SOFI TUKKER Interview: ‘WET TENNIS’, Live Show, Charitable Work + More

Grammy nominated duo SOFI TUKKER just released their latest album WET TENNIS. The sophomore album is a great display of SOFI TUKKER’s musical talents and includes recent hits such as ‘Original Sin’ and ‘Sun Came Up’. SOFI TUKKER began DJing while sheltering at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak and while it was not planned, they continued every day through COVID, exceeding 400 performances. Since then, the pair still do sporadic livestreams to the significant audience they have built up.

We sat down with the group comprised of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern to discuss the album, their live show and more. Dig in below.

Where are you guys from?

Sofi: Very complicated. We basically live between  South Florida and New York and we tour 80% of the time. I was born in Germany, moved around my whole life, lived in a lot of different countries. Yeah.

Tukker: I’m from Boston.

So how did you two meet?

Sofi: We met in college.

Where’d you go to school?

Tukker: Brown University.

Nice. And when did you first start making music together?

Sofi: We started making music at Brown. Our senior year I was making bossa nova music in Portuguese and Tucker was DJing at an event and he saw me play and like basically remixed one of my songs on the spot. You were like, this is dope. Let’s keep doing this.

Bossa nova music in Portuguese. How did you get into that?

Sofi: I was living in Brazil and I just am obsessed with that music.

Where did you learn how to produce? 

Tukker: YouTube? 

Really? What was your first DAW?

Tukker: I started on FL Studio then went to logic and then ended up on Ableton and have been there ever since.

I know you guys were about to drop a new album next month. What can we expect?

Sofi: It’s called WET TENNIS which is an acronym for When Everyone Tries To Evolve Nothing Negative Is Safe. We have some songs on there that we’re just so proud of. We’ve been working on this for many years, and we really only included the best of the best. So we put a lot of intention and thought into this album. And yeah, we were super proud to share it with the world really soon.

How is your most recently released single ‘Original Sin’ doing?

Sofi: It’s doing well? Yeah, I love that song so much. I’m really happy to see it catch on and we’re going to perform it today.

Okay, and that was one of my questions. What’s the difference between a DJ set and a live set?

Tukker: For us? It’s a lot different. We’re doing a live show today at the live stage and it’s a full live show – we play all our songs – Sophie’s singing, playing guitar. I’m sampling, triggering different scenes, also singing, running around a ton. We have a full production setup. And we have this giant tree behind us that we call the book tree that has screens on it and I play the screens with drumsticks. And so it’s basically just a full on, live dance show. Sometimes on special occasions like this one, we have some crazy dancers coming in. And then our DJ set is a more traditional DJ set. We still do live vocals on our DJ sets. But um, you know, we play our music, we play other people’s music and we DJ.

I know you guys are passionate about social organizations, the Trevor Project, Planned Parenthood. Is there a new one you’re excited for? What are your causes at the moment?

Sofi: Yeah, so for this upcoming tour, we’re going to be working with Ally coalition. So Plus One is this organization that gives $1 per ticket and really focuses on mental health. The Trevor Project is involved. Basically, it depends on which city as to which organization will get the money. For us, mental health is hugely important. And it’s really what our show is all about – an opportunity to exercise your good mental health and experience positivity and community and connection and acceptance and all the good things.

Do you have any Pre-show rituals/practices? 

Sofi: Yeah, I mean, our pre show is pretty intense. I always do a vocal warmup. We do a workout and a physical warm up. We really treat ourselves like athletes, you know, we have to do this all the time. So making sure our bodies are ready.

What about you Tucker, a favorite calming technique? 

Tukker: Favorite calming technique? Prozac.