Mon, 03 Feb 2014 09:54:26
"I'm preparing to drop my major label debut," beams SoMo. "It's fun to say that!"
The world really better be prepared though. We can't reiterate that fact enough. SoMo is the new star that pop and R&B desperately need. He's got a voice that can instantly melt hearts, he emanates swagger, and he's not afraid to push boundaries and get a little edgy. In fact, the Texas native comes right of the gate with a classic bedroom anthem in the form of his debut single "Ride". After one listen, you'll be hooked. However, there's a whole lot more on the horizon from SoMo as he readies his first full-length for Republic Records and gears up to take over.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, SoMo discusses "Ride" and so much more...
Has the meaning of "Ride" changed after everything?
Actually, ever since the moment I wrote it, I knew it was a hit. I didn't know if it would ever be able to be delivered to the masses, but now I don't feel any differently. I feel like that song is my baby. I'm just really proud of it.
Did you always see the song playing out how it does in the video?
Yeah, when I wrote it, it was low lighting, and I was waiting for a special lady. I definitely visualized that. We shot a new video for "Ride" to give it the epic-ness that I wanted it to have. It's pretty much the same thing though. It's a man and a woman being in love and connecting physically to feel that love. That's always been the premise of the song. The emotional connection is there. How do you bridge the gap and connect physically and continue to ride for that love.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Oh, for sure. One of my big musical influences is country music, and it's very descriptive and based on stories. I love to write my songs to where they're almost literal. It definitely paints a picture in a person's head, but it's still vague enough to where anyone can paint their own picture.
When did you first get into country?
I grew up listening to Texas country. It was just me riding in the car with my mom and listening to radio. In high school, it was Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, and a lot of the mainstream guys. I always felt like country is the real emo music [Laughs]. Nobody says that because it's manly men singing the songs. They're singing about how their dogs died and their wives left them. It's sad!
How does "Ride" open the door for your full-length album?
The debut album is more R&B-driven with a little hip-hop, but it still has that same element of storytelling. There's not another song like "Ride". "Ride" is emotional, loving, and sensual. On the record, there's a full-on sexual song. There's a playful sexual song. Obviously, I wrote a lot about sex [Laughs]. Then, there are the emotional records. There's a really upbeat club anthem called "Hush", which is basically about loving each other. There's a sadder song about heartbreak. It's all over the place.
So the record covers all of these different moments and facets of love?
Right! It's all centrally themed on that. It's love. There are parts where you're like, "Man, this guy really wants to be in love, and it's cool". I let my heart out on it.
What else influences you outside of music? Do you read a lot or watch many movies?
It's cool you asked that because on the interludes of the album I say are like the movies. What my music is for some people, I feel like movies are that for me. It's my escape. I can escape reality. My imagination is so vivid I can just put myself in a movie. I don't think I can act. I don't know if I'll ever try to act. I don't necessarily understand the way everything goes into a movie the way I understand music. It's cool for me to see a movie and get lost in it.
What are some of your favorites?
Usually, it's what I just saw. I love every movie I see basically. I saw Ender's Game, and it was good.
If you were to compare the album to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
I like that! Let's see. I'm going to go ahead and say that it definitely has some Fifty Shades of Grey, which hasn't come out yet, elements mixed with a little bit of The Notebook mixed with a little bit of regret—so a movie that has to do with regret too.
What artists shaped you?
Vocally, Musiq Soulchild has always been my biggest influence. Obviously, I listened to Michael Jackson and Boyz II Men when I was young. I was definitely a nineties R&B kid. Nowadays, I'm really influenced by what's happening at the moment like Miguel and Drake. I like the new. I latch on to what's hot. Everybody else is really influencing me. The Weeknd is great too. I dig him.
Have you heard SoMo yet?
Get "Ride" on iTunes!
See our review of "Ride" here!