Even though it’s sung entirely in Portuguese, Sofi Tukker’s “Drinkee” easily transcends cultural music boundaries. A laid back yet innately charming use of synths, as well as traditional instruments lets Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern combine the styles American house music and Bossa Nova, a Brazilian mix of samba and jazz.
With a few popular hits under their belts such as “Matadora,” “Hey Lion” and their recently released “AWOO“, Sofi Tukker released their debut Soft Animals EP today. We contacted the band amidst their current international tour for a few questions.
How did you two meet and start making music together?
Sofi Tukker: We met at university at Brown. We didn’t actually meet until our senior year because we were part of such different worlds. But once we met, we started making music immediately and haven’t stopped ever since!
Who does what for the band? (As in, who sings? Who makes beats? Who plays instruments?)
ST: Sophie sings and plays the guitar, Tucker plays the bass and the books – but also sings, and Sophie also plays books. Tucker primarily produces and Sophie does lyrics, but Tucker gives input on lyrics and Sophie gives input on production…. we pretty much do it all, the more the line is blurred between who is doing what, the better. We are generally in the same room throughout most of the process.
How old are you both?
ST: If we measure age in terms of life experiences of fun, we are both super old.
Why is the EP called “Soft Animals”?
ST: It’s paying homage to the poem “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver, in which she encourages us to let the soft animal of our bodies love what it loves!
Can we expect any videos with the EP?
ST: We just dropped the Drinkee video a few days ago! We will see about the other songs…
How does releasing an EP make you feel?
ST: It makes us feel really good! It’s difficult to make things and then have to wait so long to share them! We have a lot more material coming after the EP too that we are really excited about.
Have you toured internationally before? What’s it like performing across the world?
ST: It’s so cool to see how different cultures and countries react differently to music and move differently. We learn so much about a culture’s spirit based on the dance floor. It’s fascinating and so fun!
What do you do when you’re not making music?
Tucker: I think about making music, watch basketball and dance as much as my body will let me. I spend time with my NY fam (I love my friends) and see my actual fam sometimes too.
Sophie: I spend a lot of time dancing, meditating, doing yoga. I really love embodied spiritual practices. I like to spend as much time as I can laughing with my close family and friends, reading, writing and stopping to smell the flowers, so to speak.
Any inspirations or other musicians you tend to relate to?
ST: We tend to relate to lots of artists who are going against the grain. People that are genuinely doing what feels good to them, and not trying to please everyone else.
Any messages you’re trying to get across to audiences through your music?
ST: Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Any fun stories from performing and touring?
Sophie: Every show and tour is full of fun stories. Getting to know M83 was the coolest, they are the nicest people and so talented. And touring with our close friends The Knocks was just like going to camp but in a tour bus. We got to take our homie Charlie along for the ride this time which was so fun.
Tucker: I’m seeing all these places for the first time and I’m very wide eyed and loving it all.
Who would you want to be stuck in an elevator with?
T: Rosie Huntington Whitely.
S: My friend Mary, we could keep ourselves entertained for an eternity.
If you could have one super power what would it be?
T: Read minds.
S: To be able to heal anything.
Any person, alive or dead or fictional, you’d want to have dinner with?
T: Larry Bird.
S: Maria Bethania.
Any one thing or person you think the world would be better off without?