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You probably haven't heard an artist that sounds like Sofi Tukker before. They are a bit of a sonically strange musical pairing; one half is Tucker Halpern, who provides club-ish beats and bass and the other half is Sophie Hawley-Weld, who provides lead vocals and guitar. The two first met in their senior year at Brown University, "she was doing an acoustic thing for an art gallery and I was DJing after her and I thought one of her songs was really amazing but really slow and boring I was like 'what if we made this dancey' and then we started collaborating and just worked together ever since," Halpern shared. And now here they are, making eccentric jungle-pop songs laced with the beautiful Portuguese language that has earned them ad placements with Apple and Grammy nominations.

After performing three room-rumbling songs for us, "Johny," "Deja Vu Affair," and "Drinkee," playing with the camera and exuberating an undeniable chemistry, the two sat down to talk to us about the huge instrument/stage prop they brought along with them, called "The Book Tree." It's basically a ring of synth pads covered with book covers, on a giant pole, made to look like a tree. Get it? Halpern explained, "my side is all giraffes 'cause I'm a giraffe and Sophie wanted to be a puma - not sure if she really is a puma as much as I am a giraffe --" and then Hawley-Weld cut him off saying, "what animal would I be if you could choose?" Halpern's answer, with much hesitation, "an anteater." Maybe some would get offended by that, but the two have a very special relationship where anything can be said, and it was entertaining to say the least (and also heartwarming!).

I finished the interview by acknowledging that this is one of the most unique things we've ever done, which Halpern said in return, "you can say weird, that's fine." That pretty much sums up Sofi Tukker in all of their free-spirited glory.

