Maxim Meyer-Horn

10 Jul
Music

Soko: “You Have to Be Bold to Feel Your Feelings”

There are only a few artists that are able to capture a timeless feeling with their music like Soko can. The French-born but LA-based singer has written some of the most mesmerizing songs we know (we all remember “I’ll Kill Her”) and finally returns with a brand new album after a five-year-long hiatus. In this period, Soko learned a lot about life and herself, which resulted in a very personal interview about her new album ‘Feel Feelings.

Let’s talk about your music! You wrote your new album before you gave birth, which was in 2018. Did you ever feel like you wanted to change something afterward?

No. Giving birth felt like a new chapter of my life, and I wanted the album fully done before I gave birth.

Feel Feelings is, in my opinion, a fantastic, atmospheric album with songs in English and for the first time a song in French. Why did you decide to write a song in your native language?

I live in an English speaking country, and I write about the things that happen to me in English. This particular story was taking place in France and as I was trying to put it in words and remember where my head was at, everything just flowed naturally in French. I’ve never tried to write in French because I’ve never been comfortable or it didn’t feel natural. But that song just came naturally, and I’m really happy to have a French song now.

 

Do you think you’ll write an entire album in French one day? 

I honestly don’t know. I can’t tell yet, I don’t even know if I’ll write another song again. I haven’t written any songs other than lullabies for my baby.

A song on the album is called “Oh To Be a Rainbow”. Is rainbow a metaphor for something?

Oh yeah. It stands for ‘Oh to be gay, oh to be oh so very gay.’ It represents more than me being gay. It stands for being your true self. But also that we’re magical and that we’re like a rainbow. There is no rainbow and no magic without the sun and the rain. It’s important we embrace and accept those. The whole song is mostly about accepting. We have to accept that we’re all different and that we all have different preferences. We have to accept people for who they are.

Was there a time where you didn’t feel accepted by the music industry?

I honestly never cared. I’ve always been living my life in acceptance of myself, so I never cared about what other people, the music industry, or the people on Instagram thought about me or about what I’m doing with my life.

How would you describe your relation to unity and being intimate? Especially after writing the album without having sex?

Wouldn’t it be great to have a person that you can completely be yourself around without any judgment from yourself? Without thinking that you hate a part of your body or your face, but to just think ‘isn’t it great to be naked?’

I was craving a loss of sensuality, not even sexuality. I like being able to feel comfortable around someone, being able to be nude, not only in your clothing but also emotionally naked around someone.

You said that your new songs will be appreciated most by driving down the coast or listening to them in bed. What makes the new music so relaxing?

Listening to music while driving in a car is my favorite time to listen to music. All the music that I make is in these moments that I want to listen to these songs, so I was hoping it would be the same for other people listening to it. Hopefully, they like to listen to it in traffic or in bed when they’re comfortable and vulnerable.

Let’s talk about the artwork for the album. We see arrows and bows, a lot of red. What does the picture represent?

We originally did that shoot for the cover art for “Looking For Love”, a single that isn’t out yet. I loved the picture so much I eventually wanted to use it for the album. I thought that you have to be bold to feel your feelings and you have to reach for the moon. You have to be vulnerable and reach out for things. If you’re reaching for the moon, it means you’re reaching for feelings and emotions. You’re opening up and making an effort to be better.

 

You’ve been in the music game for a long time already. The way that people consume music has changed from buying albums to streaming them. What’s another big difference in your opinion?

The big difference is that everything is available in one click. Which makes it so that you can discover music and you don’t have to break your wallet to buy a record you might only know one song of. I’ve had so many times where I spent all my money on records and then discovering I didn’t like the other songs, only one of them. Then I’d be disappointed because I could’ve bought another record instead.

Whereas now, you can like one song, but you don’t have to buy the record. I’ve been using Spotify since it was created, and I love it so much. I make so many different playlists, and I love discovering new artists. As much as I hate algorithms sometimes, they do give me new music to listen to.

 

Having that in mind and knowing that music is available to so many people, is there something specific you want people to have in mind while listening to the album? 

I feel like everything I wanted to communicate is very much raw in the song. I spent a lot of time writing the lyrics, which are really important to me. I know some people listen to songs and don’t pay attention to the lyrics, only to the melody and the vibe, but I do love my lyrics, and I do love words. If people want to listen, listen to the lyrics.

Soko’s new album ‘Feel Feelings’ is available now worldwide.

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