Smart ladies love cultural oddities, QT, “Hey QT”


Look, I think it’s finally time to talk about QT’s “Hey QT.”

What is it?

It’s like if the best Annie song was created by a computer’s algorithms in an attempt to be the catchiest song of all time.

There’s also a “pitched down” version if the chipmunk voice isn’t your thang:

The story behind the song is just as bizarre as the tune itself:
So what, or who, is QT? She’s a sparkling future pop sensation — albeit one who is set to warp and stretch the notion of what a pop star actually is. It’s a drink, or more precisely a brand new Energy Elixir (“where organic and synthetic meet to stimulate an uplifting club sensation”). And it’s a song, a moment — “Hey QT” — which sees these two producers pushing their sound to its very extreme and creating a future anthem in the process. –Band statement as copied from Stereogum

And it’s been BNMed on Pitchfork and written up in just about every blog.

Honestly, when music like this pops up on blogs I tend to ignore it, so the “hook” of “QT-as-energy-drink” is what got me to push play initially.  I love this song, and the other music I found while researching this post, so I think it’s rather rockist of me to turn my nose at all pop and dance music.

I have listened to it enough that I cannot argue with its innate catchiness and ability to burrow into my head. When I queue up the video at work I keep clicking repeat. I wanted to know more about the people behind the song, mostly so I could find more songs like it. I NEED MORE.

Where does it come from?

The two producers have done some very excellent work on their own.


  • Actual gender: male. Real name: Sam. From Scotland, relocated to London.
  • Wanted to make super fun but challenging bass music.
  • He is totally hilarious, which is completely obvious even after reading that QT press release, but is further confirmed with this Pitchfork feature.
  • Like “Hey QT,” Sophie’s “videos” are almost completely nonexistent–just a simple image on screen while the music plays. When Pfork asked about the images associated with his video, he said, “The photos are called “Homemade Molecular Cooking.” Music as molecular gastronomy is something I like to think about. It’s about getting to the molecular level of a particular sound—realizing what that sound actually is made of, and why it behaves a certain way when processed or cooked. Then, you use those molecules to build new forms, mixing and re-appropriating those raw materials—and of course, it should be bloody delicious.”
  • To hear more Sophie, go to his website.

A.G. Cook

  • Like Sophie, A.G. is London-based, where he works as a DJ and producer.
  • My favorite thing said about him? When he DJed “each song [gave] the effect of someone pouring a pack of Pop Rocks into my ears.”
  • Runs record label PC Music, which has about fifty songs available on Soundcloud, that are quite diverse and interesting. He says the name “alludes to how the computer is a really crucial tool, not just for making electronic music but for making amateur music that is also potentially very slick, where the difference between bedroom and professional studio production can be very ambiguous.” One writer from Vice UK said that all the artists on PC Music were hiding behind characters, and they’re part of a larger movement of music made by people fluent in internet-speak.
  • He namechecks his love of Max Martin, Cassie and a slew of other pop producers/artists in this fantastic interview.

Because the pairing is so new, I could not find much about Sophie and A.G. Cook’s work/future work together, except a QT record will be released on XL, a British label best known for Vampire Weekend and a bunch of buzzy dance/hip hop acts.

What are people saying?

One of my most favorite things to do is search Twitter and see normal people say about a particular cultural phenomenon.

Who is this music really for?

After a week and gobs of blog hype, “Hey QT” has less than 200K views on You Tube–new One Direction videos get that many in their first hour. I really hope QT–and Sophie and A.G. Cook–have longer shelf lives than “Barbie Girl,” but I also hope they can cut through the hype and have this fascinating music accepted by a wider audience.

Perhaps one of the best things I read about this wave of computer music was They’re the sort of songs that can create mass opposition: either you play it to everyone, calling it the best thing in the world until you’re politely told to fuck off or you play it to everyone, calling it the worst thing in the world until you’re politely told to fuck off. Either way – it’s unlike anything else and the internet was invented to share it. That’s exactly why I wrote this–to tell my dear dozen readers about these songs and encourage you to listen to them until you, too, feel the Pop Rocks in your ears.

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