I realise my blog is not as active as it should be. I know and I take the blame. To maintain a blog when OCD is often making it hard to focus and hit the web, isn’t that easy. But rather than writing frequent entries while half-concentrated, I prefer to write good ones the moments I feel fine to do it. Maybe I should challenge myself to a sort of "song of the week" thing, to avoid long hiatuses. But be sure, this blog is alive and kicking and I do plan to keep it going for much longer, the gap between different blog entries may vary but this blog is here to stay 🙂
There has always been a sort of bizarre aspect of romance, being the link between love and death. But if any singer has a unique reason for this type of writing, and where it comes straight from the heart, it has to be French artist SoKo. A very interesting singer and equally interesting personality (and actor, let’s not forget she played in films too).
SoKo is the pseudonym of Bordeaux-born Stéphanie Sokolinski. She was 16 when leaving home to chase her acting dreams and move to Paris. She also started writing her first songs there. In 2007, her musical career kicked off when "I’ll kill her" became a hit in several European countries as well as in Australia. By then she had already played in several French films and TV shows.
In 2012 she would eventually release her debut album, "I thought I was an alien", containing quite a few songs about love, but not necessarily the nice side of it. The album came after a hiatus from 2009 onwards to 2011, with SoKo declaring she had to face some "demons" but announced her comeback saying she "had a new heart". SoKo is a mult-instrumentalist, playing guitar, drums, bass, keyboards, and obviously, singing. She herself directs her own music videos too. All all-round artist, this is, and one with a fascinating personality.
Like many tracks on the album, "We might be dead by tomorrow" is a quite fragile song about love and with reference to death. With an almost aching voice, SoKo addresses to her potential lover asking to give her all his love now, because by tomorrow they could just as well be dead, so no delay in giving love. The potential partner answers he is just not ready yet, which SoKo describes as "adding scars to my heart", also asking the question "if you’re not ready for love, how can you be ready for life?". So in a final call she asks and proposes to love fully, love loud, and love NOW. Because the future, even the next couple of days are always an uncertainty.
In the promo video I had to see (I don’t know if several versions were shot or not) we see a man and woman swimming underwater, seeking to come closer to each other. A quite artsy video, somehow labelled unsuitable for minors. The video shows nothing even remotely explicitly sexual, so there is either another version of the video, or the censorship folks have gone even more conservative than they already were.
The fact SoKo writes about death frequently, is due to her own childhood: when she was just aged 5, she lost her father. During her youth she saw more people she cared about dying. She developed a feeling of being abandoned because of several deaths while growing up, also developing a fear of dying herself.
The references to love without delay also reflect from that. In a 2013 interview with the website afterellen.com she literally said: "Like, as soon as I love someone, I feel like I just have to grab every minute, like every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day with the people I love so I’m really intense in relationships, just because I’m always scared that they’re going to be taken away from me". She added being dumped on many occasions too.
In the same interview she declared "I’m like a loyal little puppy. All I want is to love someone and be loved in return, like who doesn’t? That’s all I want in my life, everyday…is to have love…nonstop, always. More than anything in the world.". SoKo is clearly a very intense person, but given the backgrounds, her artistic creativity and diversity, I would also say she is one of the more fascinating and probably more sensitive persons in the artistic world.
Being a very emotionally sensitive person myself (I would identify as HSP for sure), and being very open about that (not hiding tears or sadness when I’m in such phase), I can totally relate to what SoKo is saying here. The desire for romance and to be with that person you like may fill you with hope, but can be a very strong feeling leaving no time to step-by-step build a relationship. You just want it to happen NOW, and to fully enjoy your love. The disillusion when things don’t evolve the way you wanted so much, can leave a painful mark. The hope rises high and you really focus totally on that special person, but when nothing evolves you’re left with disillusion and with the only bit of consolidation that at least you had hope for a while.
SoKo, who is bisexual and in the interview I refered to rather explicitly explains what she finds physically attractive on women, really wrote a great song here which many people may be able to relate to.
It is a bit sad the song in terms of popularity rised highly when it was used as background tune for "First Kiss", a short video in which total strangers meeting on the streets were challenged to kiss each other in front of the camera, thereby trying to recreate the sentiment of a first kiss. That video was extremely popular online ; the song deserves a lot of credit without needing to be used in such video. But on the other hand, I guess if some people watching the First Kiss video also discover SoKo’s music that way and become loyal fans, then it has not been that bad at all.
SoKo also had some other songs for which a video was released (she directs or co-directs all her own videos) such as "First Love never die" (not "never dies", the -s at the end is not in the song title), and in some album tracks we can again see the very sensitive side of SoKo.
In "Don’t you touch me" she repeatedly asks "Don’t you touch me, ‘coz it means so much to me" and describes she stayed "pure as a dove" for her love, then to realise finding the soul mate of your life isn’t a game and not worth the gamble because "I always lose", as she sings. Indeed, love is a dominant subject on SoKo’s album, but it’s not exactly happy love songs about true love without worries.
Not that it is all about broken hearts, the album ends with "You have a power on me" in which there is no heartbreak at the end of the song. Sensitivy and how someone can become very hopeful with just a few small signs, are well reflected in lines such as "Every little sign of you make me feel so happy".
SoKo for sure shows, both through her personality and her lyrics, to be an extremely interesting artist and personality. She comes across as highly sensitive and emotional, which I’m sure makes her music recognisable for many listeners.
She nowadays lives in LA but says not to be part of the Hollywood scene. She considers herself straight edge, is vegan, and openly bisexual.
Keep an eye on this French lady, because her first recordings, directed videos etc show a very multi-talented artist who, in addition, also has a lot of meaningful things to say.