I’m still processing Sophie’s life... her nature, her work, her beauty. She was laser-focused and exceptionally intelligent, but also sensitive and perceptive. It didn’t matter whether we were talking about people or relationships or materials or music - she approached every topic with the love, care and intensity of someone who has truly lived.
She was also constantly searching, making new discoveries and resculpting her worldview. She relished having bold opinions but was still eager to learn from other people, always asking questions and considering other points of view. Many of her interactions had this pattern: a quiet but commanding charisma followed by a moment of distance, possibly even absence. Then suddenly the ice would be shattered by a surprising moment of playfulness, a whimsical joke or heartfelt remark. This heightened sense of being felt and being seen was always present, not just in her intimate moments with friends or her public moments on stage, but even during those in-between moments... in the studio, on set, in meetings, in transit.
She loved to be on the move, ideally in a car with no particular destination. Even within a few months of knowing me, she would welcome any excuse to drive me around London, usually with the radio on. So many of my favourite memories have her at the wheel, one way or another.•
Before getting completely lost in my memories of Sophie the person, I feel like it could be useful to share something that has always been clear to me about SOPHIE the artist. The two full-length releases that she has left us with - Product and OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES - while often considered radically different in their approach and sincerity, are very much alike. I hear her voice in HARD’s metallic snare as clearly as I do in It’s Okay To Cry’s climactic vocals. Her personality shines through from the very first note of BIPP and is almost screaming to be heard through the lyrics and moods on every piece of music since then. The only difference was the presentation: Product had all the lights switched off to facilitate your undivided attention, while OOEPUI switched the light to full brightness for all the people in the back who had trouble the first time. Both albums were moments of revelation for anyone who truly opened themselves up to the experience. All of her music contains all of her.•
I first met Sophie on October 13th, 2012 - an unlikely meeting before BIPP and before PC Music, both of which would materialise the following June. I’d in fact stumbled on a demo of BIPP on Sophie’s soundcloud earlier that summer, and immediately emailed her elusive MSMSMSM.COM address. I remember the soundcloud page well. SOPHIE in all caps alongside a bio that just said ‘EASYJET GENERATION’ alongside a bulbous, bright pink profile picture. And there was a lot of music, generously long live mixes that would soon disappear. But right at the top, two 30 second tracks - BIPP (DEMO) and OOH (DEMO) - that I listened to on repeat. I couldn’t believe that there was someone out there, let alone someone in London, with such a strong vision and almost no regard for the walls between pop and experimental art.
I had very few musical allies at the time. My friend Dan and I were dedicated to our work as Dux Content and jokingly referred to ourselves as “audience entertainment specialists” in the face of endless pushbacks from venues, labels and friends who didn’t see what the point was. In our minds, pop music was going through a golden era in the early 2010s, but all that Max Martin/Stargate craftsmanship was looked down on by anyone cool, and the London scene was fixated on an indie-rock & dubstep revival. I’d been enjoying studying Music Computing at Goldsmiths, and I felt deeply connected to the history of computer music and the individuals that made it happen - but all my personal work was seen as some kind of kitsch odyssey that I‘d surely wake up from soon. When I emailed SOPHIE to express my instant fondness for her world, I asked if she had any plans for releases or live shows and told her that I was also making music in London, pointing her to our disorderly Dux Content website in case she was curious.
“Hi Alex... How are you?” Her email was graceful and peppered with questions about our keyboard programming and lyrics. She’d listened to all our stuff and was particularly intrigued by our Dux Kidz project, an ARK Music Factory inspired collection of songs that Dan and I recorded using different family friends as vocalists. Our song Party On My Own - featuring Raffy, who would later go on to do the vocals for VYZEE - had somehow already become a mini party anthem for Sophie and her friends. She asked for stems to try her own version, and we continued a casual correspondence until we realised that we lived so near to each other that it would be fun to meet.
The Lord Stanley Pub on Camden Park Road was a comically uncharacteristic place for all of us to be, it really just happened to be right between Dan’s flat and Sophie’s studio. It was 4pm on a Saturday and the place was quiet, almost empty. Sophie - who already possessed the looks and demeanour that she would soon become known for - was sitting in the corner with her equally stylish girlfriend Tess, while Dan and I made up for our lack of style with pure height and friendly, awkward grins. We immediately started talking about music, and Sophie was keen to have us listen to some tracks on her iPhone headphones. I remember listening to a skeletal demo of LEMONADE, staring at the glass of lemonade that Sophie had just ordered and already feeling like I had stepped into something. In return we played Sophie some tracks straight from our inboxes, possibly an early version of our Dux track Lifestyle as well as my own demo of Violets Are Blue.
