SOPHIE is the much-talked-about (anonymous) UK producer responsible for some of the most polarizing and out-there pop vs. club tracks of the past few years. The highly synthetic, hyperactive electronic outings—simulating the experience of a sugar rush—have been the subject of heated debate within electronic music circles: who (and what) is SOPHIE, and does his output represent pop futurism or art-school satire?
SOPHIE debuted in 2012 with a single on nu-disco outpost Huntleys & Palmers, but came to wider attention the following year with the release of the "Bipp/Elle" single on Numbers, the Glaswegian label headed by Jackmaster and friends. Featuring heavily processed, cartoonish vocals and glossy melodies, the effort topped a number of year-end lists and was named XLR8R's number-one pick in its annual roundup. " Simply put, there was nothing else in 2013 that sounded quite like 'Bipp,'" the magazine commented. The single was followed by a second two-track offering on Numbers in 2014 — Lemonade/Hard — and a live appearance on Boiler Room that only served to deepen the mystery behind the producer's profile, when SOPHIE enlisted a female model to come and stand in his place and play along to a pre-recorded set.
This past year also saw SOPHIE teaming up with A.G. Cook (head of digital label PC Music) to form QT, a conceptual project built around an invented brand whose debut single "Hey QT" was released via UK megalabel XL. "SOPHIE presents a precise sonic assault of pop hooks, hyperreal sound design, and club rhythms, synthesized and sculpted live from raw waveforms on hardware equipment," reads an official artist bio. "Super sweet sugar candy hooks over visionary bass-driven productions for the Easyjet generation. Shake it up and make it fizz."