SOPHIE's unexpected passing at the beginning of this year hit the music industry hard. A visionary artist whose music blurred the lines between the mainstream and more experimental had already influenced a whole new generation of artists, and sadly was only just getting started
As many fans know, SOPHIE's released catalog of work merely scratches the surface of the music that the producer had been working on, given all the live rips and fan recreations of demos floating around Reddit threads and fan forums.
Luckily, it looks there is still a chance that SOPHIE's musical legacy will live on and all of that locked away material might get the chance to see the light of day. "There is a lot of music in the vaults, absolutely," SOPHIE'S brother, Ben Long, tells Billboard. "There are literally hundreds of tracks."
According to Long, SOPHIE was working on a range of work, from rough sketches to nearly completed songs that were already in the mixing stages. What ultimately does get released though, will be up to the family and the producer's label's, Future Classic in Australia and Transgressive Records in the UK.
Long currently is the only one in possession of SOPHIE's unreleased works. "I don't know what anyone else could do, really, because they don't have access to it," he says. As a member of SOPHIE's inner circle, Long also served as the late producer's tour manager, live engineer and a mixing engineer that worked on Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, as well as an unreleased follow-up album that was apparently in the works.
"The idea SOPHIE and I discussed many times was to do one abstract experimental album and then a pop record — this was going to be the pop one — and to keep going on that cycle for years," he says. "I don't want to be like, 'We're going to put everything out,' because sometimes SOPHIE didn't want it to or it wasn't finished. But it was quite clear with a lot of songs, just from the fact that we had been working on them and mixing the album, that I know the direction a lot of things were supposed to be going."
As far as SOPHIE's work for other artists, Long acknowledges that might be a different story given that it would involve getting approval from collaborators and other parties, which naturally adds an extra layer of complication.
That said, Long has not ruled out the possibility altogether. "It's always good to have an extra pair of ears," he adds. "There are a lot of people out there who SOPHIE really trusted and who knew SOPHIE's vision. I feel like it's not just on me."
While current plans are largely up in the air, the fact that posthumous music is confirmed to be on the horizon is encouraging. "There are many, many discussions to be had," Long says. "The most important thing for us is doing right by SOPHIE — putting stuff out that SOPHIE was happy with and would want to be out."