We quickly abandoned the pub and headed down to Sophie’s studio, a sharp, rectangular room with a vocal booth that would have felt coldly professional if it wasn’t for one bright pink bucket with plastic flowers, an array of inflatable beach toys and a cute Mozart pillow displayed affectionately on the sofa. I didn’t have any sense of how much time I’d end up spending in that room, not only via various get-togethers and writing sessions, but also because of the many times that Sophie would lend me her space while she was away playing shows, something she did for many of her friends who needed to escape their bedroom studios.
While Dan was exceptionally busy studying classical composition, I was constantly searching for new allies to bring into our fold, especially people from other disciplines who might be less judgemental than most of the musicians we’d encountered. Sophie was also initially mystified by my eagerness to not only include other people in my music, but also make them the centre of it. Her workflow at the time was quite isolated, perfecting her craft for hours on end, bringing vocalists in only for exactly as long as they were needed, then going back to her work. We’d joke about how I was the first person she let touch her laptop, but it was a real moment and she seemed relieved to share her endeavours.
We were opposites in many ways, and naturally complementary. At that time I was a total MIDI chord and preset junkie, obsessed with layering music and striving for an emotional impact, but essentially terrified of synthesis. Sophie was already a sound design virtuoso and could mould pretty much anything out of thin air, but avoided chords which got in the way of the limited space that the audio spectrum provided. We were intrigued by each other’s approaches and would trade a lot of those skills over the years, but when we worked together we tended towards that original formation, bringing elements together almost instantaneously. My chords, her sounds, done. Vocals were the component that sat on top of everything else, and we worked on those much more equally, always trying to give songs a personality beyond the sum of their parts.
Part of my education consisted of just watching her build and re-build her music. I remember hearing a version of HARD that sounded great to me, but she felt it wasn’t gelling. Instead of tweaking or ‘fixing’ it in any way, she simply started again, remaking every sound, every drum, every synth part from scratch. I thought she had lost it at first, but I realised that she saw each component with such clarity that it was simply easier for her to remake everything than to force parts that didn’t truly fit together. There were certain pieces of equipment or software that she enjoyed using, but she saw everything on a fundamental level, and had no problem taking one idea and recreating it with different tools. What was clearly the result of years of concentration and determination was by that point fairly effortless, and it was a pleasure to watch someone just turn their mind to music.•
She was a few years older than me and already had a slightly mysterious past, one that she would sometimes have difficultly talking about. But it was clear that she also wanted to be understood as a real person, and sometimes (usually while driving or at least on the move) she would become extremely inquisitive, and then talk with eagerness about her own emotions and experiences. I was surprised when one day she asked if I’d like to accompany her to Eastbourne to help out with a photoshoot. She showed me images of ‘Homemade Molecular Gastronomy’ and ostensibly wanted another pair of hands to help mix spray paint, ice cream and slime for what would become SOPHIE’s first press images - but I realised in retrospect that it was because she wanted someone else to be there when she visited her dad.
When we got to Eastbourne I was quickly introduced to both her dad and his large collection of industrial kitchen units. Sophie later explained to me that he had essentially transformed the UK’s orange juice business after a work trip in California revealed quite how awful ‘natural’ fruit juice was back home. His big innovation was to offset the inconsistent flavour of different harvests by making sure his brand of juice always contained an equal proportion of oranges from three different sources. The result was probably the first truly fresh orange juice made in the UK, and was sold directly to supermarkets across the country. Suddenly LEMONADE was starting to make sense, and it also sparked a conversation about drinks and branding that we’d come back to very soon.
