Sophie Hunger (born Émilie Jeanne-Sophie Welti on 31 March 1983) is a Swiss jazz pop singer-songwriter, film composer, multi-instrumentalist (guitar, blues harp, piano) and bandleader, living currently in Berlin.
Émilie Jeanne-Sophie Welti was born on 31 March 1983 in Bern, Switzerland. She was a diplomat's daughter and grew up, with two older siblings, in: Bern, London (England, UK), Bonn (North Rhine-Westphalia, DE) and Zurich. She graduated high-school in 2002, then subsequently studied German and English.
During childhood, for some time Hunger took piano lessons. She was familiar with jazz from an early age, since her father was a listener. Independently, she had a varying taste in music, as a teenager, she first was into hip-hop and R&B. Later she listened to rock – then, as a young adult, she discovered country, bluegrass and folk.
From 2002 to 2006, Hunger was a guest singer for the project Superterz and appears on the 2006 album Standards released by that group. Starting in 2004, Hunger was the lead singer of the indie rock group Fisher. The band split in 2007.
Hunger plays guitar, blues harp, piano and composes most of her songs in British English, French, Swiss German, German and Swiss Italian. In 2006, in a few days, she home-recorded her solo début album, Sketches on Sea, three tracks of which featured trombonist Michael Flury (ex-Keller's 10). The album was initially self-released in 2006, then re-released the following year on Gentlemen Records.
Flury became an impermanent band member and, since before 2007, Hunger has played with multi-instrumentalist Christian Prader (flute, piano, guitar). Her band also includes drummer Marc Erbetta and bassist Simon Gerber. Former drummers include: Alberto Malo, Julian Sartorius and Dominik Chansorn. Former bassists include Balz Bachmann.
On 6 July 2008, Hunger and her band gave a concert in the Miles Davis Hall at the Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as Yael Naim and Camille.
In October 2008, Hunger released her first solo studio album, Monday's Ghost, on Two Gentlemen Records.
In July 2009, Hunger and her band closed out day 2 of TEDGlobal.
In June 2010, Sophie Hunger and her band played the John Peel stage at Glastonbury Festival. Sophie Hunger was the first Swiss artist that has ever played there. In July 2010 she played at the 100 Club, London, in October 2010 at The Roundhouse, London.
In September 2010, Sophie Hunger and her band played the Plaça del Rei stage at La Mercè in Barcelona.
In late 2010, it was announced that Sophie Hunger would release a début record for the North American market as Sophie Hunger: s/t on Manimal Vinyl in April 2011. The CD contained tracks from 1983 and Monday's Ghost.
On 29 June 2011 Sophie Hunger played at International Jazz Festival in Montreal, Canada, opening for Madeleine Peyroux. Also at the Festival, she opened for the Erik Truffaz Quartet the following Monday, 4 July 2011 for two shows — at 6 pm and 10 pm — and received a standing ovation at the later show. She was also featured on two songs that she recorded on Truffaz' latest CD entitled "in between" produced by Two Gentlemen Records in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 2011, Sophie Hunger's song 'Le Vent Nous Portera' was featured in the film 'Café de Flore', directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.