Story by: Erica Hawkins
Photos / Kris Fuentes Cortes
Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern of Sofi Tukker look like their music. What I’m saying is that if you closed your eyes and listened to their debut EP, Soft Animals, you would see Halpern, blonde, tall, and draped in patterned neon stood next to Hawley-Weld, equally neon with bright cat-like eyes and a tight brunette ponytail grown to a length perfect for whipping back and forth. See, words like colorful, kinetic, and fidgety can be used interchangeably to describe Sofi Tukker’s dynamic indie dance music and the duo themselves.
We met up with the pair on the last day of Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival and asked them about what they find inspiring, what they have planned next, and how their newest single “Fuck They” has become an expletive fueled motto everyone (including their families) can get behind.
When did you get into Chicago?
Tucker: Late last night. We played Osheaga in Montreal.
How was that?
Tucker: It was incredible.
Sophie: It was insane.
Tucker: Such a good show!
You’ve been playing some huge shows lately, and selling out venues on your own tour, what does that level of success feel like?
Sophie: That was our first headline tour ever. We’ve been opening for a lot of bands.
Tucker: We were on tour with M83 and St. Lucia, but yeah it’s good and it’s been building and we can definitely feel it for sure.
Speaking of other bands and even some of the bands and artist that will be playing here tonight that you find inspiring?
Tucker: I think what all artist are doing is great because they’re putting themselves out there and being themselves.
Sophie: We’re inspired by artist that are in all sorts of genres, for a lot of different reasons. There are artist that their music inspires us or it’s their energy inspires us.
Tucker: Like Tyler, The Creator, super different music obviously and that’s not necessarily what is inspiring us, but he is. It’s cool to see different inspirations everywhere.
What inspires you outside of music?
Tucker: Our friends. Nightlife. I think the most inspiring thing is people figuring themselves out and being themselves. That’s probably the most exciting stuff that I ever see.
Sophie: It’s so contagious.
Tucker: People being comfortable with themselves is such a cool thing.
So, if you had to choose one word to convey the message you want people to take away from your music, what would that be?
Sophie: Maybe it’s that sentiment, but what the word for that?
Tucker: Kind of like inspired. Inspiring people to pursue what they love or own themselves.
Sophie: And, like feel themselves and stick up for themselves
Tucker: And not be worried to be a little outrageous. It’s like, don’t worry that someone might hate on you because they probably don’t like themselves. You know what I mean? Like, fuck it.
Speaking of fuck it, your newest single is “Fuck They.”
Tucker: Good segue!
Can we talk a little about the song? Ever since I’ve heard it, it’s been playing in my head, every time something happens, I’m like “who gives a fuck about they” – it’s such a great sentiment to have.
Tucker: We love that it has caught on like that.
Sophie: It ends up working for so many scenarios that you never expect.
Tucker: My dad text me last night from a wedding for like my mom’s friend from college in the South, and he’s like “I definitely didn’t bring the right clothes, but fuck they.” And I was like, hell yeah!
When was the last situation that you both were in that you felt like “Fuck They” was the proper response?
Tucker: We’ve been in the airport a lot the past few days and Sophie loves to foam roll, you know when you’re stretching and foam rolling your muscles out. She’ll just sprawl out on the ground in the middle of the airport and foam roll in an all cheetah print outfit.
Sophie: I brought out my stretchy bands, so I’m on the floor in the airport splaying my legs out in cheetah print yoga pants.
Tucker: It used to embarrass me a lot, but now I’m like, “I can’t be they, so fuck it!” I was about to be like, Sophie, you’re embarrassing me but I can’t be that way anymore because then I’m fake!
I know you just played a huge festival, what are you most excited about doing next?
Tucker: Today. We’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. This is a big weekend in general, but I thought today was going to be the big day but Osheaga was so big yesterday I’m like, alright Lollapalooza you got to stand up to what just happened.
Sophie: We’re putting out a lot of new music too, and new music videos in the next few months that we’re really excited about. We have so much that we are antsy to share.