Exclusive Interview with Dutch DJ/Producer Extraordinaire Sophie Francis
Heldeep Records just released a track by Sophie Francis called ‘Roll Up’. After being named one of The Netherlands’ most influential artists under 25 by Spotify, Sophie is set to make an even bigger dent in the dance scene with this new techno, ravey creation.
From releases on Spinnin’ and Dirty Dutch, tens of millions of Spotify streams, to surprise back-to-backs with Martin Garrix and sets at Ultra and EDC festivals across the world, Sophie Francis is very much one to keep watching.
Listen to ‘Roll Up’ on Spotify!
Her first single, ‘Without You’ was released on Feb 17 2016 on Spinnin’ Records with a follow up single in April. Spinnin’ has made it clear that Sophie is a priority for them and news of the signing reverberated through the industry.
It was around this time that Sophie was named to the prestigious “Top 25 Most Influential Artists Under 25” by Spotify NL. She’s joined by fellow artists Martin Garrix and Oliver Heldens among others.
Hi Sophie! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!
- Tell us about that first track that put you on the map in the electronic scene and the journey since. How did you get started?
My first track that put me ‘on the map’ in the electronic scenes was my track ‘Walls’ I was about 17 when this track got released and it got played in almost every radio station in the Netherlands. This was so insane for me, I would go crazy every time I heard my track on the radio. I got started about a year before that, I made about 4 EDM tracks that year, those got played by like hardwell and Ummet ozcan, which was already so cool, and then Walls came around in the summer when I was 17, and suddenly everyone knew me. From there onwards I played all the big festivals, which was insane.
- Tell us about your latest track ‘Roll Up’ on Heldeep Records?
Roll up is a track that i made specifically as a club track actually, this summer I played a lot of clubs and so my styles changed a little towards a clubby sounds. While i was playing I found that I did not have a track that perfectly matched what I wanted to play, energy, but at the same time very groovy and danceable. This is how and why I started to make Roll Up. I played it for the first time in Docks in October and people absolutely loved it! I worked on it a little more after that gig cuz i found that it needed something different, which you hear in the lead synths in the first part of the drop and that is how it came out on Heldeep Records!
- What single night out has been the most memorable for you as a DJ and producer?
To be honest, I guess every night I’ve performed and I see all the people enjoying the music I play.
- Tell us something we wouldn’t normally find out about you.
That I always play with a little step to stand on haha otherwise I cannot reach the DJ booth because I am only 157 cm. People actually come up to me sometimes just to say: Wow I really thought you were taller when you were standing on the DJ booth, but you are actually super small.
- Give us the name of one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it?
Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal. I love playing and listening to that track it has so much energy!
- Dream collaboration and why?
I think Shawn Mendez, because I love his voice. His voice is so unique and I think it would absolutely sound dope on a club track.
- If you could play any festival, which would it be?
EDC Las Vegas and Ultra Miami, both MainStage. I already played both festivals MainStage in Asia and that was absolutely insane, but I hear that that the atmosphere in America in both these festivals when you play mainstage is even more magical, so I would love to play those.
- How do you get a track started? Tell us a bit about your production process. How long does it take you to complete a track on average and do you ever get writer’s block?
It really depends on the vibe that I’m in, if I have a cool vocal to work with or if I found a cool sample that I want to experiment with. Lets say I got a cool vocal that I want to make a track with, I will always start with the chord progressions to go with the vocal, If i use them or not, it is always a good starting and inspiration point for me. Sometimes I will start with a basic layout, and then make a simple build up to continue with a basic drop so i will have an overal idea of how I want the track to sound like. Then I start working it out, sometimes I have a solid Demo within a few hours, sometimes it takes me a bit longer to work it out and sometimes I am just not satisfied with the track. For example Hearts of Gold took me a bit more then 50 versions of the drop to be satisfied with it. And yess I def get writers block ahah, then I either go to the studio with some friends to inspire me, or I go walk with my dog.
- Future projects? What are you working on currently? Tell us more!
Currently I have about 6 tracks ready for release, and I am in the studio a lot, so working on a lot of projects at once. I am going to release a mix of more pop/urban style tracks, but also some festival bangers! I am super excited about all the reactions on the tracks.
- The relationship between the audience and the DJ is crucial, and yet it seems to be a fragile one – how do you see the balance between giving the crowd what they want and treating them to something new?
I love to play with the audience, and looking at them to see what they want when it comes to music. What I normally do, is make a lot of mashups and edits with the popular tracks of that country to give the people what they want to hear but then in a ‘Sophie’ twist. I think it is very important to look at the crowd and see what they want, so if my edits or my music choice is not working for a particular crowd, I will switch my style up a little.
Follow Sophie on Social Media!
Sophie Francis – ‘Roll Up’ is OUT NOW! via Heldeep Records. Get it HERE!