Experimental Pop Producer SOPHIE Dies, Leaving Behind Vibrant Legacy

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The late producer, Sophie, performs at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival. - Photo via nme.com

The Grammy-nominated, avant-garde pop artist and producer Sophie has died after a tragic accident on Jan. 31 in Athens, Greece. 

According to a statement made on Twitter by her record label, Transgressive, Sophie had “climbed up to watch the full moon and slipped and fell.”

Known for her influential over-bubbly synth melodies, pitched vocals and bubblegum pop songs, Sophie’s career was just beginning when tragedy struck. She was only 34 and had already worked with big names in music like Madonna, Vince Staples, Charli XCX and Kim Petras among others. 

The Glasgow-born producer was transgender, breaking boundaries both as a musician and in finding a place in the world when it came to gender identity in the LGBTQ+ community. 

At the beginning of Sophie’s career, her identity was unknown, as she was strictly producing music for other artists. It wasn’t until the music video for her song “It’s Okay to Cry” was released that the public was able to put a face to the name. Sophie admitted that she was not happy with the way the video was received.

“It displayed a lot of hang-ups people have around requiring an image to be attached with music,” Sophie said in an interview with Arte TRACKS. 

Sophie began releasing music on SoundCloud, turning heads with her 2014 song “Lemonade,” which was soon featured in a McDonald’s advertisement. In 2018, her album “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides” was nominated at the Grammys for best dance/electronic album.

Her influence eventually paved the way for the genre dubbed “hyperpop,” shedding light upon up and coming artists like electro pop duo 100 gecs and British artist Rina Sawayama. Multiple artists sent their condolences following her death, one most notably made by British pop singer and close friend Charli XCX, who Sophie had produced many songs for.

“It’s really hard for me to sum up the special connection I felt with such an amazing person who completely changed my life,” Charli wrote on Instagram. “I wish I had told her more how special she was, not just her music, but her as a person.”

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