The trip was a lot of work, but the long drive back to London allowed us to unwind, and set the tone for a lot of our future conversations. We talked about vocal effects, if pitching up vocals was an act of transhumanism, and how we’d both be accepting of real-life vocal modifications. I teased her, saying that all this innovation was just a return to hair metal and hot pink guitars, before she admitted that she had owned a guitar like that at some point. She talked a bit about her childhood in Northampton, her love of Autechre and the Pet Shop Boys. Get Lucky came on the radio (again) and we shared our complex frustration with Daft Punk, who seemed to be masters of expression but wholeheartedly enjoying moving backwards. I started telling her about the book I was reading at the time, Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, and she cracked up at my unintentionally tragic description of the novel’s different dimensions. From then on she would rib me about it... “Thinking about Flatland again, are you?”•
2013 really started to accelerate. By that point I’d seen Sophie perform a few times, and we’d done a couple of small shows together, but rooms that were previously empty started to contain a buzz. Putting PC Music online greatly widened our circle, and the Numbers release of BIPP / ELLE had an immediate impact. Towards the end of that year we had become more confident in mashing our demos together and trying things out live. That October, we played a show for Creamcake in Berlin, where we ended up doing a combined 3 hour set that felt like we were not only playing every last drop of material we had, but also inventing new things on the spot, with Sophie’s monomachine improvisations and my own less impressive CDJ pitch slider malpractice. Sophie’s friend Matthew invited us to play a show in Basel, Switzerland the weekend after, so we ended up staying in Berlin for the week, finding a studio and basically making more material to fill our DJ sets.
Berlin also gave me a glimpse into Sophie’s world there, a city that had clearly been transformative. Her use of the German language was broken but somehow effective. In fact, on the first night we arrived, Sophie and an old friend of hers took me and my girlfriend at the time to Berghain, getting the four of us in with an ease that was lost on me at the time. In the early hours, we eventually dragged our bags to another friend’s place, only to realise that the key wasn’t where it should be. With no accommodation, Sophie called every other friend she knew who might be awake, which turned into a delirious pilgrimage to some sofa-bed somewhere. That, followed by playing Creamcake the following night, left me completely exhausted, but Sophie was more energised than ever, vanishing into the nightlife, beaming.
Basel took me even deeper down the rabbit hole, playing a club night in a gold paved basement, the entrance of which was a secret door next to a urinal in a men’s bathroom. Sophie never even returned to our hostel, which I got accidentally locked out of before rushing to the airport, only to find her leisurely ordering a baguette. We strolled to our gate - which as it turned out was closing and already calling out our names - and I remember collapsing into my window seat as we talked about music and energy drinks. EASYJET GENERATION at last.•
A great deal of my time by the end of 2014 and throughout 2015 was spent on QT, a collaborative project between Sophie, Hayden and I that genuinely energised me. While it’s easy to get lost in all the conversations and interpretations that QT provoked, I’ll never be able to forget Sophie’s infectious optimism about the project. Even before any of us had truly interacted with ‘pop music’, she had faith in all the special qualities that it could have - that it could be innately joyous, soothing and an ultimately generous experience.
For me, a lot of the charm of QT and Hey QT actually comes from the looseness and scrappiness underneath the slickness that we sometimes aimed for. From our debut QT set at SXSW made of Walmart inflatables to our second show at the Pérez Art Museum Miami where we scaled up our inflatable rig, only to end up performing outdoors during a hurricane... All of those early sets were surprisingly freeform, and both Sophie and Hayden were extremely intuitive, relying more on feeling and timing than any setlist. It was maybe the happiest I’d seen Sophie, softly breaking into the music scene while dancing uncontrollably to her own music - and solidifying a relationship with Hayden in which I became a “professional third wheel.”
Hey QT, as a track, also has this awkward crunch and almost rushed feeling that isn’t really in a lot of Sophie’s other work. In fact, working on the demo together has stuck with me as one of my most vivid memories, really because it brought out a sweet and unreserved side of her that I hadn’t seen before. I remember bringing in a MIDI file with some chords that I’d called ‘LOVEUFOREVER’, and rather than speak about sound design or production, we just indulged in its catchiness and became slightly obsessed, listening to the track on loop and driving around with it on. One night, we felt like we’d cracked something and ended up recording a delicate, whispered vocal demo in my bedroom - worried to wake the neighbours up, but determined to have it down. The chorus itself still feels to me like a dialogue between our two melodic styles. “Hey QT. Yeah? Yeah, there's something I want to say,” has Sophie’s chant-like, conversational swing, while “I feel your hands on my body every time you think of me,” picks out notes in this spacious, precise and almost electronic way that I sometimes like to embody.
