Ever since their highly-buzzed about SXSW performance, New York based indie-dance duo SOFI TUKKER has been, to put it lightly, blowing the hell up. SOFI TUKKER has garnered 3 million + Soundcloud streams and over 8 million Spotify streams with tracks like “Drinkee,” “Matadora,” “Déjà Vu Affair” and “Hey Lion” grabbing the attention of synth-pop and indie-dance lovers internationally. Currently on tour in support of their EP Soft Animals, we at The MAT Magazine caught the duo before their Chicago show to chat about all this and more.
The MAT Magazine: How did you two become involved with creating music together?
SOFI TUKKER: We met at Brown, where we were apart of really different music scenes. When we started out, Tucker was making remixes of Sophie’s bossa nova songs. We worked together almost every day our senior year and by the end of it had developed a collaborative style that turned into Drinkee.
TMM: How would you describe your band to aliens?
SOFI TUKKER: Hi Aliens, we’re SOFI TUKKER. This is called dancing, it is what people do when they want to be happy and feel free. Let’s be friends!
TMM: Did you ever anticipate the duo would evolve into something this successful?
SOFI TUKKER: We just worked hard and tried to make shit that we truly loved ourselves. We had no clue if it would be accepted publicly this way or not. It’s been pretty amazing, but we feel like we have a long way to go!
TMM: Your singles have earned you much attention from both within the industry and from house fans, how has that success impacted you?
SOFI TUKKER: It has just encouraged and energized us. It has inspired us to do more and keep pushing ourselves and the sound.
TMM: We’re really in the midst of a “coming of age” for electronic music, with artists within the genre now headlining major festivals and topping charts everywhere. How does your sound contribute to that?
SOFI TUKKER: We’re flattered if it does, but we’re not intending anything like that specifically. We just want to do make stuff that we haven’t heard before.
TMM: How does the lyrical element come with your EP Soft Animals?
SOFI TUKKER: The lyrics come mostly from Sophie’s inner world. Either that or from the Brazilian poet, Chacal, whose poetry is in Drinkee and Matadora! Sophie met him while studying Portuguese poetry at Brown, he’s the best.
TMM: How did your sound develop within the creation period of the EP?
SOFI TUKKER: Drinkee was the first song we ever made together. From there we started figuring out who we were more with each session and song. The development of our songs have come a lot from performing and learning how we want to make the crowd feel during our shows, and how we want to feel.
TMM: Is that something that unveiled itself in the development of this EP, or did you have that in mind from the beginning?
SOFI TUKKER: More unveils itself every step of the way with us. We knew so little about who we were as a group and artists when it all started, so we are constantly learning and figuring out who we are and who we want to be.
TMM: Live performances, especially in the electronic genre, are usually a much different experience than listening to pre-recorded tracks. What component of live performances do you most enjoy when touring for your music?
SOFI TUKKER: We try to embody the music physically and visually as much as playing the instruments. It’s important for us to break the fourth wall and connect with the audience and have fun with them. We do quirky choreography and trigger sounds on our “book tree” instrument. The best shows are the ones we walk away from feeling really connected to and on the same vibe as the whole room.
TMM: What’s your dream festival to perform?
SOFI TUKKER: Any festival where people are there for the love of music and dancing and connection!
TMM: What can we expect from Sofi Tukker in the future?
SOFI TUKKER: Popping tracks — and more fun.
We’ll be catching SOFI TUKKER live with M83 at their sold out Official Lollapalooza after show at The Vic in Chicago, but you can see the duo live for yourself on any of the tour dates listed below. Make sure you pick up your copy of their EP Soft Animals, out now on.
SOFI TUKKER Tour Dates
Words by Katherine Wilburn / Photography by Shervin Lainez