Sophie Straat (NL)
Dutch folk singer Sophie Straat (real name Sophie Schwartz) grew up in the late 1990s in the former, now gentrified, working-class neighbourhood of De Pijp. These days she writes about the effects of gentrification in Amsterdam, in collaboration with her partner Wieger Hoogendorp. Through her songs, you get a glimpse into the lives of the eco-friendly cargo bike owner, the professional who works in the Zuidas district, and the child who has just moved to Amsterdam North.
Sophie Straat studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and decided to make the cargo bike the subject of her graduation project ‘out of homesickness for Amsterdam’. For this graduation project she recorded her first song, Groen Amsterdam (Green Amsterdam). The sequel came in the form of an entire album entitled ‘t Is niet mijn schuld (It’s not my fault). In collaboration with the band Goldband from The Hague, she recorded a song for the 2021 Dutch parliamentary elections, in which she called on people to vote for a woman. And in collaboration with Bud, she wrote a song in honour of Ajax’s 35th national championship, dedicated to all Amsterdam residents and Ajax supporters. In addition to writing songs about life, Straat is an artist and creates socially-engaged work.