Bands to Watch: SOPHIE

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Despite having a name that suggests otherwise, SOPHIE is a male music producer based in London. The dance pop artist has preferred to remain anonymous, although, in a rare interview, he told Pitchfork that he chose the alias because “it tastes good and it’s like moisturiser”. If you think that’s bizarre, wait until you hear his music: a poppy and euphoric sound with high-pitched vocals over the top.

Whereas SOPHIE’s debut 2013 single “Nothing More To Say”/”EEEHHH” didn’t have much of an impact, the follow-up “Bipp” / “Elle” drew the attention of critics. Bipp topped XLR8R ’​s end of year list and placed 17th on Pitchfork Media’s Top Tracks of 2013, ahead of the likes of CHVRCHES, Daft Punk and Drake. In August 2014, SOPHIE returned with “Lemonade” / “Hard”. Within 24 hours of the song going live on SoundCloud, Lemonade received more than 100,000 plays. It also appeared at #1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart and was played on BBC Radio 1.

The artwork for each of SOPHIE’s singles has consisted of colourful images of different shaped slides, which the producer refers to as “Homemade Molecular Cooking”. He explained to Pitchfork: “Music as molecular gastronomy is something I like to think about. It’s about getting to the molecular level of a particular sound — realising what that sound actually is made of, and why it behaves a certain way when processed or cooked. Then you use those molecules to build new forms, mixing and re-appropriating those raw materials – and of course, it should be bloody delicious.”

Most recently, SOPHIE collaborated with PC Music to produce the energy drink-promoting single “Hey QT” for singer/songwriter QT, one of the most love-her-or-hate-her pop stars of 2014. He has also written for J-pop sensation Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who has accumulated more than 60 million YouTube views.

If his music and persona is anything to go by, SOPHIE’s scheduled appearance at SXSW 2015 will definitely be one to watch.