Relentless Beats

RB Exclusive Interview – Sofi Tukker Talk Wet Tennis, The US Open, & Creating a World With Their Music

Eclectic dance pop duo Sofi Tukker, consisting of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, have has an incredible 2022. Their sophomore album Wet Tennis, released in late April, is a strong contender for Album of the Year. It’s a refreshing, exhilarating take on dance music—emphasis on dance—that takes every opportunity to do something different. We had the opportunity to chat with Sofi Tukker ahead of their upcoming performance at Dusk Music Festival. Check it out below!

Photo: Elizabeth Miranda

Congrats on the success of Wet Tennis! How have things changed for you both since its release in April? 

The album title is an acronym that stand for “When Everyone Tries To Evolve, Nothing Negative Is Safe” and that has definitely been a guiding theme for us since the album came out… whenever we are faced with challenges, we actually remind each other — hey, u gotta live up the album title. How are u gonna let this evolve you? We’ve toured the album all over the world, we’ve gotten to have some of the best and most ecstatic nights ever, and we’ve really gotten to feel the community that has built around it. It feels like when people come to our show, they know what they’re getting themselves into… and they bring it. In their outfits. In their energy. And openness. We want our shows to be a place people have the best nights ever, a place where people make friendships, and feeeeeel themselves. This didn’t exactly answer the question but playing these shows has definitely changed us for the better, given us hope..

What was the reaction to finding out “Summer In New York” would be featured on ESPN for the US Open?

We couldn’t have concocted a more perfect dream. It’s as if we wrote the album and the song just to get a commercial on ESPN for the US Open. It was THAT synchronistic. 

US Open 2022 on ESPN featuring SOFI TUKKER

There’s something unique about every single track on the album, particularly in the instrumentals, samples and vocals. Did you go into the creation process intending to use certain elements, like the hook from “Tom’s Diner” or the steel drums heard on “Larry Bird”?

We did the whole album just one song at a time, making what we were feeling inspired by in the moment. Even the Tom’s Diner sample. We had written the whole song of Summer in New York first. And we sat on it for a while. At first we had a guitar hook during that section but it just wasn’t hitting right. Then, the more we thought about it the more we realized the song was like a modern day Tom’s Diner, just matter-of-factly recounting a day in the life in New York City. So it felt right to include it and intentionally nod to it. 

It’s obvious you guys have put a lot of thought into the visual aspects of Wet Tennis, from the music videos to the stage design and attire. How do the visual components complement the music? 

We love creating an entire world… the universe that we believe the music should live in. It always starts with the music and moves out into the rest. We like to make really bright sounding music, and are really inspired by the tropics, and by sports, for example. When we were finalizing the music on the album, it was clear to us that the universe it lived in was in gradient colors. That it had to do with evolution, not just one color, but the whole spectrum of them. We were especially inspired by tennis, given Soph picked up tennis during the pandemic, and was always wearing tennis clothes. But traditionally, tennis fits have been all white and have been quite exclusive… you can’t get into the country club unless you’re wearing all white. We wanted to take what we loved about tennis but make it wet… make it colorful, make it sexy, inclusive. 

Photo: Elizabeth Miranda

Wet Tennis stands for “When Everyone Tries To Evolve, Nothing Negative Is Safe.” Where did this motto come from? Did it inspire the album, or the other way around? 

First we had the Wet Tennis part. Everything we do is a back and forth between us and we love the competitiveness and also playfulness of the sport. And “wet” is just an adjective we were using to describe… everything. Enthusiasm. Excitement. Flow. Juice. But we also knew we wanted the album to say and mean more. We wanted it to have a deeper meaning but without being preachy. So you can go there if you want, but you don’t have to. There are songs on the album that are more emotional and dramatic and introspective. And we wrote it during a challenging time. It’s a nod to the fact that we always have a choice. To let the challenges get us down, or let them make us stronger. To stay positive, to evolve.

What have been some highlights of the Wet Tennis tour so far? What are you most looking forward to on your remaining dates?

It’s all been so fun. Tiring, also. But mostly, just so gratifying. It really does feel like a culture rather than just a collection of shows. One of our favorite things recently has been looking out and seeing so many people wearing the Wet Tennis fashion line! It looks so gooooood. And it’s such a cool way of bringing something that came from our imagination into real life. From the album cover into the world. 

We’re excited to have you in Arizona for Dusk Music Festival next month! What should fans expect from your Hybrid DJ set?

Be prepared to have the best night of your life.

and to SWEAT (tennis)

and maybe make some friends too.

Don’t miss Sofi Tukker at Dusk Music Festival 2022 on November 11th & 12th at Tucson’s Armory Park alongside GRiZ, Alison Wonderland, NGHTMRE, Nora En Pure and more! See the full lineup and grab tickets here.

Connect with Sofi Tukker: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

Cover Photo: Elizabeth Miranda

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