If you aren’t in the know about SOFI TUKKER, we’re pretty sure you have unknowingly overheard their infectious beats, silvery voices and insouciant energy blasting up the clubs and charts. So much so, Apple selected the pop duo’s most celebrated track, Best Friend, to soundtrack the iPhone X launch event and commercial, infesting the digital sphere across the globe (Siri knows!).
In 2014, Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern met by chance at an art gallery while studying at Brown University. Fast forward to the ivy-league cap tossing ceremony, Tucker convinced Sophie to postpone her trip to Brazil in pursuit of a career in yoga for sonic taste-making in New York City. Fusing beauty, brains, bad taste and brilliance has led them into the fast-track—the result is music so gripping and bright, it’s like opening up a fresh box of crayons to paper.
Following 5 years of scribbling away, last year marked the release of Tree House, an album full of intoxicating dance hymns, including Mi Rumba with ZHU. This year, the record scored a prestigious Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album of the year, taking the duo all the way to the glittering Hollywood stage. Below, SOFI TUKKER and us have a chitchat and chinwag about clothes, cliques and Carla Bruni. But beware, it’s batshit crazy.
You guys have just performed at the Grammys! What was it like to orchestrate such a performance and did you spot any enthusiastic famous faces grooving to your music?
Both: It was really cool to perform with some of the best musicians in the world. We don’t often get to perform our music with live percussion and an entire live band, so that was really fun. We didn’t know who exactly was in the audience, but both our sets of parents were there, which was special!
Sophie, you had a Pippa Middleton moment in that white gown, what’s the story behind it?
Sophie: There’s not much of a story [Laughs]. I just tried a bunch of dresses on, and that one was my favourite! I love that it was kind of animal print and sparkly and white, all at the same time.
In the Sound of Music, Maria von Trapp composes musing by starting with Do-Re-Mi. How does SOFI TUKKER compose a song?
Tucker: It’s totally different each time! Sometimes it’s drums, sometimes it’s bass, but it might also be a poem or just an experience we had.
Do you have any musical heroes?
S: Feist! She is one of the reasons I started writing music.
T: Jack White.
How does your work translate into visuals? Am I right to think you’re involved in the creative direction of your music videos?
S: We’re super involved in everything. We’re all about vibe and energy, and it’s so important to us that the music exists in a visual world that helps to bring out the spirit we’re after.
I’m completely obsessed with the way you guys dress—clashing prints and colours, textures and prints. It’s lentertaining to observe! How do you dress yourself in the morning?
T: Either I go for whatever is clean or for whatever is brightest. The more patterns, the better.
Are there any particular brands or fashion designers you’d love to wear?
T: Love Moschino, love Alexander McQueen, love Versace.
Circling back to where you two met, can you tell us a bit about the cliques at Brown? Did you belong to any?
S: There were so many worlds within the college. The only world I didn’t belong to was the athletes’ one. Unfortunately, it was really divided at Brown—like, the athletes even went to a different library and a different dining hall than the rest. And that’s why I didn’t immediately know Tucker! If I could go back, I’d change that.
Sophie, has anyone mentioned you look remarkably like Carla Bruni (but with brighter blue eyes)?
T: She’s blushing.
Tucker, what are the advantages and disadvantages of being 6 feet 8 inches tall?
T: An advantage must be that you never get very claustrophobic in crowds, simply because your head is above everyone else. When it comes to disadvantages, however, fitting anywhere is a struggle all the time—cars, planes, trains, tour buses. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Tucker, how does one achieve hair like you? And who’s responsible for it?
T: Danny Moon is my guy, and all it takes is for you to be unconcerned about being bald in 5 years’ time.
If you guys were broke on the road and hunger took control, what would you spend your dinner budget of $5 on?
T: I’d give my $5 to Sophie and she’d use the $10 to make a healthy feast.
S: Rice, beans, avocados and sweet potatoes!
What makes you shiver? (Except the cold, obviously.)
S: It’s hard to differentiate, ‘cause I’m cold all the time.
We’d like to know what your favourite Apple device of all time is. Personally, we loved our iPod Minis, circa 2004.
S: I love talking to Siri, so I’m going to say the HomePod.
At last, what’s coming up for SOFI TUKKER in 2019?
SF: Lots of new music, lots of new videos, and a whole new world. And touring the world!