By that point, we were both starting to interact a bit with the ‘music industry’, myself more as a ‘label person’ suddenly representing a motley crew of artists-to-be, and Sophie as a producer who was already in demand, at least by a few forward thinking Swedish producers who understood her potential. Simon Whybray’s JACK night in January 2014 had one of the best lineups I’ve ever been part of, and Sophie destroyed even my highest expectations with an undeniable onslaught that mixed her club demos with the new pop music that she was starting to construct. A few weeks later we both played Eclair Fifi’s Valentine’s Day party at Plastic People, by which point I was turning the inspiration of dancing to Sophie’s sets into my own melting pot of shapeshifting dance music.•
From here on, a lot of the landmark events have been fairly well documented through photos, articles and interviews, which, despite being all over the place in terms of accuracy and transparency, paint a vivid picture of the sheer number of bold personalities and exciting possibilities that surrounded us. Something like the PC SXSW showcase in 2015 felt like a staggering achievement compared to our relative obscurity the year before, and Pop Cube that same year was the energy-drink-expo-within-an-energy-drink-expo of our dreams, a night that pushed reality to its limits.
Sophie had her way with people - she could be critical, demanding, laid-back and mischievous all at the same time, an approach that turned everyone into a potential collaborator. I know she made an enormous impression on the variety of people who (one way or another) became part of PC Music, and she would often raise people up, imploring them to pursue their individuality. Around that time, I also got to know the rest of her family: her sisters, her brother, her mother, her grandmother, all of whom matched Sophie’s warmth, sweetness and intelligence.
Sophie was and always will be a wedding DJ. There were cute photos of her DJing weddings as a pre-teen, and one of the most joyous DJ sets we did together was for her sister’s wedding. It’s funny to think of us striking a balance between our own tracks and the ethereal ‘mainstream’ selections that are considered acceptable at weddings, but Sophie loved to win over crowds, to make people dance, and she had a vast knowledge of music from different eras which she could deftly weave into her own world. Amongst her USBs were some backup folders simply labelled 70s, 80s, 90s that I remember falling back on for various nights and afterparties when things needed to get a little matrimonious.•
Her enthusiasm for LA was contagious, and I found myself there more & more after she moved in 2015. Sophie and Hayden lived together in a pool-house that quickly became a mini HQ for all sorts of activity. In some ways it was overwhelming, coming over to listen to incredible music while also being in the shared space of a couple who were very much soulmates. There were so many factors that fed into the atmosphere of that place, and it felt like I had a window into both the euphoria and the pressures of a life that had travelled so far but was still searching. So many things felt undecided and very little was mapped out, but we used that state of mind to work on some of the most heartfelt demos I’d ever seen Sophie take part in, writing with both Hayden and Noonie and eventually Charli.
Sophie had already worked on a lot of the Vroom Vroom sessions when she brought Hayden and I to Charli’s housewarming party, and Charli had already been supportive of PC and loosely in touch, but it was satisfying to finally be in the same place, and to feel that we were all on the verge of individual journeys that had had somehow collided. What’s funny is that Charli, Sophie and I very rarely operated as a trio and (outside of a few sessions) tended to work in one-on-one pairings - yet from then on we spent a lot of time speaking of and referring to each other. Sophie and I would sit in her pool-house trying out new sections for Charli demos, and as a sort of payback for all the time I spent in her space, she ended up mixing a lot of the Vroom Vroom EP at my first ‘proper’ studio in London.
We took the work really seriously and were also in awe of Charli’s ability. For me, Charli was the first artist whose voice and presence could actually sit over a full-blown SOPHIE instrumental intact, and to this day there are still many amazing SOPHIE produced songs where the artist is partially subsumed by the dazzling sounds that their voice has to compete with. I remember Sophie describing the “physicality” of Charli’s delivery and melodic instincts, unfiltered and without artifice: exactly the reaction that SOPHIE’s synthesised terrain was designed to highlight and provoke.
