Last fall we introduced you to the ridiculously talented Sofie Letitre, a rising Dutch singer-songwriter who’s been making a name for herself since she released her debut album, Back Where We Come From, in 2012. At the time she was about to drop her Uncanny Valley EP on Noisia’s Division Recordings, a release which ably displayed her emotive voice and writing prowess. Having just unveiled her Take To Heels EP for the label, we’re looking forward to hearing even more from this talented songstress in the coming year.
In between studio sessions and writing, we asked Letitre to name 10 tracks that have influenced her as an artist. Here she waxes poetic about songs by Joni Mitchell, Flying Lotus, James Blake and more, explaining how they’ve informed in her musical POV.
1. Frank Zappa – “Dangerous Kitchen”
My father has been such a big influence in my musical upbringing. I could listen for hours when he was playing classical music on his guitar and we would also dance around the house to Frank Zappa’s music which I would try to sing along with. This always resulted me becoming hugely frustrated because it was so illogical to me although I loved, and still love, how alive Zappa’s music is. Later on I discovered the humor in it and even later on I discovered how crazily intelligent the writing is.
2. Joni Mitchell – “A Case Of You”
The way Joni tells a story is matchless. The vocal melody combined with the simplicity and pure beauty of the harmonization of the chords is so intense. She inspired me to start my production based on a simple song which eventually you can build up to a bigger production, but the song has to be right in its core.
3. Radiohead – “Everything In Its Right Place”
This is a tune that will probably never grow old to me. It’s a friend for life. It has taught me how music can send you into a trance which is something I think of a lot when I’m writing and producing.
4. Jamie xx – “Hold Tight”
I don’t have a driver’s license which is really lame and lazy, but whenever I hear this track I see myself driving really fast and alongside the Italian coast or something. It makes me feel a sense of ultimate freedom. I used to focus a lot on telling people a story with my music through lyrics, but I am starting to enjoy creating a vibe instrumentally. Which is a much less literal way of telling a story and therefore leaves a lot of room for listener interpretation.
5. SOPHIE – “Hard”
I love how the beat kicks in and how the aggression in the beat combines with the almost bubblegum pop vibe. This makes it cute on one side and really angry and ugly on the other side.
6. James Blake – “I Hope My Life”
This song moves me to my core. The energy is so intense. It reminds me of his show I went to at Lowlands Festival this year. I expected an amazing show so expectations where high and it completely blew me away. I couldn’t think or feel anything else but the music.
7. Noisia – “Mantra” (Outer Edges)
My label buddies! I am so incredibly proud that I can release my music on their label, Division Recordings. Their productions are unmatched and they are the heavyweight champions of electronic music. The video to this tune takes my breath away.
8. Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me”
This beat is a trip! The drums go totally off beat at the end, while a smooth chord progression takes over. Again I picture myself driving — I should get a driver’s license now.
9. Beyoncé – “Formation”
I am a fan girl and not ashamed to admit it. She is a rad vocalist and I love how she combines her vocal melodies with these big fat productions. She is probably one of the artists I am going to brag about to my grandchildren: “Grandma saw her live! Twice!”
10. JNTHN STEIN – “Cata”
This drop. Just listen to it. This drop.