Sophie Xeon, known mononymously as SOPHIE, is an English electronic producer, songwriter, and DJ based in Los Angeles. Traversing disparate musical spheres from underground dance music to major label pop, SOPHIE’s singular sound shirks convention and pushes familiar musical styles to their furthest extremes. At once uncannily familiar and boldly experimental, and across solo releases and production work for other artists, her music has developed a devoted following and made her in demand in recording studios and on dance floors alike.
SOPHIE’s first single, “Nothing More To Say,” released in 2012, established a concise vision from the get-go, but it was her 2014 single “Bipp” that took off in clubs across the globe. Quintessentially SOPHIE, it revealed her strikingly original approach to music making, which treats sound as sculpture, emphasizing its physical qualities and ability to evoke extrasensory experiences. Sticky melodies, avant sound design, and enigmatic vocals were hallmarks of PRODUCT, her 2015 singles compilation, which presented “Bipp” alongside other critically acclaimed solo releases like “Lemonade” and “Hard.” PRODUCT, wrote Jon Pareles in the New York Times, was “a glossy surface with deeper implications ... not a satire or comment on pop, but a distillate of what pop could be.”
Meanwhile, SOPHIE delved into mainstream pop as a producer and songwriter, taking the helm for the likes of Madonna, Nicki Minaj, and Charli XCX. Defying generic boundaries, her sound proved transmutable across hip-hop, R&B, J-pop, and dancehall, always mutating without sacrificing clarity or concision. In 2015, she teamed up with A. G. Cook for the conceptual energy drink jingle-cum-breakout hit “Hey QT,” and in 2017 alone, she produced the breakaway Vince Staples single “Yeah Right” featuring Kendrick Lamar and two tracks for the New York-based rapper Quay Dash. SOPHIE’s work has seeped into the art and fashion worlds as well; in 2016, she presented new material at the New Museum, and her music has sound-tracked the runway for brands like Fenty and Jeremy Scott.
This past year, SOPHIE took a bold stride forward with the release of original material that expanded on previous techniques while unearthing new dimensions to her artistry. “It’s Okay to Cry,” a tender ballad and self-directed video clip released in October, put SOPHIE in front of a microphone and a camera for the first time, introducing a visual element to her hitherto semi-anonymous public presence. Just days after its release, SOPHIE unveiled a reimagined live show in Los Angeles, featuring vigorous choreography, stunning visuals and stage design, vocal accompaniment, and brand new music. A hint at twists and turns ahead, the new show travels to other cities in 2018, where fans will have the chance to witness a mutable and visionary artist at the top of her craft, collapsing expectations, eschewing categorization, and imagining future possibilities.