Shortly after the release of the Vroom Vroom EP in 2016, Sophie and I coincidentally found ourselves together in Tokyo. I was on a writing trip with Finn Keane, and she was there to play some shows, but we figured out a way to merge our plans. We spent a little time writing in amusingly obscure studios, and the two of us went on a memorable excursion to Yasutaka Nakata’s home studio, where Sophie’s monomachine acrobatics completely melted Nakata’s famously cool demeanour, resulting in a two hour session where we just watched him construct one of his virtuosic arrangements from scratch around a few stems Sophie had prepared. We enjoyed every second and I particularly loved seeing someone with a such a dense musical language wrestle with Sophie’s sounds, reevaluating his own work along the way. In retrospect, it was just one of the many times that I had witnessed Sophie’s world absorb and inspire someone in such an immediate way.
The most important thing to come from Tokyo was simply the distance and perspective that you gain from being somewhere so far away and unfamiliar. Sophie had just finished a series of demos for Charli’s forthcoming album, many of which were done by a modern pop dream team that included Stargate, Bloodpop and Klas Åhlund - but it was clear that Charli’s latest EP had freaked her label out, and Sophie was pretty irate about all the hesitation and skepticism that followed, knowing that it was completely at odds with Charli’s undeniable stardom. I didn’t really express it to Sophie at the time, but I remember sitting there and thinking deeply about this mishmash of viewpoints: the purism of Sophie’s art, the brutal pragmatism of Charli’s label, and the slightly fragile evolution of Charli’s own pop persona... I could identify with each contradictory part, and even though I never truly had a vision for where things would end up, it instilled me with a drive and purpose that stayed with me. The following years of creative direction (more like creative persuasion) and our ‘passion project’ approach to both mixtapes came not only from my full belief in Charli as an artist, but also from the spark that Sophie had given both of us, and my insistence that it could be just as accessible as anything that had succeeded before.•
Later that year, Sophie, Hayden and I travelled to Lanzarote with no other purpose than to solidify our new project, essentially the sequel to QT as well as her antithesis. The island was a deliberate choice, covered in black, volcanic sand - a beautiful, sculptural piece of earth, but one that was also inhabited by a distinctly British flavour of tourism that reminded Sophie of the family holidays of her childhood. Our setup was atmospheric but technically barebones, just a mic hanging from a light fitting and some portable bluetooth speakers that Sophie picked up at the airport. The writing we did was pretty visceral, maybe even therapeutic. I was having a hard time at that exact point in my life - with some of my closest friendships and relationships back home starting to feel flimsy and destructive. Sophie and Hayden were not just supportive, but actively playful and uplifting. Sophie was in a particularly impish mood, wearing an uncharacteristically bright ‘holiday outfit’ and insisting we get ice cream at every possible juncture. With a certain lightness, we were all hyper- focused on what we’d come there to do. From then on I knew that we’d always be united by our belief in our work and our craft, that our music could describe things that we were only on the verge of understanding ourselves.
So many dramatic things happened that year, and I was constantly losing and finding myself in my work. Hayden recounted to us that she’d been told by someone to “phoenix that shit”, which sort of became a motto. By 2017, when Number 1 Angel was almost ready, Sophie and I had a lunch date that she uncharacteristically scheduled. She had an aversion to the whole notion of “coming out” to describe a process that is more about actualisation than transformation, but there was an honest pride in that particular moment. She talked about hormones, gender and her own experiences with a new lightness that I hadn’t seen before. It was an emotional realisation for me, that what I had always interpreted as confidence and androgyny had been just a small window into a much more multi-layered dysphoria, one that she was now openly reorganising. This was immediately followed by Sophie taking me for a drive and playing me demos of what would end up being the first four tracks of OOEPUI - strong, impactful pieces of music in any context, let alone when presented with such symmetry.
