by Paul Salfen
In what will be their last regional performance before heading to the GRAMMY Awards to celebrate their Best Dance/Electronic Album nomination for their debut album, Treehouse, the beloved duo, Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, have prepared a special DJ set for Lights All Night. Although the set is being kept under wraps, it will likely include their previously GRAMMY-nominated song “Drinkee” and “Best Friend,” which was featured on the commercial for the iPhone X.
The festival, now in its eighth year, has become a year-end staple in DFW to either be the New Year’s Eve event – or the best thing leading up to it. In the past, the lineup has included a who’s who of the EDM scene and always seems to attract other notables, including local star athletes.
Before Sophie and Tucker hit the stage tonight, sandwiched between Kaskade and Rezz – with Nora En Pure and Diplo on either side of that, the duo checked in via email before catching their flight to Dallas.
AMFM Magazine: A lot of people are excited to see you at Lights All Night. How do you prepare for a set like this? And have you prepared anything special for the fest?
Sofi Tukker: We prepared something really special for this set. It’s going to be super different and we are going to perform a lot. We have a few surprises and will try some things for the first time!
AMFM: We enjoyed getting a recent single from you in addition to the album but I understand you’re already working on more music to release. When will we hear a new song or batch of songs?
ST: We have a lot of new songs ready to go and we will be sharing them over the course of 2019! We are constantly being inspired and creating.
AMFM: What inspires you? Does traveling all over the world and picking up things here and there impact the sound? Or just being in the mix in NYC?
ST: We actually don’t live in NYC anymore! We have spent the last year full time on the road. We are influenced by everywhere we have travelled, from meeting the people, to seeing them move, to hearing new rhythms and natural sounds. Absolutely anything can inspire us. People and nature are two of the big ones!
AMFM: What artists are you really enjoying right now?
ST: Bomba Estereo! Armin van Buuren! Nora en Pure, who we recently have gotten to know and we are so excited to see her again tonight!
BOMBA ESTEREO INTERVIEW (FROM SXSW 2010)
AMFM: Where do you think electronic music is going next?
ST: Not sure! All we know is that we will continue making what we love and find inspiration from all over the place. Perhaps there will be more live instruments in electronic music, and it’s exciting to see so many languages represented in popular electronic music. Would love to see that keep going!
AMFM: What song or artist spurred you to start playing?
Sophie: For me, it was really brazilian music, bossa nova specifically. I was creating acoustic bossa nova when Tuck and I met.
Tucker: For me, it was house music. I used to play basketball and when I got sick and I couldn’t play anymore, I poured all my energy into DJing and into producing house music. I even have a little house symbol tattooed on my finger.
AMFM: Will you get to do anything fun or Dallas-centric while in town? Maybe some beer, barbecue, or checking out the landmarks?
ST: Unfortunately, we leave the next day — but we are going to the festival early to see the other acts play!
AMFM: What excites you about playing festivals like this?
ST: We really love playing for large crowds, there’s a special energy that’s possible there — and it’s a privilege to play for people who maybe have never seen us before and we get a chance to share what we do with them.
AMFM: You’ve had an impressive list of accomplishments so far – including a GRAMMY nomination before releasing an album and a nomination for this album -but what else would you like to achieve?
ST: We just want to continue making music and loving life! We love what we do and we love working hard, so as long as that keeps going, we’re happy!
AMFM: While people love you for your music, your collective image is notable out there, too. How important is that to you?
ST: Music is definitely our main passion but we like to express ourselves in all the ways! It’s important to us to be ourselves and have that come out in every way.
AMFM: You’ll have members of the audience inspired by you when they see how much fun you’re having (and how effortless you make it look), so what would you say to aspiring DJs – especially the girls, as it’s a very tricky business?
ST: We definitely have fun! We’re happy it looks effortless, but we really put in a lot of preparation. It’s definitely true that the more preparation you put in, the more relaxed the set can really be because you don’t have to worry about the little details, you can just connect! For women and really for all people, just be yourself! It might sound cliche, but it’s so important. If you’re a weirdo, show it! If you’re excitable, share it! If you’re a woman, you don’t have to blend in with the boys. Just because you’re a straight man doesn’t mean you can’t be flamboyant! (winking hard at tucker 🙂
AMFM: You’ve had a busy year. Hopefully you’ll get a break soon? And since you travel for a living, does a break mean being at home or have you found the perfect spot you want to go back to?
ST: We have taken the last couple of weeks to finish the next round of songs and we are taking a bit more time in January to finish the music and film some videos. It has been a nice change of pace but we already feel ready to get back out on the road and travel and perform! We love it all so much.
For more on Sofi Tukker, visit SofiTukker.com.
Sofi Tukker performs at 10pm on Friday, December 28th at Dallas Market Hall as part of Lights All Night. 2200 B Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207. The festival continues on Saturday, December 29th with Tiesto, Excision, Gucci Mane, What So Not, and more. Tickets are available at LightsAllNight.com and range from $89.95 – $449.95.