Transcript

duo that blends elements of EDM, South American music, and psychedelia into a unique sound that thrilled festival crowds all summer long.
The band is currently killing it on tour with Odessa and recently swung by Baeble to talk about how the project came together and play a few of their addictive songs.
They also brought one of the coolest instruments we've ever seen.
Hi.
My name is Kirsten, and I'm the managing editor at Baeble.
When I'm not writing about music, I'm making my own music in New York City.
Baeble covers a lot of great artists.
I love to take the opportunity to pick their brains about gear, song writing, and more.
So join me as we talk artist to artist right here on "The Writer's Block.
" Johny, do you, do you, do you, do you
Johny can you hear me? Johny?
music
Johny
Johny, do you, do you, do you, do you
Johny, can you hear me? Johny?
Johny
Johny can you hear me? Johny can you hear me?
Johny can you hear me? Johny can you hear me?
Hey!
Hey!
Hey!
Hey!
Johny can you hear me? Johny can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Johny can you hear me? Johny can you hear me?
Hey!
- So you guys met at Brown University.
How did you know it's going to be a good music match? I mean, it was sort of random.
We just met in our senior year.
Sophie was doing, like, acoustic bass and other music.
I was DJing mostly house music.
We, like, met one day when she was doing an acoustic thing for an art gallery and I was DJing after her.
And I thought one of her songs was really amazing, but it was really slow and boring.
- So then I was like, "Hey, like, what if we…" - I do.
And then I was like, "What if we, you know, made this dancey and, like, tried to start..." And then we started collaborating and just kind of worked together ever since.
- Are you guys always that brutally honest when you're in the studio? - All the time.
- In the studio or out of the studio, yeah.
- When she's deciding what to wear, brutally honest.
- Oh, gosh.
I could see how that'd go horribly wrong.
- No.
- No , it's fine.
- It's fine because we can both take it.
Although, she's been wrong lately.
- Yeah, that's true.
I told him I didn't like his shirt, and he wore it.
And then everybody commented and was like, "Oh, I love your shirt.
" And I was like, "Sorry.
" - I literally, like, never got more comments on a shirt before.
- It was really embarrassing.
I was so wrong.
- It was awesome because I knew she was wrong.
I ended up wearing - Oh, I loved that shirt.
I'm sorry.
- No, no.
- I literally, I came over to him, I was like, "Are you really going to wear that?" It was, like, a fancy event, and I was, like, way too fancy.
- We were going to, like, a premier thing.
She's like, "You're going to wear that?"And I was like, "You're wrong here.
Trust me.
" - He goes, "You didn't grow up with TV.
You have no idea what you're talking about.
" - You don't know that this is cool and retro.
You don't get it.
We're in a junction
We're in a champagne room
But no other people are breathing this air with you
It's a secret honey, a chocolate perfume
I like to close my eyes and feel the way it moves
We don't even dare to breathe such lucid air
They are unaware of this déjà vu affair
Bit head and wind shines
I cannot grow appeal
Hallucination of what the now reveals
It's realistic and a sculptural idea
I like to say no words and let the human feel
We don't even care what happens out there
We just rest away of this déjà vu affair
- So this is what we call the book tree, and these are all actual books.
And that's we call them the book trees.
We cut out the pages to make them lighter for travel and because there couldn't be that much weight on this aluminum ring.
The ring breaks into four.
- You're going in.
- They screw in... I'm going in.
We screw it and unscrew it and build it every single show, like, every day.
I use to do it, now we have my favorite guys to do it.
The books have gone through some different lives, different books, because they wear out once you hit them enough.
But these particular ones were designed by our day-to-day manager, Justina, who also happens to be a creative genius.
They're like neon… What is...? Like, LED reactive. Not LED.
Is that right? - Black light.
- Black light reactive.
And my side is all giraffes because I'm a giraffe because my neck is very long.
- And my side are all pumas because I'm a cat.
- And Sophie wanted to be like a puma.
I'm not sure if she's really quite as much of a puma as I am a giraffe.
- You are definitely a puma.
- Wait, what animal would I be? - A puma.
- No, like, if you could choose my animals.
- Like, an anteater.
- An anteater? - I was thinking of the ugliest and all I could think of... Just kidding.
You're a beautiful puma.
- He prefaced it with, like, "Well, she thinks she's a puma, but really, like, she's an anteater.
" - A sloth.
- A sloth? - I call her Slow-phie because she's so damn slow.
- Okay, sorry I interrupted.
A sloth, okay. I'll take... - Justina, let's make some sloth ones.
- So they have contact microphones in them.
They're going quarter-inch cable to a thing that goes to the computer.
It's complicated but it's not really that complicated, it just… - No, it makes sense.
- …complicated to carry on planes.
- And what inspired this? Why did you decide to make this? - I mean, I think we wanted to make something that was different.
But also, like, we're, you know, only two people, so we're performing live, but we're also…we're not, like, pretending to play all of the parts.
So we wanted to make our whole stage setup like performance art.
Like, is this, I don't know, what is this? Is this like a little theater piece? Like, we wanted to have a sculpture on stage, and make a sort of… - If you can call that a sculpture.
- Yeah.
I don't know, make it, you know, a visual thing as well.
But yeah, it just sort of like evolved into this thing naturally.
- Well, it's awesome.
- And you guys are such a young band, too.
I mean, been around for not that long and you already have an ad placement with Apple and you've already been nominated for a Grammy, what's that like for such a new band? - I don't know. It's... - Shocking.
- Great, yeah.
- We were surprised by all that and thankful, for sure, especially the Apple commercial was, like, the first thing that ever happened to us before this song was even on Spotify and...our first song, Drinkee.
And it's the first song we wrote together, and it was the reason we were able to, like, pursue being a band and pay the rent without having to do other jobs and only have it as, like, a side focus.
So that means a lot to us I think.
And the Grammys is a huge honor that is still hard to wrap our head around I think.
It was pretty cool to go, but it also, like, showed that we're such, you know, tiny ants on the ant farm sort of thing.
It's like we have a long way to go.
And it was like, we were kind of just like, "Whoa, this is crazy.
" So, hopefully, we get back there.
- Yeah.
We just want to continue making music that we love, and we hope that other people will love it.
But, you know, we can't really control that part of it.
- And so what's coming up next for you, guys? Mentioned some new songs? - Yeah.
We have a lot of new songs that we're so eager to really… - And new videos.
- New videos.
So eager.
- Yeah, a lot of festivals.
And then in the fall, a big tour with Odessa, just, like, a lot of, you know, chugging away.
- Cool.
Thanks so much for talking to us today.
- Thanks for having us.
- This was great and probably one of the most unique things we've ever done.
- You can say weird.
It's fine.
Hey, this is Sophie.
- And this is Tucker.
- And we're Sofi Tukker.
- And you're watching Baeble Music.

Artist Bio

Sofi Tukker (often styled as SOFI TUKKER) is a New York-based musical duo consisting of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern. They're described as "an insatiable dance collection of jungle-pop songs with many well-executed nods towards Brazilian instruments, poets and to the national language, Portuguese". The magazine's review referred to the "carefully conceptualized Matadora" as the albums show-stopper".

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Sofi Tukker

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