New York’s phenomenal duo Sofi Tukker has been riding high off the acclaim from recently released EP Soft Animals. Because we’re so floored by their ability to turn up the party, we decided to ask them some questions. Their senses of humor shine in the below interview, but of course you’ll want to check out the “Awoo” Remix below first.
What’s your origin story? Was there a cute meeting?
Soph was playing an acoustic bossa nova set at an art show at Brown and Tuck was asked to DJ after. Tuck ended up remixing one of Sophie’s songs on the spot and we haven’t stopped working together since.
What’s the first album or song you remember listening to, and who introduced it to you?
Tucker: We had this old casio keyboard in my house when I was young and it played songs automatically. My dad used to always pretend he was playing “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals, and he would theatrically sing the words and I thought it was the funniest thing. He’s not the best singer in the world haha. That’s still one of my favorite songs of all time to this day.
Sophie: I have very distinct memories of Harry Belafonte’s “Day-o” … something about the banana part has always stuck with me.
When did you two decide to pursue music? Was there a defining moment?
Tucker: My defining moment was when I got sick in college. I had been training and preparing my whole life to pursue my dream as a professional basketball player and was the captain of my team as a junior when I got very sick. I was bed ridden for about 8 months. In that time I wanted to be productive but didn’t have energy to move much, so I decided to teach myself how to make music on my computer. I had always wanted to learn but never had the time with all my basketball. I got hooked on it, and when my body could no longer handle the stresses of being a D1 athlete, I fully turned to music as my new dream. I was lucky enough to find a new passion so I didn’t feel too lost after losing basketball.
Sophie: I’m not sure that there was ever a defining moment… it’s sort of always been there at the forefront of my dreams and I’ve taken every possible (often embarrassing and sometimes inappropriate) opportunity to perform music in front of people.
How would you describe your sound, specifically?
We have a lot of trouble with this question. We just make what we want to hear and what makes us feel good. We are inspired by such different things individually that the final product comes out as something we can only describe as: us. Regardless of what genre people choose to use for our music, we just hope it connects and makes people move and feel happy and free!
What has the response been during live performances?
We have been blown away by the response to our live show. We have been touring for most of the year and feel like we’ve come a long way from when we first began. The show has grown with new songs, new goofy choreography, new instruments… Our third member of the band is the “Book Tree,” which is our 8 foot tall tree made of old books that we turned into triggers. We play different samples on them in each song–sometimes drums, sometimes horns or vocal samples. We do our best to connect with the audience and just have the best time.
Any fun/funny tour anecdotes you’d like to share?
Tucker: Sophie’s nickname at times is Slophie… I think it’s self explanatory haha.
Sophie: I like to stop and smell the flowers…
You were just nominated for a GRAMMY. That’s amazing! How does it feel?
Its feels overwhelming and shocking and amazing and nuts. We never ever expected it. I think we’re still trying to make sense of it. We are really excited to go and enjoy the whole experience.
Do you have any big goals with your tour coming up at all?
We are going to have new production and lots of new songs, so can’t wait to share all that with everyone. Our goal is the same: to just have so much fun with everyone we encounter along the tour. Meeting people and sharing energy with people is amazing. It’s such a reciprocal exchange, we get a lot of energy from everyone we meet. We just want to have a party everywhere we go.
Do you have any fun items on your rider list by chance?
Haha we keep it very low key with the rider, we don’t need much.
What can we expect from you in 2017?
More music, more videos, lots more touring, lots more joy. We are so grateful to be able to do what we do, and we are grateful for all of the support. Just more love.