Sophia Somajo, aka Soso, is a somewhat avant-garde singer/songwriter from Sweden. She wrote, recorded, and produced her entire debut album (That Time I Dug so Deep I Ended up in China, out 5/1) inside of her bedroom… She’s one of the few people I can think of that I can actually identify with.
RCRD LBL has described her as a “Swedish superpower composed of Monica Belluci’s face, Robyn’s voice and Adele’s heartbreak.” While those things may be true, there seems to be quite a bit more to Soso’s aesthetic. I mean, she does seem to have a penchant for imbuing electronic productions with traditional Chinese instruments. And she does have a song (“Sab Lackath”) that is a recording of her crying, edited into a rhythmic beat.
Recently this existential, largely-solitary introvert had a chance to chat with Soso, another seemingly existential, largely-solitary introvert. The topics that arose? High technology, Proust, and Chinese “anti-pop culture.”
Izzy Cihak: What are your plans for 2012? Any chance your stateside fans might get a chance to experience you in-person?
Sophia Somajo: Yes of course! You are all welcome to my home…
IC: Your debut doesn’t drop until May 1. What would you encourage interested parties do in the meantime to get their fix of Soso?
SS: I will continue to drop little treats here and there: singles, videos etc. There is always action on my blog and Facebook page, where I post things daily. Just hop on next to me and join me on my trip. You’ll go some place. That’s for sure. Don’t mind where…
IC: Thus far you’ve maintained a relatively ambiguous identity, comprised mainly of abstractions of sorts (albeit quite intriguing ones), and minimal photos and personal info. Is there anything that you think is especially important that people do know about you?
SS: I think the best description of myself is found in a bunch of recycled visuals here. Otherwise I think my music is pretty revealing.
IC: I must say that you’re the first person I’ve ever known to make an interesting use of Tumblr.
SS: Thank you so much. You have great taste! I find that Tumblr is the modern kid’s form of poetry.
IC: You wrote a song called “Joaquin Phoenix” as a response to his film I’m Still Here. Do you have any other particularly prominent non-musical influences? Proust certainly springs to mind for purely existential reasons.
SS: Haha. Clever. Yeah, me and Proust do certainly have our similarities… I find massive inspiration in Chinese “anti-pop-culture”. Where there is no room, you have to find your way out. Already that sparks some creativity. I watch a lot of Asian film. They have so many rules and restrictions in their artistic “freedom.” It pisses me off, but I can’t help but being drawn to it. Again, there is so much power in something with a lid on. If you go real close, you can hear the pounding. I am inspired by anything and everything raw and hardcore. Whatever form it comes in.
IC: What about your fashion? It’s quite interesting. Is it inspired by anything in particular?
SS: I would say charcoal, Chinese porcelain, one-color-plastic bags, goths, ravers, stones, crystals, pastels, and transparent rubber. Oh, and I also love ropes. I wear them around my neck.