Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: Sophie B. Hawkins at The Hamilton Live

At the Hamilton Live on Saturday, April 1, Hawkins will perform her hits and as well as new songs from her forthcoming album.

Sophie B. Hawkins -- Photo: Ken Grand-Pierre
Sophie B. Hawkins — Photo: Ken Grand-Pierre

A longtime feminist and activist for progressive causes including environmental concerns and animal rights, Sophie B. Hawkins is a member of the LGBTQ community who has long identified as omnisexual. She headlined Capital Pride nearly two decades ago and has proven herself to be a good spirit, and a determined fighter.

The fame that Hawkins managed to achieve is by and large of her own making: she had to fight and push back against executives at her original label Sony the whole time.

There were demands with her inaugural single “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” to change “damn” to “darn,” for starters, which she thankfully resisted, just as she stuck by the hit’s queer-affirming lyrics, including her use of the feminine pronoun in another line — “I lay by the ocean making love to her with visions clear” — thereby codifying in a hit song an early reference to same-sex love, which in 1992 was pretty much unheard of.

Later, Hawkins encountered reluctance from Sony executives in releasing her second album, something they did only after sustained pressure from her, plus a little help from Europe, where the first single “As You Lay Me Down” became a mega-hit on its own. It eventually went on to repeat that feat in the U.S., becoming her biggest hit of all.

Remarkably, her provocative lyrics and distinctive musical style still hold up all these decades later. Even better, she’s once again making new music and touring. Expect a lively crowd of fans, including a healthy smattering of fellow LGBTQ-identified individuals, at her concert at the Hamilton Live on Saturday, April 1.

Hawkins will perform her hits and also new songs expected on her forthcoming album — the release date of which is still to be determined — including the singles “Love Yourself” and “Better Off Without You,” and future single “Free Myself,” which is also the name of the tour.

“I’m not supposed to really talk the new work,” she shared with Forbes in a lengthy profile published last fall. “I’m supposed to say, ‘I’m in the studio working on it.’ But the songs have been written, and I’ve been performing some of them, and I think they’re just phenomenally, complexly layered, but also fun. All my songs, they have this quality of being so simple on the surface and very melodic, but then musicians can’t ever play them. Because they’re not simple, they’re very complicated, and that’s beautiful.”

Saturday, April 1. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton Live is at 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $45. Visit or call 202-787-1000.

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