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Issue 17 Out Now

SOPHIE's Art


SOPHIE Image by: Frazer Harrison/Getty


SOPHIE, the DJ, singer, and producer, lost her life in a fatal fall, climbing a rooftop to look at the full moon in Athens, Greece. The influential artist is responsible for making new genres, impacting the way music sounds, and bringing trans and nonbinary people together will be missed. SOPHIE died at age 34, leaving an impact on music that will forever be heard and played.

The artistry that SOPHIE possessed was unmatched creating, innovative destructive sounds with attention-grabbing lyrics. The result of her artistry inspired many to follow her tactics to grab attention. In an interview with Vince Staples for Rolling Stone, Staples talks about the track “Yeah Right”. A song SOPHIE produced for the rapper. He has to approach it twice before it sounds right, the second time around using SOPHIE’s approach “Don’t tell stories. I don’t care what you’re talking about. The attention is what’s important.”

Although she was mainly known for pop and electronic music, SOPHIE’s production had no limits on what she created. She worked for musicians such as Kanye West, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Charli XCX, and many more. Placing, SOPHIE’s distinctive sound everywhere making it nearly impossible to have not heard a song produced or influenced by her.

In 2017 SOPHIE released her debut album, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, a nine-track Grammy-nominated album. The album brought unheard production. Her influence and music strongly resonated with trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary people. They resonated with her lyrics, which dealt with, surgeries that trans people go through, inner reflection, gender dysphoria, and kinks.

Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides gave birth to Hyper pop. A genre of music influenced by SOPHIE. This genre fuses electronic, dance, pop, and rap music. Her music allowed listeners to embrace their identity through all nine tracks of her album.

Hyper pop is a direct reflection of what her album is about, a loud form of self-expression.

Often time this loud form of self-expression is not allowed for black queer people. In the media, those who are queer, nonbinary, or trans are white. Seeing SOPHIE working with black mainstream and underground artists throughout her career was a joy. This intersection between my favorite black artists and her was a validating experience. Knowing that just because I’m black I was not excluded from what her music meant to other nonbinary people.


Resources:


Enis, Eli. “This Is Hyperpop: A Genre Tag for Genre-Less Music.” VICE, VICE, 27 Oct. 2020, 5:30am, www.vice.com/en/article/bvx85v/this-is-hyperpop-a-genre-tag-for-genre-less-music.

SOPHIE. “OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES by SOPHIE.” Genius, Genius, genius.com/albums/Sophie/Oil-of-every-pearls-un-insides.

“SOPHIE.” Genius, genius.com/artists/Sophie.

Vozick-Levinson, Simon. “Vince Staples Remembers Sophie: ‘She Was Never Afraid’.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 3 Feb. 2021, www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/vince-staples-sophie-tribute-1122824/.

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