Sofi Tukker talks new EP, "DANCING ON THE PEOPLE", and their influence on House

Updated: Mar 19

Photo by Ekaterina Belinskaya

The highly anticipated EP from Sofi Tukker has finally arrived. Following the Grammy® nomination from their debut album "Treehouse", the duo has done it again. Flipping house parties around the world with their new EP, "DANCING ON THE PEOPLE." The pair is also known for their collaborations with Pabllo Vittar, The Knocks and now Bomba Estéreo just to name a few. In this flashy new EP, Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern do not shy away from the clear message of the EP, that is to let go and lose yourself in the fantasy. The first track (Swing) alone, makes you want to get up and rave almost immediately. Listening to that song reminded me of that now-famous quote from RuPaul's Drag Race: All-Stars 4 winner Trinity Taylor "I don't know what the f*** she's saying, but girl I am living". Overall, Sofi Tukker is serving one GIANT party wrapped up in a convenient 6 song EP.

Their music videos alone are honestly just iconic. The amount of production that goes into them, I can't even begin to imagine. While the two are polar opposites when it comes to a bunch of things, one thing is for sure, music is where they thrive the best together. The duo is also headed out on worldwide tour in support of the EP this fall. Leading up to the release of "DANCING ON THE PEOPLE", we caught up with Sofi Tukker and they told us all about the making of the EP and the upcoming R.I.P Shame World Tour.

What inspires you to write some of your music in Portuguese?

Sophie Hawley-Weld: I think it’s the sexiest language and it’s my favorite language to sing in. Because it’s not my first language, it also makes it more about the sounds than the meaning, almost like a mantra—unlike English. I have so many more associations in English and find it harder to just sink into the sounds of the consonants and vowels. 

The track Swing uses the poem “Uma Palavra” by Brazilin poet Chacal, what was the creative backstory on this track? It’s a beautiful poem with a very sick beat behind it.

Sophie: Our friend, the Brazilian poet Chacal, sent us that poem a while ago and one day in the studio, we were playing with that string part, and suddenly, the poem found a perfect home. It didn’t work right away but then we swung the strings and swung the poem with it and it sounded so cool – that’s why we called it Swing. Tuck literally says “swing” and then all the sounds get swung.

How would you describe your EP, Dancing on the People?

Sophie: A dance party. The EP has a lot of different moods on it but the common theme is definitely the dance party. 

Photo by Ekaterina Belinskaya

Why the name change from R.I.P. Shame Pt. 1 to Dancing on the People?

Sophie: We love the idea of R.I.P. Shame (and we were going to come out with a part 2 later) but when we wrote Purple Hat, we really wanted the EP to center around that song. It felt like the thesis statement of this group of songs. It really made everything else make sense to us and “Dancing on the People” is a lyric from Purple Hat. It’s about that feeling of being in a crowded club where everyone is dancing so hard that people are literally on top of people, lost in the music, not able to tell where they end and someone else begins. It’s that feeling of ecstatic community and release. That’s what we hope our music is used for. 

Does your influence for House music play a major role when creating new tracks?

Sophie: Definitely. We love house music and play it out all the time. One of the biggest inspirations for our songs is our Animal Talk parties, where we get to play our favorite music and see how people react to it. We love to create an environment of sweat and just wildness, and house music does that well.

Is it hard trying to make every song not as uninformative as traditional house music?

Tucker Halpen: We just say what we want to say! It’s the really organic combination of our two brains. Before Tucker, Sophie didn’t even know what house music was, so it’s not surprising she might write lyrics that aren’t usually found in house music songs. 

With you guys touring at the moment, what’s a must before you hit the stage?

Tucker: We have so many different rituals. Sophie’s is pretty elaborate. What food she eats even 4 hours before, her vocal warm-up, etc. but about 30 minutes before the show we both work up a sweat and get hyped and focused in together

Do you get nervous at all while up on stage?

Tucker: Not usually! We love it. The best is when we are so zoned in, we basically aren’t thinking at all. Just IN it. 

I’m always curious to know, how do you prepare for an album/EP release, does it excite you or just make you straight up nervous?

Tucker: It makes us soooooo excited. We put so much love into the music we make and the world we create and it’s so exciting to watch the baby be born!! 

Lastly, what’s on each of your favorite playlists at the moment?

Tucker: Lonely - Rezz

Sophie: Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels – Todrick Hall  

Listen to DANCING ON THE PEOPLE - EP by Sofi Tukker now

For a full list of Sofi Tukker tour dates click here


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