SOPHIE, a staple of queer dance parties and avant-garde playlists, has died at the age of 34. According to a statement from SOPHIE’S label, Transgressive & Future Classic, Sophie Xeon “had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell.”
SOPHIE, who does not use gendered or non-binary pronouns, had been performing live for a decade and produced tracks for Vince Staples, Charli XCX, and Madonna. Her debut album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insideswas released in 2017. The producer came out as transgender the same year. SOPHIE’s electronic songs are by turns both sugary pop delights and abrasive soundscapes. They are experiments in expressing queer embodiment and disembodiment. They are the sounds of a gendered body navigating a highly digital world.
In “Immaterial” the producer sings “Without my legs or my hair / Without my genes or my blood / With no name and with no type of story /…. I could be anything I want.” It’s a playful take on Madonna’s “Material Girl” delivered with a bouncy synthetic beat. SOPHIE’s music is the sound of queer liberation an acknowledgement that with the raw materials any body, sound, or voice can be transcendent, can be shaped and reshaped infinitely.
In 2018 SOPHIE spoke with PAPER Magazine and said “Transness is taking control to bring your body more in line with your soul and spirit…on this earth, it’s that you can get closer to how you feel your true essence is without the societal pressures of having to fulfill certain traditional roles based on Gender. We’re all thinking, feeling beings in a very complex world and we should be using every technology and information around us to adapt us.”
Rest In Power SOPHIE.