Culture Writing with Sophie Kemp ’18

February 18, 2019

Phoebe Pan ’20

Sophie Kemp standing against a brick wall.
Sophie Kemp ’18
Photo credit: Courtesy of Sophie Kemp

Sophie Kemp ’18 has been working at Pitchfork as an editorial fellow, exploring her interests in culture writing and drawing from her past experiences with WOBC.

What has it been like working at Pitchfork?

I love working at Pitchfork; I've been reading the site for years and am constantly floored by the talent and kindness of all of my coworkers. I'm responsible for fact-checking most of the writing you see on the site, which basically means I spend my days going through articles with a metaphorical fine-toothed comb, looking for factual errors. When I'm not doing that, I get the opportunity to write quite a bit. I've written a few album reviews and a feature since I started here last July, which has been really special.

How have your experiences at Oberlin helped you navigate your current job?

I've always been interested in culture writing. When I was a teen, I thought I wanted to focus on fashion, but then I got to Oberlin and joined WOBC as a DJ. WOBC was a really big catalyst for me in terms of figuring out what I want to do. During my freshman year, I had a horrible 3 a.m. slot, which I actually loved, and then I continued with the station throughout my time at Oberlin. During my senior year, I was station manager, which was a really incredible opportunity. I love WOBC with all of my heart and would encourage anyone considering going to Oberlin to take a tour of the station.

Sophie Kemp working at her desk at Pitchfork
Sophie Kemp ’18 working at Pitchfork.
Photo credit: Sophie Kemp 

In addition to your Oberlin experiences, did you participate in any internships or off-campus opportunities as a student?

I had the opportunity to intern for NPR Music’s All Songs Considered desk and this very cool, very small startup called Talkhouse. A lot of my experiences with music writing happened outside of the space of Oberlin, and via those internships I was able to freelance write for places like NPR Music, Bandcamp, and Noisey.

Sophie is gearing up to start a new job at Condé Nast, where she’ll be a fashion assistant and writing about fashion news for Vogue. In the future, she hopes to continue to write about pop culture in any and all capacities. You can find her articles and clippings on her website.

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