Worlds apart.

Words by

Amy Campbell

You know the song. It’s the one with that deliciously catchy guitar riff and lyrics spoken in Portuguese, like a chant. It’s the song you think of when you fantasize about dancing the night away at a balmy beach club in Ibiza. It was the backing track to an Apple Watch commercial and designer Simon Miller’s NYFW Spring 2016 show. Heck, if you could pick the soundtrack to your life, this would probably be it.

But who are the people behind it?

Meet Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, more commonly known as Sofi Tukker. The duo quite literally danced their way into New York a little over a year ago, and have been making magic in the form of dance music ever since. The song I’m talking about is called ‘Drinkee’, and it’s the opening track to their newly released EP, Soft Animals.

I can tell Sophie and Tucker are polar opposites from the moment our Skype call connects. A Boston native, Tucker has bleach-blonde hair and looks
like the type of guy you’d expect to find behind
a turntable, casually raising the roof. Meanwhile, Sophie exudes a calming sense of wisdom, the type you can only find in an avid yoga-doer who’s lived in at least five different countries to date.

The two met while studying at Brown University, Rhode Island. Sophie was playing in a bossa nova band when Tucker approached her and asked if he could remix her music.

“Her music was beautiful, but painstakingly slow!” Tucker tells me. “When we started, she knew nothing about house music and I knew nothing about Portuguese or acoustic music... and I still don’t,” he says, laughing.

“But that’s not the point,” Sophie chimes in. “The fact we each pursue our different musical interests lifts the band up. And when we hit that sweet spot and meet at that weird place in the middle,” she says, “that place is Sofi Tukker.”

Perhaps that’s the reason Sofi Tukker have hit it off like they have. They don’t sound like every other dance duo out there. Their music has a global feel, it’s like an international language you don’t need to be able to read to understand.

“We just performed at a bunch of festivals in Europe, and Latvia was probably our favourite place to play,” says Tucker.

“Yeah, everyone in Latvia knew the lyrics to our songs!” laughs Sophie. “Which we thought was crazy because geographically, it was the farthest place from New York that we performed. We love that we can perform to an audience anywhere in the world, and it instantly feels like a community.”

I have no doubt that attending a Sofi Tukker show would have you feeling part of the club. They defy the traditional set-up of dance music shows and prefer to spend their time teaching choreography to the crowd, so everyone can ‘move together’. “We want our music to be inclusive,” explains Sophie.

When they’re not playing sold out shows, they’re getting distracted by the energy of New York, dancing from nightclub to nightclub, often to discover the resident DJ remixing one of their songs.

“When that happens, it’s kind of surreal. I just stand back in the corner and watch,” laughs Tucker. I think to myself: ‘Is it going off ? Is it popping? Are people dancing out there?’”

“This one time we were in a restaurant and our song came on, and the people on the table next to us held out their phones and started to Shazam it,” says Sophie. “We were like, ‘is this really happening?’”

It’s happening. And it’s happening fast. Sofi Tukker are constantly working on new stuff, and as they finish each other’s sentences, they assure me they’re not about to rest on their laurels.

“The EP is a good introduction to our brains, but our new stuff is even cooler,” boasts Tucker. “Like, Sophie screams in a track. Sophie’s never screamed before in her life!”

Apparently, if we want to see them play Down Under, we need to let them know. So Spotify their EP and follow them on SoundCloud – we might just get a show.


This interview was originally published in Fashion Journal 160. You can read it here.

