We met Sophie on a sunny Friday morning a few hours before her performance at Sónar Barcelona. The city was already bustling with excited festivalgoers and Sophie herself looked ready to step on stage with her signature red curls and a pearl choker. The music producer has gained a vast fan base due to her unique style of music with a slight political undertone. The size of which became evident during her show later that day, where a large and enthusiastic crowd gathered to enjoy an unexpected and uncompromising live performance.
With a website that provides no further info than “I am now in Los Angeles and my name is Sophie”, you are quite a mystery. Could you please further introduce yourself?
My name is Sophie and I’m a music producer. That’s it.
Your music appears very personal. What were your initial reasons for creating it?
It came from a desire to express both myself and the way I saw my environment. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been very sensitive to the things that were going on around me, so even if I didn’t understand them, I could talk about it through my music.
Ever since the start of your musical career, your work has received a lot of attention but you preferred to keep yourself out of the spotlight. However, less than a year ago, that changed and you started to appear in your own music videos and doing more interviews. What inspired this change?
I’m just going with the flow.
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Music is a powerful tool, depending on the musician it can make people dance, think, laugh cry and more. How do you hope your audience responds to your music?
All of those things you mentioned. Taking a look back, when I first heard the music that inspired me, it changed my way of thinking. It fundamentally shifted something in the way that I viewed the world. It’s not that I want my music to precisely tell people what to feel about the world; everyone should figure that out individually. But I do want to push my audience to question themselves.
What is some of the music that has inspired you?
The Pet Shop Boys have always been a big inspiration for me, especially their remixed work. They collaborated with DJs and producers from the underground, queer and Eurodance scenes. They also worked together with Jack Bond, the director who also shot the documentary about Salvador Dalí, with whom they created a feature-length semi-autobiographical surreal film. I have a lot of respect for them. Furthermore, I talk a lot about Autechre, they just keep getting better and better and that’s very inspiring to me. There are so many cases of musicians that start of great only to tail off later in their career. But Autchere have been making the most radical stuff the latest. Not to mention they’re queens of technology and sound design.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received from a fan?
The first time I ever did a Sophie show, my audience existed out of five people and one of them came right in front of my face and put his middle finger up to me. I think he wanted to let me know that it bothered him, or somehow something bothered him. I see that as a compliment.
“Ever since I was a child, I’ve been very sensitive to the things that were going on around me, so even if I didn’t understand them, I could talk about it through my music.”
Especially your older songs are a clash of very dark and industrial sounds topped off by very sweet, girly vocals. Why combine these seemingly opposite sounds?
That’s what I’m into. I really love upbeat music such as disco and Europop, but I also love Autechre, which has a more dark sound. Both make me feel different things and I find myself in between these two musical directions.
Can you put your music into words?
Not really, no. I think words are dangerous and they are weapons. It’s more caring, more concise, but also more radical to speak to someone’s feelings directly with music.
Additionally to your music, you also provide a strong visual identity in the form of album art or music videos, resulting in a multi-sensory experience. What brief do you give to your video directors or visual artists?
I can be pretty bossy but I also love my friends and I respect them and their views. They are knowledgeable on certain topics that I just don’t have the answer to, and so I need the answer from them. So the actual brief will vary greatly depending on the person. I always try to work with people that share a similar mindset; they are the people that I look up to and who also believe in me. I think that is the most important element in a collaboration.
Your music sends a clear political message of equality, celebrating minorities ranging from LGBTQ+ to women. What result do you hope your music will have on such a serious (political) topic?
I’m really happy you see it that way because many people don’t notice it. As for the results, we are just starting to get to work. There isn’t any clear result yet but I hope my music will inspire change in the future.
How do you translate your political message into your music and performance?
I’m quite clear on one thing: what I don’t want to do is alienate people. Trans is inclusive and, in a way, everyone is trans.
You have collaborated with many great people such as Charli XCX, Vince Staples and even Madonna. Is there anyone else you would like to collaborate with?
The artists you mentioned are really amazing, but I’ve also done a lot of collaborations that people are less aware of, where I learned a lot and also just had a lot of fun. Right now, I just really want to work with my friends. Kim Petras, BB Borelli and Charlie are the best songwriters in the world and the most fun people to work with. I also started to do some work with Juliana Huxtable, which I can’t wait to continue. She’s someone I’m very excited to be working with because, in my mind, she’s the most relevant pop star in the world.
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Do you have a favourite place or context in which you’d like your music to be heard?
I like listening driving around. Imagine that you are in a car that has a really good sound system, you’re with a few friends maybe and you play the music really loud, driving through the city and just listening. It’s awesome.
Let’s talk about Sónar. Is there anything specific you were most excited about? 
I am very excited about Sónar in general. I played there (in Barcelona) once in the past, and once at Sónar Reykjavik, and they’ve always been very supportive and appreciative. We are going to do an afterparty later and I’m really looking forward to having the chance to speak with my friends and connect with people I haven’t talked to in a while. Some of my family is here as well, so yeah, I can’t wait to get everyone together and just celebrate.
Can you give us a little teaser on what you have planned for your performance at Sónar?
It’s basically a whole new world.
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