Socha was born in Derby, Derbyshire, England, to Kathleen Lyons (nicknamed "Kath") and Robert Socha, on 13 December 1987. He is the older brother of actress Lauren Socha, star of the Channel 4 comedy-drama Misfits. Socha was brought up in Littleover, a suburb of Derby, and attended St Benedict Catholic School. Socha was a rebellious pupil. He often skipped school, but when forced to attend he tried to make it fun by doing the things he was most interested in. At the age of 11, Socha unsuccessfully auditioned for the lead role in a school musical play. When Socha was 12, his mother read in a local newspaper about a play being cast by the Chellaston Youth Players. She asked her son and daughter if they wanted to try out for it, and both did. Socha's motivation for auditioning was his anger at being denied a role in the musical and his desire to prove his teachers wrong about his acting skills. He won the lead role of Bugsy Malone in the play. He acted in several plays for the group, but by his own admission did not take acting very seriously.