of his songwriting and melody quality. “They are two of my biggest influences.”
Shofler earned a business degree at USC and landed a finance job for a private equity company in Los Angeles, and kept his music on the side.
“Even when I was working, I would be exhausted, but I would still work on music and go to the studio. It was nights and weekends pretty much for a while there, I did that for three or four years.”
When his music went viral on Spotify and his financial situation improved, Shofler was quit his job and dedicated himself to music full time. “I’ve been super grateful that this has been working out the last couple years.”
Now, Shofler has more than 123 million streams on Spotify alone. “I check in on the artist portal all the time. Lately it’s been once a day because the album is trending. It’s fun to check in and see where it’s going.”
Shofler admits it’s hard to believe he has become this successful,
“It’s all just numbers on a screen and it’s hard to understand it all. It’s so abstract in some ways, seeing 150,000 to 200,000 streaming every day, it makes me wonder where all of this is coming from and who is listening.”
When he kicks off his tour in Phoenix, he’ll be able to see these folks and it’ll put the numbers into perspective for Shofler. A key element of the shows is the light show, which will make for an engaging performance, he says. His previous tour was pretty “barebones,” in terms of production.
“I can’t believe the tour is right around the corner. I think Phoenix will be a great start and I am looking forward to it.”
Shoffy w/Wanderer: See for Yourself Tour, Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.368.3121, valleybarphx.com, 6:45 p.m. Saturday, January 26, $15-$17.