Leave a comment


On how she hopes to change the world.
Feat. all the worst Californian rock clichés.
It’s the fun, jaunty-pop we’ve come to know Arcade Fire for.
From the rawness of heartbreak, to a place of renewed strength.
Looks like this New Orleans band has finally hit its stride.
On NYC, Panorama Music Festival and Brazillian poetry.
On music, long-distance relationships and supporting local talent.
A fat bunch of hits does not an album make.
An all-out glam rock album.
There's a certain charm about this album.
Musicians are advised to back up their music.
On band mates, women in music and overcoming stage fright.
A glimmering record full of love and heartbreak.
Talking touring, Netflix and time spent at home.
Easygoing and atmospheric.
Is it wrong to want more?
A debut album four years in the making.
Frankly, not their best work.
A voice for the angry.
The little electro band that could.
Home hangs with Emma and Alice.
We hang at home with the two best friends.
The first single off her forthcoming album.
In an unannounced Australian capital city.
Is it still relevant to rap about gangsta shit?
*By a person who didn't really know her music until now
No fashion week should be without a good hair director.
Talkin nail polish, EPs and the possibility of a Killing Heidi Reunion.
A little West Coast act doing big things.
The self-awareness sets her apart.
Inspired by the not-so-nice stuff about being a woman.
Strangely underwhelming.
Clearly a very personal album for frontman, Kele.
I didn't want this to be a hate letter....
That Rihanna reign just don't let up.
There's still nobody out there with a voice like this.
Meet the label prioritising social responsibility.
A lush and detailed listen.
Confident and charismatic.
And other handy job application tips.
An in-depth look at the woman behind the label.
The best week of Melbourne's music year is on the horizon.
We heard everything...
We get to know one of Melbourne's busiest musicians.
Talking The First Wives Club and GarageBand.
Madonna will bring her Rebel Heart tour to Australia next year.
What it’s really like growing up in a cosmetics empire.
Sweden, you’ve done it again.
Australian musicians are taking centre stage.
An album that is somehow both loud and indescribably quiet at the same time.
Talking M&M’s in ice-cream and Skittles in vodka.
With all in- app purchases going to charity.
"The mid-song break down on the title track is still one of my favourite musical moments from recent memory."
"Oh, this is what feel good music is."
Dreamy pop tunes coming to you live.
Hoooooooooboy. Get ready to start planning your trip to Byron, the lineup for Splendour In The Grass 2015 is finally here.
One of the smoothest voices in Melbourne.
Returns to Australia for Vivid Live.
The hauntingly beautiful sounds of London Grammar hit Festival Hall.
It may not be groundbreaking, but this is definitely emotional enough.
It's like it's 2012 all over again and in a very good way.
Comfortingly few muscle tees.
Get ready for your next fave artist Australia.
Take those early high school years and turn them into a bratty pop record.
The Backstreet Boys are coming back, awright.
Fascinated and a little intrigued, we quizzed the duo behind the Spanish label.
The singer/songwriter gears up to grace our shores.
Mim and Liv NERVO have taken the world by storm.
Melbourne's fun new jewellery label tells us what's up.
Client Liaison are hitting the ground running in 2015.
Because pun-derpants are the best idea.
2014 has been a pretty ripper year for music, seeing the emergence of new (and incredible) artists, the continuing domination of...
Like we needed another reason to <3 her.
Taylor Swift tells ASOS Magazine the life lessons she’s learnt.
Is there anything more 'Melbourne' than a laneway party?
Absence must make the heart grow fonder, as Chet Faker announces an Australian Tour after a year of worldly adventure
Zoe Kravitz to hit Topshop Sydney this Friday
Nostalgia for the ‘80s and an appreciation of Aussie culture— Client Liaison evoke a corporate narrative, to the point where I...
If you’ve spent time on any fashion website during the last five years – which is pretty likely – then you have encountered Julia...
Gorman is in a constant state of flux - but in a good way.
Actual great vintage tees without the hassle.
We hit up Joey and Rob from ELEVEN Australia for some insider tips, nifty tricks and picked their brains on how they made it in...
When you hear the words ‘Swedish folk music’ the first image that jumps to mind is probably men in tiny green overalls yodelling...
We chatted to Kelis about her line of sauces, the Kelis food truck at SXSW, what she loves most about fashion and of course her...
Everyone the world over just amped up their squat regime.
We love the internet, especially the endless hours of shopping fun it provides us.
How can one person have so many talents? I mean, really.
LA born BANKS has been capturing global attention. We caught up with her to chat songwriting, messages from the universe, and why...
We chat to Lily Allen ahead of her Australia tour Splendour in the Grass headline appearance
Stevie Dance’s story is pretty much a fashion industry fairytale.
Desert Designs might just be the most inter­est­ing design col­lab­o­ra­tion going around.