Coachella Interview: Sofi Tukker

One of Sunday’s Best Acts Talks Grammys, Brazil

Toma Kostygina

Sofi Tukker gave one of the best performances of Coachella Weekend 1, and will likely do the very same thing for the second weekend. Their fiery, energized set was irresistible. I was lucky to meet the duo otherwise known as Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, who were fresh from an “ecstatic” performance in São Paulo. I talked to them about playing in Brazil, singing in Portuguese, and their Grammy nomination for “Drinkee” as best dance recording.

I spoke to you two last year when you played in Santa Barbara at Velvet Jones, and since then you guys have had a Grammy nod and all kinds of other great things… How has life been since? Or maybe just the last two months, since I imagine it’s been a lot?

Tucker: It keeps getting more fun, busier, more taxing.

Sophie: We just played in Brazil. It was one of the most ecstatic shows we’ve had, people actually knew the words.

Tucker: It is our biggest market and we hadn’t been there yet. They were singing the words so loud, like every song. We were like, what the fuck — it was really cool.

How does it feel to be finding such success in a language neither of you are native speakers of? Do you feel like international artists?

Sophie: I think we’ve always felt like we were kind of international artists, yeah.

Tucker: We’re still starting, growing outward.

Sophie: I also grew up living all over the world, so it feels natural in that way. I have an American passport, but I don’t always remember I’m an American citizen.

It’s like that quote, ‘Great artists have no country.’ … Well, I imagine most people don’t expect to be nominated for a Grammy. Were there any lessons or surprises you learned from the nomination?

Tucker:: Hmm, lessons… It’s an important thing, the Grammys. I learned that being sort of legitimately recognized by a legitimate and traditional recording academy, it made people look at us a bit differently. Not everyone, but some people. Some people have their problems with the Grammys and it doesn’t recognize so many great artists.

Sophie: I wouldn’t say important objectively, but that it’s important to some people.

How’s Coachella been so far? Who have been your favorites?

Sophie: It’s our first time ever as spectators or artists.

Tucker: It’s sensory overload. We were psyched to see the XX.

Sophie: They exceeded expectations.

Tucker: I’m excited to see Lorde.

Are you guys working on new music?

Sophie: We have a lot of new music.

Tucker: We’re excited to release them and do some new videos. We’re planning to keep touring, to just keep doing it and keep running with it. To us it doesn’t seem like we’re skyrocketing. When you’re in it, you’re grinding and tired and loving life in the best way. We’re just busy and excited.

What is your favorite fashion item you brought to Coachella?

Sophie:: Probably this blue kimono I’m wearing. It says “The Good Time Girl” on the back.

Tucker: [shows off his new Brazilian backpack] And this is mine.

If you two could curate a Coachella tent, what would it be like?

Tucker: I’d maybe let Sophie do the daytime bookings and I could do night time.

Sophie: Okay, typecast me.

Are you two really so night and day, so to speak?

Sophie: We’re both night people.

Tucker: This is the most sunlight I’ve had in years.


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