Sophie on Madonna: ‘Her work is so vast – there’s a reference for any situation’
The electronic music producer, DJ and musician on Madonna’s continuing musical influence
In my mind, Madonna created the blueprint for modern pop stars. Her creativity has gone further, wider and longer than anyone else I can think of; I feel like her songs have been consistently memorable and meaningful. I have loved all of Madonna’s different phases at different points, but I think the Bedtime Stories era  is really intriguing, especially the production – it has a unique feeling. It’s so much more fully formed and sexy than a lot of the trip-hop stuff that was coming out around that time. It’s definitely been an influence on my own music.
My earliest memories of Madonna are of when my half-sister used to listen to her loads on family holidays. Davina was, and still is, a very fun party girl, so my early impressions of Madonna are merged with my half-sister’s teenage punk energy – I still think of Madonna in that way.
Working with her [on track Bitch I’m Madonna, which Sophie co-wrote and co-produced, the third single from Madonna’s 2015 album Rebel Heart] was really quite a one-off, spontaneous thing – I suppose a happy coincidence. I felt a connection with the title. But you have to prevent yourself from getting too excited about that kind of thing. People still write about that song in every article they write about me, so I guess she still means a lot to everyone operating in music right now.
Madonna’s work is so vast – there’s an appropriate Madonna reference for any situation. But I think the factor that sets her apart from others is that each phase seems to be a byproduct of a genuine journey of self-discovery, and always addresses some prejudice or other.
Whatever is the established, easy‑to-consume current thing, Madonna always seems to push past that. I think anyone who has struggled with having their voice heard can relate to what Madonna stands for and feel empowered by her story and her music. She is not buying into people’s bullshit.
I think what I’ve learned from her is that you can work hard and still be a good person. Anyone who fights so long and so hard deserves to be an important figure in music.
And she looks like she’s having more fun than a lot of people I know at that age, so whatever she’s doing, in my opinion she’s doing it right.