Remembering SOPHIE, Electronic Pop Musician The electronic pop musician SOPHIE, known for her unique spin on underground dance music, died on Saturday after an accidental fall. She was 34 years old.

Remembering SOPHIE, Electronic Pop Musician

Remembering SOPHIE, Electronic Pop Musician

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The electronic pop musician SOPHIE, known for her unique spin on underground dance music, died on Saturday after an accidental fall. She was 34 years old.


In the song "Immaterial," the electronic pop musician SOPHIE wrote what you might call a mission statement.


SOPHIE: (Singing) Immaterial, immaterial, immaterial boys, immaterial girls.

CHANG: We're immaterial. Our bodies follow our souls, SOPHIE said. SOPHIE's music was often about the possibilities within ourselves, a point of view informed by being transgender.


Fans who cherished those possibilities are now mourning. SOPHIE died on Saturday at age 34 in Athens, Greece, in an accident while trying to see the full moon.

SASHA GEFFEN: It was through her that I first started thinking about the creation of new sound as accompanying creation of new reality, new material circumstances, new interpersonal potential.

KELLY: That is Sasha Geffen. Geffen has written about SOPHIE's music extensively and says the way SOPHIE captured sounds could feel intensely physical.

GEFFEN: When you're listening, there's this experience of kind of having these objects, like, whirl around the sound field. There's a pair of rubber gloves getting snapped over here, and there's, like, a chain banging into the side of a meat locker over here. I mean, none of this was sampling. It was all synthesis.


CHANG: That is the 2015 song "Hard." That inventive sound creation was once all we knew of SOPHIE, who remained anonymous until 2017.

KELLY: In that obscurity, SOPHIE trickled out track after track. There was SOPHIE's breakout, "BIPP."


SOPHIE: (Singing) I can make you feel, I can make you feel.

KELLY: And there was also all the music SOPHIE produced for other artists, like the rapper Vince Staples...


VINCE STAPLES: (Rapping) Boy, yeah, right. Yeah, right. Yeah, right.

KELLY: ...Pop artist Charli XCX...


CHARLI XCX: (Singing) Let's ride.

KELLY: ...And Madonna.


MADONNA: (Singing) I just want to have fun tonight.

CHANG: Sasha Geffen says SOPHIE was a futurist, inspired by our fluidity as people, by science fiction and by the otherworldly.

GEFFEN: Something that sticks in my memories - SOPHIE talking about how the movie "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory" made a big impression, I think, when she was a kid, which you can hear in the bubbles, in the way everything's carbonated in SOPHIE's music.

CHANG: The pioneering electronic artist SOPHIE was 34 years old.


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