It’s Charli XCX’s glitchy, often challenging music that made me appreciate pop in a completely different way. After trying to make it as a (sort of) pop-punk star, she reinvented herself with an industrial-sounding, mind-fucking single Vroom Vroom. The producer behind it was SOPHIE. A true visionary, Glasgow-born music producer, DJ, songwriter and singer. That’s when I first heard of that inspiring musician. Vroom Vroom. Bitches know they can’t catch me. One of my favourite tracks ever.
SOPHIE (yes, in capitals, and in capitals only) was a trans person. After her tunes got popular online, she got an incredible amount of shit for “using a female name, despite being a man”. Some public figures thought it was a marketing strategy. How? Because there’s only about 2% of woman-producers in the music industry at the moment. Some people thought it was all a hoax. As if anyone would use a female name just to promote themselves. She kept doing her thing, instead of ranting in the comment sections online. SOPHIE’s music is like nothing you have ever heard before. Well, most likely. Madonna, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Christine and The Queens, Nile Rodgers, Kim Petras, Charli XCX, Rina Sawayama and countless more are huge fans.
I never really understood SOPHIE’s genius in full. Her Grammy-nominated album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides includes high-pitched bubblegum-pop moments as well as heavy, industrial(sorry for repeating myself but that’s the most accurate term) tunes that could be background music to the craziest, most mental party on Earth. That shit fucking slaps, man.
We always feel proud when Brits do well at the Grammys. We were rooting for Adele and Sam Smith when they got nominated for their awards. As I mentioned above, SOPHIE was originally from Glasgow. Scottish artists are painfully underrepresented in the media. That’s why we always feel on top of the world when our creatives are noticed by American critics. Oil was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic album at the 2019 Grammys. Crack Magazine and Stereogum named it best album of 2018. Why wasn’t she celebrated for her success? I know she wasn’t mainstream, but she worked within the mainstream. She had the biggest stars on the planet on speed dial. We should have celebrated her more.
It’s Okay to Cry is my favourite song of hers. A delicate, art-pop ballad that makes you feel like you’re flying. The music is calming, the lyrics – very conversational, humane, relatable. She created that incredible aesthetic, the blue sky backdrop with lots of pure, heavenly-white clouds floating slowly. SOPHIE knew exactly what she wanted to create. Let’s not forget about her.