Sophie, an innovative producer, and performer whose music refined speed, noise, melody, transparency, and catchiness into what would soon be called hyper pop, died on Saturday in Athens. She was 34.
The music artist, whose full name was Sophie Xeon, cause her death as she fell from the balcony of an Athens apartment very early Saturday morning, according to a local police spokesperson who spoke to the Associated Press. Sophie’s label, Transgressive, confirmed her death in a statement.
She worked simultaneously at the experimental fringes of dance music and the center of pop, recording with Madonna, Charli XCX, and the rapper Vince Staples. Her 2018 album, “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides,” was nominated for a Grammy Award as the best dance/electronic album.
“The loss of Sophie is enormous,” wrote super-producer Jack Antonoff on Twitter on Saturday. “She’s been at the forefront for a long time and we see her influence in every part of the music. If you’re not aware of what she has done then today is the day to listen to all her brilliant work. You’ll hear an artist who arrived before everyone else.”
Sophie delighted in the play among stratagem and realness — her 2015 presentation collection “Product” came bundled as a silicone object that firmly taken after a sex toy. She authorized a champion early tune, “Lemonade,” to McDonald’s for an advertisement, a move that would appear to be edgy for most rising acts, however, felt thoughtfully intrusive from her (she normally remembered the track for “Item”). In 2015, she moved to Los Angeles to more readily submerge herself in the pop atmosphere.
“Pop should be about finding new forms for feelings and communicating them in ways which talk about the world around us right now,” Sophie told The Times in 2015. “There’s no need to view something commercial as necessarily bad.”
Video: Copied from, SOPHIE — It’s Okay To Cry (Official Video)
In 2017, with the release of the single “It’s OK to Cry,” Sophie came out as transgender. The song opened her full-length debut album, “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides,” which spanned harsh, aggressive electronics and ethereal meditation, with lyrics touching on identity, artifice, and yearning. In an interview with Paper magazine, Sophie said: “An embrace of the essential idea of transness changes everything because it means there’s no longer an expectation based on the body you were born into, or how the life should play out and how it ends. Traditional family models and structures of control disappear.”
In contrast to most electronic makers, Sophie didn’t need her work remixed — aside from, she announced in 2015, by Autechre, the English electronic team framed in 1987 that had emphatically affected her music. In 2018, her mark, Numbers, sent Autechre the electronic producers that had been utilized to make her singles on “Item”; in 2020, Autechre sent back a remix of “Bipp,” which was delivered on Jan. 23. She had quite recently delivered “Unisil,” an anxious, smashing outtake from “Item,” on Thursday.
Data about survivors was not quickly accessible.
Along with her own productions, Sophie’s music has been widely influential, notably for hyper pop acts like 100 gecs, as well as Rina Sawayama. Héloïse Adélaïde Letissier, the French songwriter who performs and records as Christine and the Queens, said on Twitter: “Sophie was a stellar producer, a visionary, a reference. She rebelled against the narrow, normative society by being an absolute triumph, both as a music artist and as an idol woman.”
SOPHIE, innovative music artist & trans idol dies aged 34.“Rest In Peace to SOPHIE. I found myself so consistently inspired by her and in awe of her production. Heartbroken to hear this,” said Finneas, Billie Eilish’s brother and producer.
Her label’s statement did not name any survivors, and representatives did not immediately return requests for information.