A. G. Cook Pens Tribute to SOPHIE

Music

A. G. Cook Pens Tribute to SOPHIE

“She approached every topic with the love, care and intensity of someone who has truly lived”
A. G. Cook SOPHIE onstage in different photos
A. G. Cook, SOPHIE (Photos via Getty Images).

A. G. Cook has penned a tribute to his late friend and collaborator SOPHIE, the influential producer who died earlier this year at age 34. “I’m still processing Sophie’s life… her nature, her work, her beauty,” Cook wrote. “She was laser-focused and exceptionally intelligent, but also sensitive and perceptive. It didn’t matter whether we were talking about people or relationships or materials or music—she approached every topic with the love, care and intensity of someone who has truly lived.” You can read Cook’s full tribute here.

Cook’s post chronicles his friendship and creative relationship with SOPHIE, which dates back to 2012. He discusses hearing her music for the very first time, the friendships they maintained with other musicians—including Charli XCX (who wrote her own tribute to the late artist) and other members of PC Music, and their adventures across London, Los Angeles, and the globe. Above all, Cook discusses SOPHIE’s talent as an artist and magnetism as a person. “Sophie had her way with people,” he writes. “She could be critical, demanding, laid-back and mischievous all at the same time, an approach that turned everyone into a potential collaborator.” He continues:

I know she made an enormous impression on the variety of people who (one way or another) became part of PC Music, and she would often raise people up, imploring them to pursue their individuality. Around that time, I also got to know the rest of her family: her sisters, her brother, her mother, her grandmother, all of whom matched Sophie’s warmth, sweetness and intelligence.

Sophie was and always will be a wedding DJ. There were cute photos of her DJing weddings as a pre-teen, and one of the most joyous DJ sets we did together was for her sister’s wedding. It’s funny to think of us striking a balance between our own tracks and the ethereal ‘mainstream’ selections that are considered acceptable at weddings, but Sophie loved to win over crowds, to make people dance, and she had a vast knowledge of music from different eras which she could deftly weave into her own world. Amongst her USBs were some backup folders simply labelled 70s, 80s, 90s that I remember falling back on for various nights and afterparties when things needed to get a little matrimonious.

Cook also recalled the last time he saw SOPHIE in person, which occurred before the pandemic. “A typically LA late night car ride to go get frozen yoghurt at the The Bigg Chill,” Cook wrote. Adding:

I enjoyed being her friend on the inside/outside, and we would sometimes call each other to test out our most extreme ideas. She was very curious and encouraging when I eventually started to plan my rollout of 7G and Apple, and it triggered a long phone call sometime at the beginning of last year, in which she talked at length about her shifting plans for her own music. She was completely disenchanted with the conservative notion of ‘the album’, and was even more disillusioned with the limited potential of streaming. With a mix of self- aware hubris and total dedication, she sketched out this idea of an extremely generous platform that would give listeners all kind of access to stems, fragments, and revisions of her music. She believed that technology was wasting everyone’s time by attempting to emulate vinyl and radio, and that this infinitely generous approach was a logical endpoint for what music was always trying to be. She asked for my opinion. “Do you think it’s possible?”

“I’m still processing Sophie’s death,” Cook wrote toward the end of his tribute. “This was the first paragraph that I started to write in what became a long eulogy—but I think I’m closer now.”

Read “Remembering SOPHIE’s Radical Futurism” on the Pitch.

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