‘Mess up the choreography and your Black card is revoked’: Sophie Duker’s honest playlist

The comedian stans hard for Mika and knows the perfect song to spice up a funeral reception, but which pop hit does she think ‘should be on baby TV’?

The first record I ever bought
Steps’ Step One. I think I remember there being a B-side and it was made out of chocolate. I feel it was a marketing device: they gave you a chocolate CD. I think it was very weird that sort of 90s, direct-to-kid marketing, like “5, 6, 7, 8” were just the ages of the people that would listen to Steps.

The song that’s my karaoke go-to
Lou Bega. The names of the women that he calls out in Mambo No 5 are really dated, you’re just calling out Gen X ladies. But it’ll come round again. When Gen Z starts having kids then the song will be even more relevant because everyone will be like “Oh my God, Angela! Rita!’. Rita feels like a name that’s gonna come back.

The song that made my best ever gig experience
I saw Mika at Benicàssim. He was just the most insane vocalist, and it was the most joyful show. He had this really cool Black woman on drums, who was going wild. There were these huge inflatable skeletons. Also, he’s got the voice of an angel. I didn’t even realise that loads of his songs are super queer. I fucking loved it. In one gig I turned from like, “Who’s this dude?”, to full Mika stan.

Best song to play at a party
I feel as if I have this moral obligation to say Candy by Cameo, but I actually think Word Up is a better song. Candy is sort of stressful, because if you mess up the choreography then you have to have your Black card revoked. But with Word Up all you have to do is wave your hands in the air like you don’t care, which doesn’t need any sort of particular syncopation or timing or rhythm.

My actual favourite song
Édith Piaf’s Notre Dame de Paris. It’s not a funny answer, it’s just the most Piaf-y song that ever was and it makes me feel like I’m in Beauty and the Beast. It’s pure Piaf.

The song I want played at my funeral
You’re So Vain by Carly Simon, so there’d be a bit of drama. I’d have everyone submit songs to see how they felt about me, but I’d plant songs in there to make it spicier. So, I’d put in You’re So Vain so that people at the reception would be like: “Who submitted this?”

The song I tell people is my favourite
Kendrick Lamar’s Humble. It’s a very cool song. People can’t argue with that.

Best song to have sex to
Anything that’s hyper-dramatic and kind of choral. You could be having the most missionary-style sex, but if you’ve got Sevdaliza playing, maybe Human, it feels like you are an alien goddess. And you feel really good after.

The song I have to get up to turn off
The first time I heard Dua Lipa’s New Rules I irrationally hated it. I was in a car back from a gig with Harriet Kemsley and I’d never heard it before. I was just like: “What? This should be on BabyTV. What’s going on?” It sounds like an alphabet song.

Sophie Duker performs her latest show, Hag, at Soho theatre, London, 7 to 12 November.


As told to Ella Braidwood

The GuardianTramp

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