MANILA, Philippines – American dance music duo Sofi Tukker, consisting of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, have found a way to keep the party going amid pandemic restrictions. They have been broadcasting live DJ sets every day, since the start of the pandemic, to connect and reassure their fans around the world in these troubling times.
âWe started broadcasting live every day at the start of the pandemic. We’ve been DJing, broadcast live daily for (over) 300 days, something crazy like that, âTucker said in Zoom’s exclusive interview with The STAR.
The musical couple’s incredibly admirable effort paid off as their following grew over time, eventually forming an online community of fans called Freak Fam.
âThe people who really watched us and started following us got really intense. We grew a lot at that time. The live streams, the DJ sets really made (become) aware of us. We thought that was helping us get through (as musical artists) and we also ended up helping a lot of people get through a time of loneliness, âTucker continued.
Sophie confirmed, âIn a way, it just brought our world together because in the past we could tour by going to one city at a time. But (in) this way, we were able to play everyone in the world at the same time. And so what happened was everyone became friends with each other and it really created that sense of community, instead of just (partying) in separate towns.
The two spoke more about how the pandemic has redefined their music careers, a brief look back at how their musical chemistry started, their Grammy-nominated single Drinkee and the latest track Sun Came Up with John Summit.
Back in college, at Brown University in Rhode Island, basketball player Tucker fell ill and had to quit school for a year. In bed for seven months he became interested in music and wanted to be “productive somehow.” Tucker was watching YouTube to learn on his own how to make music.
After taking this break, he returned to school to “DJ” a lot. It was then that he saw Sophie directing a bossa nova and fell in love with her performance. âI heard her and she was amazing. I thought it would be really cool if she could do some dance music. I approached her after her performance. And I said, ‘I can do a remix of your music.’ Itâs so awesome. We have since started to work together.
With years of making great music collectively, Sophie shared that the secret to their chemistry is to be âdifferentâ. âWe still bring a lot of different things to the table. We still have different interests. I think it helped us not to get bored of each other (laughs).
While both admire Belgian rapper Stromae as their favorite artist, Sophie’s attachment to bossa nova began from her early days. “(Love it) especially the way bossa nova is played and sung. It’s very whispered, like the microphone is almost there (near the mouth) and kind of like silent. That. Itâs always inspired me. Itâs just very intimate.
Sofi Tukker also felt good that the single Sun Came Up reached No. 1 on US Dance Radio last month. âYou make a song, you have no idea how it’s going to be received. So when people love him and when people support him, it’s amazing. We’re really grateful, âTucker enthused.
Sun Came Up, “a delightful house track with intricate Spanish guitar work,” was produced while Sofi Tukker was in quarantine. It’s about looking forward to that day when we can all âdance with our friends until the sun risesâ after the pandemic crisis is over.
âWe dreamed of dancing with people again. It’s about being together, in the dark and in the sun. And to be able to recall that experience over and over again in our imagination and memory. It is both nostalgic and full of hope. Looking back and looking forward to that perfect vignette of togetherness, âthe duo said.
While making the music video for the song, in which Sophie, Tucker, John and their group of friends partied on the beach and the yacht, Tucker shared a backstage blooper. A friend of hers, who was with them in the video, got stuck in the bathroom while they were on top of the boat filming.
The girl went downstairs to take a call, took it into the bathroom and locked herself in. For 30 minutes, as the drone circled around and the crew filmed the entire clip, her friend was “below trying to yell for help out the window.”
They finally found her when they took a break. “I was like, ‘Where has she gone? We went downstairs and it was like knocking on the door. It was crazy, âTucker said.
Besides Sun Came Up, top hits from Sofi Tukker, Drinkee, Purple Hat and Best Friend (which featured in the Apple commercial) have won over 100 million streams on Spotify. They are also frequently called upon for remixes of major artists, namely Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
Some of their advocates, on the other hand, include Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Natural Resources Defense Council, and March for Our Lives.
Through their music, the genre-defying duo assured fans to “keep working really hard and trying to do things that have a positive impact on the world.” “As long as we continue to love what we do and get excited about it, who we are, I think it’s contagiousâ¦ I think we can inspire others to do the same too, (for spread that) contagious feeling, âTucker said. .
Sophie agreed, âWe just continue to enjoy the process of making music and loving what we do,â and cited Freak Fam as âa great culture and community. I hope it grows so that more people can discover (our music).
Sophie’s sister-in-law is Filipino and she wants to visit the country very soon.