Being on stage together for some of Charli’s shows felt like an ongoing celebration. We were continually chatting while DJing the Pop 2 London show at Village Underground, remembering the night many years before when Sophie played the as-yet unreleased Hey QT to an extremely divided crowd at the same venue. I personally felt like she was at the height of her power, bouncing between anthemic Charli productions and her own mission statements like Whole New World, while also building up a massive library of sounds and productions. It’s frustrating to admit that some of the best music I’ve ever heard is some of the unreleased material that she had been pouring herself into during those years she lived in LA. Endless ideas, some recorded by herself, some with Cecile, Bibi, Starrah and many others, most of which were included then abandoned in the bottomless pit of major label demonstrations.•
She was a startlingly honest person, but often spoke through her actions. One of my most treasured memories is of a funny warehouse set that I played in LA when Alaska and I started dating. Alaska came from a completely different music scene and was fairly bewildered by whatever it is I was about to do. Then just as I had to go ‘perform’, Sophie took her side and took great care to whisper little observations and explanations into her ear, demystifying all the music I was playing for the next 45 minutes. I knew that Sophie relished all the little in-jokes and details that we’d put into our tracks, but to see her eagerly transferring this knowledge to a significant person in my life reminded me of how important all that minutiae can be.•
The last time I saw Sophie in person was sometime before the pandemic, a typically LA late night car ride to go get frozen yoghurt at the The Bigg Chill. I enjoyed being her friend on the inside/outside, and we would sometimes call each other to test out our most extreme ideas. She was very curious and encouraging when I eventually started to plan my rollout of 7G and Apple, and it triggered a long phone call sometime at the beginning of last year, in which she talked at length about her shifting plans for her own music. She was completely disenchanted with the conservative notion of ‘the album’, and was even more disillusioned with the limited potential of streaming. With a mix of self- aware hubris and total dedication, she sketched out this idea of an extremely generous platform that would give listeners all kind of access to stems, fragments, and revisions of her music. She believed that technology was wasting everyone’s time by attempting to emulate vinyl and radio, and that this infinitely generous approach was a logical endpoint for what music was always trying to be. She asked for my opinion. “Do you think it’s possible?”•
When the pandemic escalated, Sophie went back to her family home in Northampton, and she seemed exceptionally reflective again. I got the sense that she found lockdown quite troubling - that music wasn’t something that she could fully enjoy in isolation from everything else. Next thing I heard was that she’d gone to Athens, and one of the last conversations we had was about her new studio setup there and how inspired she was feeling.
A couple of months ago I ended up looking at some old session files that we worked on in 2015. Her files were not the clinical, perfect grid of information that you might expect, but a joyously messy stack of voice recordings, scribbles and patches that still transport me when I open them.
When I first heard about her fall, less than a day before she passed, all I could think of was how superhuman Sophie was to me. I kept thinking of this one time a few years ago when Sophie, Hayden and I were driving down the Pacific Coast Highway late at night. We got out to look at the water, but as soon as we all stepped onto the pavement, Sophie’s car began reversing into oncoming traffic. In an instant that seemed to last forever she ran backwards, leaped into the car, and swiftly parked it back right next to us - just as if nothing had happened.•
Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter, a novel published in 1977 that resonated so deeply with Sophie that on a few occasions she mentioned wanting to adapt it into an opera someday. It’s a surreal, brilliantly descriptive and oddly British dissection of so many things that were important to her. There are many lines that feel almost as if Sophie is narrating them, but this one passage from the very beginning feels apt to me:
Our external symbols must always express the life within us with absolute precision; how could they do otherwise, since that life has generated them? Therefore we must not blame our poor symbols if they take forms that seem trivial to us, or absurd, for the symbols themselves have no control over their own fleshy manifestations, however paltry they may be the nature of our life alone has determined their forms.•
I’m still processing Sophie’s death... This was the first paragraph that I started to write in what became a long eulogy - but I think I’m closer now.
There’s a weird trick that I do all the time when I’m writing music, which I don’t often talk about. I think of friends of mine, people who I’ve collaborated with a lot, and I think, “What would they do?”. How would Charli flip this melody? What note would Noonie add here? What chord change would amuse Finn? How would Alaska turn this image into a lyric? Through everything, the easiest persona to summon has always been Sophie. I can ask her anything really - as long as its about music - and she’ll answer right away. Now obviously these funny avatars, these bootleg copies of friends that I hold in my mind are consistently inferior. The real Charli can effortlessly out-topline my own Charli simulation. But now for the first time I’m trying to access someone who has passed away, and I worry that her special voice might fade. Despite that, and with a weird certainty, something tells me that the voice might now be more real than ever. Maybe it really is her suggesting that I try recreate that sound using a different oscillator or make that lyric a bit more fun. Maybe she’s here right now, visiting from a place with no rules and no limitations. Maybe she’s become a part of me, a part of everyone who loved her in their own way. It’s indescribable, to have lost a friend who was so caring and so real, and whose presence was a constant affirmation of life itself. And it makes me feel just like we never said...