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Sophie Xeon, one of the crucial influential pop musicians and producers of the final decade and identified professionally as SOPHIE, handed away Jan. 30 in a tragic accident first reported by the artist’s document label Transgressive.
“Tragically, our stunning Sophie handed away this morning after a horrible accident. True to her spirituality, she had climbed as much as watch the complete moon and slipped and fell,” learn the statement. SOPHIE, who was 34, is one other devastating occasion of a music innovator and genius misplaced at a younger age.
SOPHIE, who requested publicists to not use pronouns, was not solely a musical icon however an icon within the LGBTQ neighborhood, popping out publicly as a transgender lady in 2017 with the discharge of “It’s Okay To Cry.” This was the primary time the artist’s unaltered voice was current on a undertaking. SOPHIE sought to interrupt down the traditions and guidelines of not simply music however gender and sexuality, all in service of higher expression and self-actualization. In an interview with Paper Journal, SOPHIE mentioned that: “Transness is taking management to deliver your physique extra according to your soul and spirit.”
Initially from Glasgow, SOPHIE started attending raves at about ten-years-old when the artist’s father got here to consider that digital music was the way in which of the long run for the musical world. As SOPHIE matured, the artist got here to this perception as nicely, expressing a fascination with “Kraftwerk and Orbital cassettes” as an alternative of the extra “regular” pursuits of SOPHIE’s siblings. This fascination grew right into a ardour; SOPHIE wished to give up faculty and make digital music earlier than even changing into a teen.
By the early 2010s, SOPHIE’s dream of creating digital and pop music had change into actual, because the artist’s breakout single, “Bipp,” turned heads in 2013 with its off-putting, glitzy pop melodies. The one grew to become an underground membership banger and was later featured on the artist’s debut EP “Product” in 2015. Like a lot of the artist’s solo work, “Product” is a stirring assortment of contradictions, as childlike glee clashes with atonal noise-pop amid perky and “commonplace” pop choruses.
Relating to the artist’s views on pop, SOPHIE mentioned in an interview with Rolling Stone that “all pop music must be about who could make the loudest, brightest factor.” Whereas a lot of pop or digital music comes from samples and might usually be formulaic, SOPHIE’s solo work is something however.
With “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides,” the artist’s Grammy-nominated second album, SOPHIE continued to refine the experimental and multifaceted tones offered in earlier works. The album’s lead single, the beforehand talked about “It’s OK to Cry,” sees a extra weak SOPHIE singing a stirring ballad that includes SOPHIE’s actual voice above a mattress of ‘80s synths. Later within the tracklist, nonetheless, SOPHIE explores BDSM noise pop with “Ponyboy” (which occurs to be the primary track I ever heard by the artist) and pays tribute to the long-lasting Madonna. In his retrospective on SOPHIE’s life, Spencer Kornhaber means that the unusual sounds and techy creations on “Oil of Each Pearl’s Un-Insides” are constructions of SOPHIE’s queer self-actualization.
Whereas a lot of SOPHIE’s solo work ventured far past the boundaries of common music, the artist was additionally deeply concerned as a producer for a number of extra mainstream musicians, reminiscent of Charli XCX, Vince Staples and Madonna. Alongside frequent collaborator A.G. Cook dinner, SOPHIE produced nearly a dozen tracks for the ascendant hyperpop artist Charli XCX, who took many cues for her personal digital pop music from the extra experimental SOPHIE. With Vince Staples, SOPHIE produced the track “Yeah Right,” which additionally featured Kendrick Lamar, demonstrating the far-reaching musical affect SOPHIE had even past the genres of pop and digital music. And naturally, Madonna’s “Bitch I’m Madonna,” shines by with SOPHIE’s signature colourful and addictive pop manufacturing.
SOPHIE’s affect and legacy transcend the artist’s solo and manufacturing work. The impacts span throughout the music and tradition world however are most prevalent inside the exponentially rising style of hyperpop. Hyperpop, which usually combines glitchy manufacturing, altered vocals and intense tempos, counts SOPHIE as considered one of its founders. Artists inside this style embrace 100 gecs, Rina Sawayama and Charli XCX, in addition to many extra younger artists from around the globe which can be making progressive and provocative pop music. The hyperpop style additionally gives a niche for other trans and nonbinary artists, reminiscent of Dorian Electra, Kim Petras and 100 gec’s Laura Les, to precise themselves and do what they love, additional proving the immense affect that SOPHIE has had on the way forward for music and cultural expression, and the way irreplaceable SOPHIE is within the historical past of contemporary pop music.
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