Pioneering Producer, Musician Sophie Dies at 34

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Sunday January 31, 2021

Sophie, a pioneering transgender producer and musician who pushed pop music to the extreme with her signature hyperkinetic avant-garde sounds, died in Athens, Greece early Saturday morning after a fall. She was 34.

U.K. record label Transgressive released a statement confirming the death of the Grammy-nominated Scottish artist, who worked with Madonna, Charli XCX, Vince Staples and more aritsts.

"Tragically, our beautiful Sophie passed away this morning after a terrible accident," the statement said. "True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell."

Sophie (full name Sophie Xeon) was born in Glasgow and began releasing music in the early 2010s, breaking through with her song "Bipp" in 2013. She became affiliated with the record label PC Music, especially with its founder, producer A.G. Cook, and the two teamed up with artist Hayden Dunham for the project QT. They released their only single "Hey QT," that came with an energy drink, in 2014 and the super-saccharine song and aesthetics were a commentary on the commercialism and capitalism in pop music. After releasing more singles, including "Lemonade," which was used in a McDonald's ad, she released the compilation album "Product" in 2015.

In 2017, Sophie came out as a trans woman alongside the release of her single "It's Okay to Cry." It marked the first time she used her own image and undistorted vocals in her music. A few months later, in 2018, she released her first, and what would be her last, proper album "Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides."

In 2019, speaking with Vogue, Charli XCX said of Sophie: "There are very few artists who make me feel something up my core and make me wanna cry. Justice and Uffie made me feel something when I was 14, and I didn't really have that feeling again until I met Sophie. I felt this rush of: Fuck, this is the coolest shit I have ever heard."

In a statement to Pitchfork, a rep for Sophie said: "At this time respect and privacy for the family is our priority. We would also ask for respect for Sophie's fanbase, and to treat the private nature of this news with sensitivity."

A number of people from the LGBTQ community are offering tributes to Sophie, who was considered one of the most pioneering musicians working today. Several musicians and fans offered their condolences on Twitter, including Sam Smith, Rina Sawayama, Christine and the Queens and more. Find their reactions below.