On January 30, 2021, acclaimed U.K. artist Sophie passed away at the age of 34; a police statement indicates that she fell from a balcony in her Athens apartment. The tragic news was followed by a wave of sorrow from the music industry, with many of her collaborators sharing memories and tributes to the innovative pioneer. One such artist was her friend Vince Staples, with whom Sophie collaborated on two Big Fish Theory tracks, “Samo” and “Yeah Right.”
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Speaking with Rolling Stone, Staples went in-depth about Sophie’s influence, work ethic, and impact on his own artistry. He reflects on one of his earliest tours, which brought him out to Australia alongside Sophie and Flume. From there, he struck up a friendship with Sophie, who went on to offer up a beat that would become “Yeah Right.” “Me and my DJ went to the studio,” he recalls. “Sophie was playing some music. She went outside real quick and came back and said, ‘I have something for you,’ and she played “Yeah Right.” I tried something, but she said that it wasn’t the attention-grabbing thing that she goes for. So I reapproached it. She was like: Don’t tell stories. I don’t care what you’re talking about. The attention is what’s important.”
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“A few months later, I was working on Big Fish Theory at EastWest in Los Angeles, and she came to the studio when she was in town. She was with [producer] Jimmy Edgar, and they had just gone to Disneyland. She popped up at the studio randomly in Mickey Mouse ears and a leather jacket on. It was 100 degrees outside — that’s the type of shit she does…She was there for, like, three minutes. Then later on, I said, “Are you still here in L.A.?” She was like, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘I need something else for the album.’ She was like, ‘I have one.’”
“Our friendship didn’t have anything to do with music, to be honest,” he continues. “I would see her at festivals and shows. I saw her at some festival in New Orleans or somewhere random, and it was a hilarious day. That’s when I took the picture I posted the other day.”
For more insight from Vince Staples, be sure to check out the complete Rolling Stone interview right here. Rest in peace to Sophie, and our condolences go out to Vince in this difficult time.