Visionary electronic pop producer SOPHIE has died in an accident. The artist was 34 years old.
The Glaswegian musician and DJ passed away in the early morning of January 30 after an accident in Athens, Greece, where SOPHIE had been residing. The news was confirmed by a statement from the artist’s team.
“It is with profound sadness that I have to inform you that musician and producer SOPHIE passed away this morning around 4am in Athens, where the artist had been living, following a sudden accident,” the statement reads, per NME.
“At this time respect and privacy for the family is our priority. We would also ask for respect for her fanbase, and to treat the private nature of this news with sensitivity.”
“SOPHIE was a pioneer of a new sound, one of the most influential artists in the last decade. Not only for ingenious production and creativity but also for the message and visibility that was achieved. An icon of liberation.”
A statement from SOPHIE’s labels, Transgressive and Future Classic, revealed that SOPHIE had died after accidentally falling from a height. “True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell,” it partly reads. “She will always be here with us.”
— Transgressive (@transgressiveHQ) January 30, 2021
SOPHIE, who was an early associate of the British avant-pop label PC Music, debuted in 2013 with the single “Nothing More to Say.” The follow-up single “Bipp,” released that same year, became an underground sensation. In 2014, SOPHIE joined forces with PC Music head AG Cook on the project QT, and continued to release solo singles including “Lemonade” and “Hard.” In 2015, SOPHIE collated several of these singles as the album Product.
Throughout these early years, SOPHIE remained anonymous, leading to widespread speculation on the artist’s identity and gender. In 2017, SOPHIE made a public musical appearance for the first time, coming out as transgender and starring in the music video for the single “It’s Okay to Cry,” which was the first SOPHIE song to officially feature SOPHIE’s own vocals. The artist—who preferred not to use gendered or non-binary pronouns, Pitchfork reports—went on to release the debut studio album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides in 2018. It received a nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2019 Grammys.
SOPHIE was a prolific producer, bringing a signature fizzy, hard-edged brand of pop production and painstakingly crafted sonics to the likes of Charli XCX, Vince Staples, Kim Petras, Flume, Arca and even Madonna, on 2015 single “Bitch I’m Madonna” featuring Nicki Minaj. Many of these collaborators, friends and admirers have taken to social media to mourn SOPHIE, including Christine and the Queens, Chic’s Nile Rodgers, Sam Smith and Rina Sawayama.
SOPHIE had actively released music up until the artist’s untimely death. Last week, SOPHIE put out “Unisil,” an unreleased song from 2015, and before that shared a “Bipp” remix by Autechre—the only group permitted to remix SOPHIE material.
RIP, SOPHIE. Revisit Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides below: