Pop Singer & Producer SOPHIE Opens Up About Being Trans: 'Transness Is Taking Control'

Charlotte Wales


For years, pop producer SOPHIE was simply known as a name behind major-label acts like Charli XCX, Vince Staples and even Madonna. But earlier this year, with the release of her single “It’s Okay to Cry,” the artist reintroduced herself as a musical force, showing her unobstructed face on camera for the first time.

SOPHIE spoke to Paper magazine for their Pride coverage about coming to terms with being a trans woman and how it affects the music that she makes. The artist said that coming out as trans is ultimately a reclamation of your identity. “It means there's no longer an expectation based on the body you were born into, or how your life should play out and how it should end,” she said. “Traditional family models and structures of control disappear.”'

PAPER Magazine / Jason Altaan
SOPHIE in the June Issue of PAPER Magazine.

She continued by saying that control is key when it comes to discussing the nature of transness. “Transness is taking control to bring your body more in line with your soul and spirit so the two aren't fighting against each other and struggling to survive,” she said. “On this earth, it's that you can get closer to how you feel your true essence is without the societal pressures of having to fulfill certain traditional roles based on gender.”

As far as the state of being trans in the music industry goes, SOPHIE said that we are well on our way to seeing more successful, signed trans artists thanks to the gender-bending work of those who came before.

PAPER Magazine / Jason Altaan
SOPHIE on the cover of the June Issue of PAPER Magazine.

“If you think about any of the people who have been really influential like Madonna, Bowie, Prince -- people like that have shifted culture in this way that gets us as far down that path as possible,” she said. “We're all thinking, feeling beings in a very complex world, and we should be using every technology and information around us to adapt us in this world. It's an evolutionary thing.”

The “Ponyboy” singer also shouted out fellow trans artist and collaborator Juliana Huxtable as a voice that deserves to be heard more in this day and age. “She seems to have, as demonstrated through her book, a way of viewing the world that is different and visceral and emotional,” SOPHIE said. “I think pop music is a great way for people to hear those thoughts.”

Read SOPHIE’s full interview with Paper here and watch the music video for her song "It's Okay to Cry" below: