‘I want to punch people in all of their senses at the same time’ – Sophia Somajo chats with So So Gay

Originally published on So So Gay on 5 June 2013.

Some might say Sweden is the homeland of irrefutably brilliant pop music – indeed, we at So So Gay would definitely agree with this statement. One of the current leading lights of those talented people is surely Sophia Somajo, aka Soso, who we introduced to you last year. Taking time out from her many and varied projects, the talented Swede sat down with us to answer some questions.

So So Gay: Hello, Soso! First of all, whereabouts are you at the moment and what is new in the world of Soso?

Soso: Hello, love. I’m in Stockholm. It 02:38 in the morning and we have one of our first real summer nights in Sweden. Mild but crisp air and the sun barely goes down here in the north.

Soso-Klaun-300x300We spotted on Facebook that you’ve recently started your own fashion label, KLAUN. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

That’s correct. KLAUN Collective. We are launching the first F/W collection this autumn. It’s a project I have together with my fiancé. I come up with all the design and he does the branding. We do everything ourselves. Obviously. We’re both control freaks. He’s been working in advertising for years and knows all the stuff I don’t. The aftermath you could say. It’s really win-win. Except the fact that we fight ALL the time. But we do have fun making up…

What are you working on musically at the moment? Your next album, EP or perhaps just a stand-alone single, like the wonderful ‘Wristcutters, Inc‘? Can you give us some insight into your current project(s)?

I am working on a new album produced by Christoffer Roth of the band KRIGET and as I mentioned, I am also engaged in a so-far secret but super exciting project with their band.

Do you have an approximate release date for your next album?

I don’t think I will put it out before Autumn 2013 or early Spring 2014.

You seem to enjoy the creative process of video-making too, since you made a number for your last album, even for some of the interludes. Do you find them a useful extra dimension to give to your music?

Of course. Music is so much more than audio to me as an experience. I like to do things 360°. I want to punch people in all of their senses at the same time.

You clearly take inspiration from the Far East with some of your work; what is it about this region that fascinates and inspires you?

I love Asian cinema. Especially Chinese films. Look up Little Red Flowers, it’s one of my favourite movies of all-time. Or for a totally different mood, Dumplings. That one is pretty raw but beautiful! I find that many of these films look in a certain way that attracts me. Large frames with desaturated, washed-out pastel colouring. Simple dialogue where the mood is more important than the words.

Your songs are always well-polished, multi-layered delights, making it all the more impressive that you do it all yourself. How long does it take to create a song?

Oh, not long at all. They’re all demos. I never have the patience to finish a song. One of the many ‘perks’ of having ADD. That’s why I find it so hard to listen to songs once I have released them. All I can hear are the flaws.

You’ve previously written about rather personal subjects in songs, such as ‘Stepmonster‘. Do you find this cathartic or difficult?

Soso-02-300x269Cathartic, very much so. It’s not so much a conscious thing as it is me not realising in the creative stages that the music will be heard by anyone besides myself (and The Clown). I often panic in retrospect over things I have said or made public.

You had a hand in a track on Robyn’s Body Talk album; how do you find writing material for other artists? Is it something you’d like to do more of?

I actually do quite a lot of it under a secret pseudonym. Muahahah! *evil witch laugh*

While your songs are often personal, you’re similarly unafraid of voicing political opinions on your social media platforms, such as your brilliant and amusing critique of America’s stance on gay marriage. Do you feel it’s important for artists to voice their opinions and have a personality, rather than be media-savvy robots?

I think music is communication. I am not a politician but I am not afraid to speak my mind. I think music has done more for human rights than any President.

One of our favourite songs of yours is ‘Somebody New‘ from The Laptop Diaries, which features Juvelen. Are there any other collaborations in the pipeline on any of your new songs? Who would be your dream artist to duet with?

I am still waiting for Cody ChesnuTT to call me…

Sweden is exceptionally well-regarded in the pop music world and has a reputation for being the source of exciting and talented new artists. What do you put this down to? Do you have professional music training in your background?

Nope. I don’t believe in any type of training. Learning what other people have done before you only narrows down the options. I am a strong believer in mistakes. Only in them can you stumble upon something new.

Before the release of That Time I Dug So Deep I Ended Up In China (T.T.I.D.S.D.I.E.U.I.C.) there was news online about you having landed a major label contract, which fans such as ourselves felt you richly deserved. However, this seems to have died down and obviously you released T.T.I.D.S.D.I.E.U.I.C. for free – are you able to explain a bit about what happened there?

Yeah, I wasn’t feeling that collaboration much… I have nothing against major labels. I mean, I know a few I’d release a record with. But when the plan of making money and reaching ‘fans’ overshadows who I am and what I do, then I rather pass. In reaction to me almost selling my soul to the Devil I thought it seemed fitting to give the album away for free on The Pirate Bay. BOOM!

Soso-03-200x300Is being signed to a major record label something you are aiming for, or would you rather just plough your own path, as your fantastically named Do It Yourself, Bitch Productions would imply?

No, I wasn’t aiming for it, it just happened. I had a record, they had ‘the big muscles’. It seemed like a reasonable set up. But in the end I felt that the ‘muscles’ were more dead weight and I could do better on my own. With that said, I am in no way implying that I won’t try again with other people. But always in line with Do It Yourself Bitch, obviously.

Your home country recently played host to Eurovision, are you a fan? Were you watching?

No. I missed that. On purpose.

Have you got any musicians you would recommend we check out?

Yes I do. The band KRIGET (I am plugging the fuck out of those dudes!) and my little brother, Johannes Von Vargh. Making his début very soon. Check him out.

What and when will the next new Soso track be?

Hmm… I might just release a song this summer. I don’t know. We’ll see. I do have a good one coming. It’s called ‘Low’ and is about the only girl I have ever been in love with.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. We can’t wait to hear your new material!

Thank you! KISSES!

T.T.I.D.S.D.I.E.U.I.C. is available to download for free from Soso’s official website. All images taken from Soso’s Facebook page.


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