photographer /SHELBY DUNCAN
story /KOKO NTUEN
French born Soko kissed high school goodbye at 16, left home, and moved to Paris to delve into the acting world. After studying acting for a year, she tried to complete her high school degree but became bored with the educational institution. She began acting in a few films, but more importantly began writing songs. It paid off as she scored a hit single in Denmark in 2007 with her homicidally delightful tune, “I’ll Kill Her”. She soon began touring with M.I.A. She went M.I.A. in 2009 when she declared herself “dead,” announcing her fear of the music industry. She dipped into acting again for a bit and was even nominated for a Cesar Award For Most Promising Actress. In 2011, she made up for her disappearance with the release of her album, I Thought I Was an Alien, which is finally being released in the US! Her often dynamic nature has made her an entertaining live performer, as she never uses set lists and has been known to perform for up to three hours when she feels comfortable.
You are a performer in the true sense of the word; you are an actress, a musician, a writer, a performer, and visual artist, what else do you want to do?
Am I all that? Haha. Damn! The one thing I haven’t done yet that was my dream since I’m a child is doing voices for cartoons/animated
films. I seriously can’t wait for this dream to become reality! I love doing characters voices! And I’m a proper child, so I love kids movies!
What projects are you working on now?
I’m getting towards the end of recording my second album. I’ve finally grown to love being a studio nerd. I’m having so much fun with
this one. It’s much more natural and way less painful than making the first one.
When is your next project being released?
I have a movie AUGUSTINE coming out in the U.S. in May I believe. And then hopefully my second album will come out in September. Fingers crossed!
What do you normally do when you wake up?
Turn on the music, listen to my GOOD MORNING playlist of the moment. Hope I can stay in bed all day. Remember my dreams. Write them down. Make herbal tea. Watch cartoons!
Do you smoke or drink?
I was totally straight-edge for about seven years, total squaredo. And six months ago, I realize I was in the middle of my teenage crisis (at 27!) and I smoked weed for the first time of my life. Now I do it occasionally, for writing purposes mostly (but for fun too, let’s not kid ourselves!). And then I started drinking red wine again, but i’m totally drunk with half a glass. Cheap date!
Will you tell us one of the lines of a song you are working on now?
This is from a song called “Ocean of Tears, Ocean of Fears”:
“I thought I was a witch / Was I responsible for the death of all the people that
I love the most? / Try to forgive myself for all the wrong I’ve done /
Oh God has a plan to kill us all. “
Will you tell us a song title you are working on now?
I Come In Peace, Monster Love, Bad Poetry, stuff like that. The album is called My Dreams Dictate My Reality. It’s very much all about dreams.
Do you like acting and singing equally?
I like playing shows the most, then writing and recording, and directing videos. Acting, yes. Only with/for the right people though.
How do you prepare yourself to act or perform and record music?
Hmm… for acting, I only feel like my character when I’m in its clothes.For shows, I drink ginger/lemon/honey tea, give huge hugs to my band, and tell them I love them and jump on stage. For recording, I have a witchcraft table with all my herbal remedies, oils, candles, incense, and I wear red shoes and something turquoise. I’m very superstitious. The red shoes thing is because of my favorite movie The Red Shoes. So I keep passion first, and all the rest comes next while I’m in the studio.
Have you ever been rejected by a boy or girl romantically? Tell us one sad story.
I was absolutely crazy about this amazing artist last year. We spent a month being each others’ muses, making each other feel the best we had ever felt, the most beautiful, the most loved, the most admired, making plans to visit castles in Germany, disappearing in his cabin in the woods, being everything for each other. Between London and Paris. And right before I went on tour, he said he couldn’t be a part of my life and wanted to be alone and live this doomed artist life, never going out of his house and just working on his art. He wouldn’t talk to me or answer the thousands of love letters I’ve sent. I spent all my nights dreaming of him ‘cause that was the only place I could still be with him, in my dreams. I’d wait on his doorsteps in London, until he’d get out of his house and finally smile at me and be happy to see me. Now he’s writing me the most beautiful love songs and poems, playing the victim, like I broke his heart. It still makes me want to cry, and he still refuses to talk to me. I feel like he’s writing a tragedy about our love story that HE ended.
What is the last film you watched?
I went to see SPRING BREAKERS last night, and this morning, I watched this documentary TITUS: THE GORILLA KING.
What do you think of Facebook?
Love it! I’m lucky enough to be able to travel a lot, and when I happen to be in cities I’ve never been before, I love booking last minute shows
and ask help on Facebook and see people actually show up within 12 hours in unlikely places is the best thing ever! THANK YOU Facebook!
If you could cuddle/have sex with anyone in the world right now, who would it be?
Tell us three songs to listen to when we really sad.
The Shivers, “Beauty”, Leonard Cohen, “Blessed is the Memory”, Otis Redding, “For Your Precious Love”.
Tell us three songs to listen to when we are happy!
Monochrome Set, “Jacob’s Ladder”, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, “Swim and Sleep”, Jorge Ben, “Zumbi”.
What is the last thing that made you say “WHATEVER!”