Disco giants: Sheffield band hypnotizes Europe

When Turin’s PalaOlimpico was transformed into a giant nightclub for the interval show that celebrated Italy’s contribution to dance music in this year’s first Eurovision semi-final, the last thing that you would expect to see was
a group from Sheffield. But, after pieces of legends like Giorgio Moroder
and Robert Miles, Sophie and the Giants – a band that cut its teeth in this other northern industrial town – took the stage, performing last year’s single
golden nights to a television audience that would exceed 160 million viewers through the competition broadcasts.

But while they are without a single success at home, Sophie and the giants will have been familiar to many of those millions across Europe, their hypnotized – a wistful and seductive Italian disco revival song, released in the first weeks of the first lockdown – having been one of the biggest hits of the year, certified gold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, platinum in Poland and garnering over 250 million Spotify streams to date. And blazing-haired Sophie Scott, with her commanding voice, powerful lyrics and a wardrobe of costumes to die for, has become a true queen of European disco. Not
bad for a Staines girl just a few years into her teens. hypnotized has been
a collaboration with German producer Purple Disco Machine and achieved
No. 2 in Italy. He narrowly missed the Top 10 in Germany, where Sophie and
the Giants found a home in Universal’s regional division and where their 2019 single, The lightwas already known to the public due to its use in a Vodafone advertisement. hypnotizedmeanwhile, had been used in a Sky WiFi commercial in Italy.


Appeared in holographic form on the Factor X Italy scene in November 2020 (filmed on a green screen in Sophie’s flat in Sheffield), 2021 saw a further polishing of references in Italy. Falènea seductive Latin-flavored summer duet with Italian star Michele Bravi, found Sophie singing in English and Italian, while golden nights was a British-Italian collaboration with electro house pioneer Benny Benassi and star producer and songwriter Dardust.

At the beginning of this year, In the darkanother retro Italian-disco collaboration with Purple Disco Machine, repeated much of Hypnotized’s European success, and a high-profile appearance at the Sanremo festival followed, seeing Sophie perform with 20-year-old Italian rock band Le Vibration.

This Italian and German success for a fledgling British act seems less than
usual, but it has deep roots. Originally dubbed “spaghetti disco”, Italo disco
would not have been possible without the Italian electronic visionary Giorgio
Moroder and it was pioneered by a handful of 1980s Italian producers, but it got its name from the German label ZYX and it was in Germany that the genre found much of its success. It seems that this public is more than ready for the revival of Italian disco which has accelerated in recent years and in which Sophie and the giants have carved out a place for themselves.

It’s an act that’s been an intriguing prospect from the start. Originally formed as a teenage quartet in 2017 as students at the Guildford Academy of Contemporary Music, they moved to Sheffield – one of the cradles of British electronic music, after all – and the band was on the cusp of the fame that came with it. hypnotized when they described themselves with childish arrogance as making “the best pop music you’ve ever heard”.

First single Monsters (2018), with its opening apparently influenced by Steve Reich, the passionate voice of Florence Welch-meets-La Roux and the emotion
lyrics, certainly showed a maturity beyond their years. And while Waste my air from the EP of the same year Adolescencewith its “don’t let people fuck with the time you have here” message was an early indication of the utterly millennial theme of self-actualization in the lyrics of Sophie and the Giants, it’s not necessarily to music only for young people.

The euphoria of the dance of Sophie and the Giants is contagious, and even if hypnotized seemed to speak directly at the time in early 2020, opening “Feel
buried alive, this city is hermetic”, and 2021 Currently was intended as a post-pandemic anthem (“I’m done waiting / And I’m coming back stronger
now / Oh, I did”), their late summer single which was just released We own the night found them continuing to bring a refreshing and transcendent hedonism to chronically troubled times. As Sophie handed it over Monsters“the future awaits you”.

SOPHIE AND THE GIANTS in five songs

break the silence (2019)
A manifesto of honesty and courage, this track showcased the euphoric and emotional intensity of which this act is capable.

hypnotized (2020)
A collaboration with German producer Purple Disco Machine was the
song that pierced Sophie and the Giants to European success, with her
narrowly missing the top of the Italian charts.

golden nights (2021)
Featuring legendary music producer Benny Benassi, this song was included
as the last word of Italian electronic musical innovation in the first semi-final of Eurovision 2022 in Turin.

In the dark (2022)
Another collaboration with Purple Disco Machine, this single was heavy on Italo disco nostalgia, with chiming synths and a strong sense of camp drama.

We own the night (2022)
Sophie and the Giants’ latest outing is all about unbridled hedonism and the challenge of negativity.

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