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Chester County Press

Chadds Ford singer stars in upcoming feature film

09/30/2019 10:21AM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

In 2016, then 16-year-old singer Sofi Tyler’s breakout song “Monotony” was used in the soundtrack to the film High Strung, directed by Michael Damian and written and produced by Janeen Damian.

In that same year, Tyler found herself on a plane headed to Bucharest, Romania to perform the role of Ava, a young opera singer, in High Strung Free Dance, also written, directed and produced by the Damians, and starring Jane Seymour.

On Oct. 11, the soaring career of the Chadds Ford native, now 19, will come full circle, as Tyler will make an appearance at the local premiere of the film, which will be shown at the AMC Dine In Painters Crossing 9 in Chadds Ford, and open the same day in more than 100 other theaters in the U.S.

On a brief hiatus from the LA College of Music in Pasadena, Cal. where she is studying music, Tyler recently talked about her film debut, her early influences and the music career that she is about to embark on.

Take me through the journey of what got you to Bucharest to film High Strung Free Dance.

I had contributed “Monotony” to High Strung, and then Michael and Janeen asked me to work with them on High Strung Free Dance. The experience taught me a lot about filmmaking. It was really interesting to actually be on a movie set. I got to see how hard everyone works on a film, and how late they will stay up to get the perfect shot. I learned that you have to put in 100 percent, otherwise you won’t end up seeing what you ultimately want on the screen.

High Strung was an infectious combination of dance, song and movement with a compelling story, and it’s fairly safe to say that the same is true of High Strung Free Dance. Describe the feeling of being on the set.

It was almost like I was watching a movie. Everyone’s dancing was really cool, and seeing some of the dance scenes was like watching an old movie. I am used to being in front of the camera because my mother is a photographer, so I didn’t feel uncomfortable on set, but it’s very odd to have to put myself into as different character, which requires you to be over-the-top.

What are your career aspirations, and which influences helped to shape those aspirations?

I want to be a rock star and go on tour performing my music. When I was younger, my parents really liked rock music, and when I was a child, I began to watch Hannah Montana, which made me want to become a singer. I also like Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Queen and the Rolling Stones. Being a part of the film definitely helped me gain a proper perspective and taste for the real world.

You wish to be the lead singer in a band that will perform your own original music, but finding the right band is not always easy. In selecting the right musicians for who will make up that band, what will you be looking for?

You have to find people who have the same interests as you, you all have to share the same work ethic, and you need to connect well, or else it doesn’t work. In a band, you need to be able to trust each other, because if something goes wrong on stage, you need to know in advance what you need to do in order to move the music forward, so that the audience doesn’t know.


In the film, you perform “O Mio Babbino Caro” by Puccini. High Strung Free Dance will be seen in over 100 theaters across the nation, and thousands of people will see and hear you sing. It’s safe to say that this film will do wonders to accelerate your musical career.

I definitely will receive a lot of exposure from the film, but I can’t quite comprehend yet just how many people will end up seeing me on a movie screen.

High Strung Free Dance premieres at AMC Dine In Painters Crossing 9 on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. To see the video for Sofi Tyler’s song “Monotony,” listen to it on Youtube. To learn more about Sofi Tyler, visit her on Instagram. For more about High Strung Free Dance, visit

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email



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