Sophie Lloyd has mastered the art of transforming popular songs into straight-up shred-a-thons. Her YouTube channel – which currently boasts over 600,000 subscribers – plays host to all manner of six-string reinventions, from a soaring cover of Muse's Plug In Baby to a face-melting take on Mariah Carey's festive classic All I Want For Christmas is You.
And now, in her latest video, the social media six-stringer has given Britney Spears' Toxic – perhaps one of the most iconic pop songs of all time – the shred treatment, trading Spears' iconic vocal hooks for a frenzy of nimble two-handed tapping phrases and rapid-fire alternate picking runs. Check it out below.
Lloyd, of course, wields her Kiesel signature model – the Aries A6H – a Purple Burst-finished S-type complete with high-strength carbon-fiber stability rods, glow-in-the-dark Luminlay SuperBlue side dots, a Hipshot bridge, 25.5" scale length and Kiesel-designed Lithium humbucking pickups.
“Having an Artist Series guitar has been one of my aspirations since I was a kid, and to have one with my favorite guitar company is just mind-blowing,” Sophie said last year following her announcement of the signature model.
“Ever since I got this guitar it’s provided me with so much inspiration and creativity which has really taken my playing to the next level, and I’m so excited for everyone to try it and fall in love with it as much as I have.”
Last year, in an interview with Guitar World, Lloyd revealed that she finds it “challenging” to improvise over a backing track, describing her approach as more “methodical”.
“I think it is one of my biggest weaknesses, but also one of my biggest strengths,” she explained. “I find it very challenging to just put on a back track and think, ‘Oh yeah, here we go!’ And then just shred something.
“I find that quite challenging. I like that proper nerdy thing – sit down with headphones and try and write the piece mathematically, in a way. ‘Play this here. I’ll play this there. And then I’ll wanna do a shredding part here.’ I’ll really think it through and process it, and once I have written it, then it’s, ‘Okay, now I have to learn how to play this.’”