Scottish DJ, producer, singer and songwriter Sophie Xeon, known mononymously as SOPHIE, died in Athens on Saturday at the age of 34.
In a statement issued by her publicist, Ludovica Ludinatrice, Xeon is said to have fallen from an apartment balcony in Athens, where she had been living. “True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell,” it reads. “She will always be here with us. The family thank everyone for their love and support and request privacy at this devastating time.”
A police spokesperson in Athens confirmed the details of the incident and said that no foul play was suspected.
Born in Glasgow in 1986, Sophie Xeon was first exposed to electronic music through cassette tapes shared by her father. She relocated to Berlin in the early 2000s; the city’s rich electronic music heritage imbued in her a taste for the experimental that remained even as she later grew to be a fixture in pop.
After cutting her teeth with music projects like a band called Motherland and the score for Dutch film Dear Mr/Mrs, Xeon released her first single as SOPHIE in 2013. Titled “Nothing More to Say,” its accessible synth pop style offered but a glimpse of the challenging “hyperpop” sound that would become her calling card. Tracks like 2013’s “Bipp,” and 2014’s “Lemonade” juxtaposed noise with saccharine melody, each going through significant changes over the course of their arrangement.
Xeon’s versatile style afforded her opportunities to work with pop artists like Charli XCX and Lady Gaga in the years that followed. She came out as transgender with the release of “It’s OK to Cry” in 2017, the lead single of her 2018 debut album, OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES. The effort was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Dance/Electronic Album” – the first nomination in the category for a transgender artist.
No memorial details for Sophie Xeon have been shared with the public at the time of writing.