Charli XCX pays emotional tribute to SOPHIE: “She changed my life”

Charli XCX reflects on the mark visionary artist SOPHIE left on music during her new interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music.

Charli XCX in podcast studio, SOPHIE (right) in her iconic music video
Image: Youtube: Apple Music, SOPHIE

Pop sensation Charli XCX revealed that her newest LP, Crash, was dedicated to Trans icon and close friend SOPHIE. The late Scottish producer had collaborated with her since 2015 and was involved in several of her major projects, such as Vroom and Pop 2.

In an interview promoting Crash’s release, the artist stated that SOPHIE was “a champion of the people who she believed in.”

During the album’s production, Charli remembered trying to channel SOPHIE’s creative direction. “I have thought, oh what would SOPHIE think about this? Or what would SOPHIE tell me to do right now,” she said. “And the answer always is— SOPHIE would just be like, ‘Do your thing, go for it, push yourself.’”

SOPHIE was a Grammy-nominated producer, but more importantly, a trailblazer for music in the last decade. With an otherworldly and boisterous approach to sound, the artist produced music across a variety of genres and worked with artists such as Madonna, Arca, and Vince Staples.

SOPHIE was also a pioneer in hyperpop and PC Music, genres heavily led by LGBTQ+ artists and often challenged gender norms in music. The artist’s debut album, OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES, received critical acclaim and explored artificiality, boundlessness, and rejection of the binary.

On January 31, 2021, SOPHIE tragically passed after an accidental fall from a three-story building in Athens, Greece, while attempting to view the full moon.

Besides SOPHIE’s musical prowess, Charli also spoke on SOPHIE’s supportive and luminous character. She recalled when SOPHIE encouraged her to sing without autotune and wanted to hear her authentic self.

“She thinks people are stars. And when she thinks you’re a star, she’s not going to let you do yourself an injustice by not going for it,” she said. Crash is indeed a case in point– it’s symbolic of Charli’s departure from a major record label, but also her new start as an independent artist. At the same time, she felt it was a combination of all her previous albums, honouring the growth throughout her career.

Charli XCX concluded with an emotional but optimistic outlook on the legacy SOPHIE left behind. “She changed my life, she changed all of our lives, not just because of her music but because of the person she was,” she said. “She has this incredible energy, and when she wants to converse with you or have a moment with you, it’s so special because she’s so inspiring.”

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