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From the start of her career, SOPHIE influenced artists across the board. Her iconic sound impacted music like an earthquake, and everyone felt it. It is not an understatement to say that, without SOPHIE, the music we all know and love would not exist. Some of our favorite artists would not make music right now without her impact. Leftfield bass would be completely different, and hyperpop may not even exist if it weren’t for SOPHIEs incredible work. Furthermore, she is a beacon of inspiration and visibility for the trans community.

SOPHIE Electric Hawk
A headshot of SOPHIE.

SOPHIE changed the landscape of modern electronic music.

SOPHIE cited that her desire to be an electronic music producer began at a young age. Her father’s love for electronic music molded her own passion. He shared with her rave cassette tapes, which she quickly found herself listening to as a form of escapism. Shortly after, she acquired a keyboard and other equipment, enabling her to produce music. Clearly, this ignited a fire that burned for the rest of her life.

Her music career began with participating in a band called Motherland. The connections she made here bloomed into other performance works with former bandmate, Matthew Lutz-Kunoy. In addition, she became affiliated with the label PC Music. SOPHIE had encountered Dux Kids*, a duo consisting of Danny L Harle and A. G. Cook (head of the PC Music label). February 2013 saw the release of her debut single, “Nothing Left to Say.” Later that year, she released the breakthrough hits “Bipp” and “Elle” on Soundcloud—tracks that are innovative to this day. “Bipp” includes vocals from former Motherland bandmate, Marcella Dvsi. Indeed, SOHPIE never seemed to forget the people she met and worked with throughout her career. “Bipp” received critical appraisal, even being granted slot 17 on Pitchfork’s Top Tracks of 2013.

In August 2014, SOPHIE dropped “Lemonade” and “Hard,” two monumental songs for her constantly growing career. “Lemonade” went on to receive massive praise from several different publications, including Resident Advisor and the Washington Post. The track even ended up being a soundtrack for a McDonald’s commercial. Then, SOPHIE collaborated with A. G. Cook, once again, and Hayden Dunham for the single, “Hey QT,” as part of the QT project.

SOPHIE emerged into the world of pop.

Product, her debut album, released in 2015, and included the bouncy, driving track “MSMSMSM.” This unique song still gets played in mixes to this day. That same year, Charli XCX announced that she and SOPHIE were working on something together. Then, in 2016, Charli XCX revealed that SOPHIE had been the primary producer on the Vroom Vroom EP. SOPHIE also collaborated with Cashmere Cat on their album, 9, in 2017.

In October 2017, SOPHIE introduced the comeback for her solo musical career when she dropped “It’s Okay to Cry.” It was also her first time revealing her voice and image to the audience. Subsequently, SOPHIE also told the public she is a trans woman. The single, “It’s Okay to Cry,” prefaced the release of her genre-defying album, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides. This album shattered all expectations anyone may have previously held about SOPHIE; additionally, it helped change the path of modern pop music. The album was Grammy-nominated in 2018 for Best Dance/Electronic Album. It is no exaggeration to say that Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides helped drive hyperpop as a subgenre. Indeed, SOPHIE never stopped carving her own sound throughout her career.

SOPHIE Electric Hawk
SOPHIE on the cover of Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides.

SOPHIE’s impact is immesurable.

From the beginning of her career as a musician, SOPHIE has been in a league entirely her own. Her sound design remains unmatched and her composition abilities have become legendary across genres. SOPHIE has impacted the lives of millions of fans, directly and indirectly. Surely, modern sects of bass music and hyperpop would be completely different without her music. Above all, she is a bastion for inspiration for trans and nonbinary musicians and listeners.

Sometimes, it seems that the electronic music industry is overwhelmed with cisgender, heterosexual men. And, especially the more popular artists/genres appear to lack diversity. SOPHIE’s rise to popularity and her far-reaching influence as a trans woman is so important. Several budding musicians have cited her as the reason they began making music. SOPHIE’s story is the beginning of many others’ stories. The work of this upcoming generation’s trans, nonbinary, and queer artists will grow this sphere of inspiration. They will keep SOPHIE’s story alive, and help create a beautiful, diverse field for music.

*Please note, this cited article came out before SOPHIE told the public she was a trans woman.

Be inspired by SOPHIE
 SoundCloud | Spotify

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Toni Nittolo

biochemist | audiophile | editor-in-chief for Electric Hawk | plant parent