SoKo got a warm reception from the Magic City.
The French actress (Augustine) and singer opened up for L.A. indie-pop band Foster the People last week at the Fillmore, performing tracks from her upcoming second album My Dreams Dictate My Reality, as well as songs from her debut, I Thought I Was an Alien. She also hit the American Apparel store on Lincoln Road earlier in the day to interact with local fans.
SoKo, full name Stephanie Sokolinski, is one of those artists whose subtle delivery ends up more powerful than many bands that crank up the amps to 11. When she whispers, it hits you like a heart attack, with her haunting voice and confessional lyrics drawing the listener in emotionally.
This understated grace attracted producer Ross Robinson (The Cure, At the Drive-In) and celebrity video director Spike Jonze to work with her. SoKo has also collaborated with a diverse group of “it” performers, including Daniel Johnston, Ariel Pink and Pete Doherty.
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Catch SoKo on YouTube in the First Kiss video by Tatia Pilieva, which features 20 strangers kissing for the first time and is set to SoKo’s song, We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow. She chatted with Miami.com.
How are you enjoying opening for Foster the People?
It’s been pretty amazing so far, playing these crazy arenas. It’s my first time playing for so many people — pretty stressful. I’ve been playing a lot of new songs, and it’s been incredible to hear them in such a big environment. Still petrifying but really fun. I think my music is much more adapted to intimate venues. I always enjoy a real connection with the audience when they’re close, and you can actually talk to them and see tears rolling on their cheeks.
Is it true you never follow a set list?
I usually don’t, just because I like to keep every night different and spontaneous, and give everyone and myself a unique experience in rediscovering my own music every night, depending on which mood people are in.
What is the new album like?
My Dreams Dictate My Reality is a lot more gothy-punky-dreamy than I Thought I Was an Alien. It talks a lot about all my fears and anxiety and death and childhood and having Peter Pan syndrome, and it’s got a really heavy tone to it but sounds a lot more upbeat, with tones of synth and chorus-y guitars.
You started off as an actress; what inspired you to take the plunge into a musical career?
I was craving something that would make me feel creatively fulfilled on my own, where I can be totally independent, and I have that with music. I write all the time, every day, and I love having a good balance of both acting and making music. It keeps me sane.
What’s your songwriting process like?
I write thoughts and poems and stuff all the time, but when it comes to songs, they usually come haunt me at night at the very moment where I’m about to fall asleep. They will be there all formed, and I just have to be brave enough to wake up and record them right away. And I usually hear all the instruments, drums, bass lines, guitar hooks and harmonies at once. It’s pretty crazy!