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Interview

Audiomack Unveils Hometown Heroes Atlanta Mural: Interview With SOFAHOOD

By Donna-Claire Chesman on

Atlanta’s vibrant and culture-shifting rap scene has been forever immortalized with Audiomack’s Hometown Heroes mural, painted by ATL’s own SOFAHOOD. Through her use of bright colors and special attention to movement through the mural, SOFAHOOD was able to capture the essence of Atlanta’s past and present via portraits of Summer Walker, Gucci Mane, OutKast, and other Southern trailblazers.

“Being able to represent both Audiomack and my hometown of Atlanta so fully in my own style was an amazing opportunity,” SOFAHOOD tells Audiomack. “Painting my city is a dream of mine and I’m eternally grateful for Audiomack helping me get closer to my dream.”

SOFA got her start drawing at a young age, finding comfort in art naturally. “As I kept drawing, my style sort of found me, but I’ve always been drawn to campy illustration and juicy color schemes,” she explains. Yet, art wasn’t a full-time pursuit until the pandemic hit.

“Like most people, my intentions and sense of normality sort of went out the window when the pandemic hit,” SOFA adds. “I was put in a tough spot where I had to ask myself what would make me happy. The answer was art. Shortly after I made that leap, my first mural sort of fell in my lap, and I’ve never looked back.”

“It’s important to celebrate these artists in their hometowns because they represent the soul of Atlanta,” SOFAHOOD concludes. “By painting this mural, we’ve eternalized their efforts in the city they came from.”

Can you walk me through the process of making the piece itself?

I started this process by choosing photos of each artist that truly represented their essence as artists. For example, Summer’s portrait shows the beauty of Black womanhood and OutKast’s portrait captures that quintessential ATLien energy. However, I also wanted to capture my own energy in this piece. So, I used a color palette that I’m known for: pinks, reds, baby blues, etc. Altogether, the piece embodies Atlanta through a SOFAHOOD lens.

Which part was the most difficult to complete and why?

The most difficult part of the mural was creating movement throughout the piece. Each artist and their portrait have the essence to stand alone as their own strong pieces. Melding them all together in a way that doesn’t leave one artist standing alone took some time and thought.

That, and beating the heatwaves during installation.

Which element of the mural are you happiest with?

I’m happiest with the tiny details that represent me throughout it. As much as this piece was about the musical artists, I snuck in some SOFAHOOD easter eggs, as I always do. There’s the “SH” on Thug’s sweater, the “404” in Gucci’s chain, the “SOFA” in Summer’s earring. These parts remind me that I, too, am an Atlanta artist looking to be represented and appreciated in my city.

Looking at the finished piece, what feelings come up? Pride, relief?

As I look at the finished piece, I feel so much pride. Pride in my city, pride in each artist represented, pride in my artistic style.

This piece represents Audiomack, Summer Walker, OutKast, Migos, Young Thug, and Gucci Mane; but it also represents me and Atlanta. I’m happy with what it says about all of us: we’re here, we’re from Atlanta, and we’re killing the game.

SOFAHOOD photo by Courtney Logan (@courtney_e_logan).

InterviewHip Hop