Why Apple Is Obsessed With the Music of NYC Duo Sofi Tukker

Product (RED) spot again tops our list of most Shazam'd ads

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Since the iPod first hit the market in the early 2000s, Apple has been famous for helping to break emerging musical acts, and cement the status of famous ones, by featuring their songs in commercials. 

Lately, the tech giant has taken a real shine to one act in particular—New York City dance-music duo Sofi Tukker.

The band's track "That's It" (a cleaned-up version of their song "Batshit") anchors Apple's current ad for its Product (RED) iPhone 8. For the second straight week, that spot tops our list of the 10 most Shazam'd TV commercials on the air—with almost 140,000 Shazams in the past week alone.

iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED™ Special Edition — Apple

This isn't Sofi Tukker's first dance with Apple. The band's song "Best Friend" was used in the video unveiling the iPhone X at Apple's developers conference last fall. And way back in 2015, Apple used another Sofi Tukker track, "Drinkee," in an Apple Watch ad.

Apple doesn't talk much about its musical choices for ads. (Through its agency TBWA, the company declined to comment for this story.) But Sofi Tukker—comprised of Tucker Halpern and Sophie Hawley-Weld—have talked about their so-called "sync deals" with Apple a few times.

The band still don't know exactly how Apple discovered their music in the first place.

"We put 'Drinkee' on SoundCloud, and Apple found it and reached out to us, and wanted to put it in an Apple Watch commercial," Halpern told Vulture earlier this year.

After that, the band decided to send all its new music to Apple, hoping for a repeat. Soon enough, it worked.

"They got back to us like, 'We think we want to do something big around 'Best Friend,'" Halpern tells Billboard. "We were like, 'What?! Maybe we should put that out as a single.'"

They had no idea the song would be used in the high-profile Apple X unveiling. "We just knew 'Best Friend' was going to be used for an Apple product. That's all we knew," says Hawley-Weld.

Meet iPhone X — Apple

The Vulture story explores why Apple would be drawn to music like Sofi Tukker's, suggesting the lyrics of "Best Friend," including the platonic come-on "You are my best friend/And we have got some things to do," suits the company's toned-down 2018 ethos—in contast to the more provocative, cutting-edge tunes the brand used back in its iPod days.

With "That's It" featured in the new (RED) spot, Sofi Tukker are now 3-for-3 with the tech giant. Sync deals are a fantastic way for a young band to make money, and Halpern and Hawley-Weld see no downside to them—indeed, they don't see it as selling out at all.

"Just the opposite," Hawley-Weld tells Vulture. "I feel like it's more affirmation to dig deeper into our roots and get to know ourselves better."

See all 10 spots from this week's Shazam list below.

The 10 Most Shazam'd Ads of the Week: April 23-29

1) Apple

Track: "Batshit/That's It"

Artist: Sofi Tukker

Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab

iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED™ Special Edition — Apple

2) Target

Track: "The Middle"

Artist: Maren Morris, Zedd, and Grey

Agency: Mother

Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey - The Middle (Official Music Video)

3) L'Oréal

Track: "Never Be The Same"

Artist: Camila Cabello

Agency: McCann

New L’Oréal Paris Elvive “Comeback” Commercial with Camila Cabello

4) Pepsi

Track: "Light It Up (Remix)"

Artist: Major Lazer Feat. Nyla & Fuse ODG

Agency: In-house

Pepsi | Messi, Marcelo, Kroos, Lloyd, Dele and Dos Santos paint the world blue

5) Transitions Optical

Track: "The Sun"

Artist: Parov Stelar Feat. Graham Candy

Agency: Animals Paris

Transitions® Light Under Control™

6) Samsung

Track: "No Games"

Artist: Stella Mwangi

Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago

Samsung Galaxy S9 Official TVC: Remix Your Everyday

7) Hyundai

Track: "Higher Love"

Artist: James Vincent McMorrow

Agency: Innocean USA

Long Distance | 2018 Hyundai Kona

8) Sony Pictures/Peter Rabbit

Track: "Feel It Still"

Artist: Portugal. The Man

Agency: Universal McCann

PETER RABBIT – On Blu-ray Combo Pack & Digital

9) Jeep

Track: "Unstoppable"

Artist: The Score

Agency: Doner

Jeep Dial | Grand Cherokee

10) Sony Music/Scotty McCreery album Seasons Change

Track: "Five More Minutes"

Artist: Scotty McCreery