Soko, la petite chatte qui claque. Stephanie Sokolinski, a.k.a Soko, or “Soko the Cat,” is one of those intensely authentic and interesting people that can effortlessly charm your socks off. Soko is a French born singer-songwriter and actress who plays the game and those industries by her own rules. She talks openly about herself and her music, a refreshing quality in someone who has been as successful as she has, because it takes the edge off her fame and makes her feel more like just a friend. By her own admission she’s a total lover and a romantic, and even though she’ll tell you it makes for a lot tears and heartbreak – she’s got a point, what would life be without love?
Story and Interview by Miwa Sakamoto
Why did you start writing and playing music?
I started playing piano when i was 5, for about 7 years.. but i was very lazy and not very good.. but i’m thankful my parents forced me into it, coz years later, all the leftovers of this music knowledge became helpful.. I started writing songs at 19. I had always been writing, diaries, poetry, thoughts, whatever. From 16 to 19, I was just acting and I guess a little bored and wanted to be creative on my own, so songwriting became a great outlet. It made me feel incredibly independent. I didn’t really play any instruments then. Step by step, I taught myself to play anything i was wishing to hear…now I keep hearing crazy bass lines that seem impossible to play, and i sit down with it and just rail.
Aside from being a very talented musician, you are also a wonderful actor. Do you feel like you tap into the same energy when your acting and when you’re on stage?
Ha ! well.. thanks dear ! I love both equally and they’re both absolutely vital for a good balance in my life.. I guess they both come from the same desire of Telling Stories.. Music would be my own, very personal ones, while acting gives a break from my dumb life issues and lets me embrace a great cause or story.
So much of your music is about romantic relationships. What are your thoughts on love and heartbreak?
I’m a total Lover, absolute Romantic. I can’t think of life without love. I think most of my music is about fear though.. Fear of death, fear of dying alone, fear of abandonment.. It’s all related to me.. I love so much because I have such a crazy conscience of love and that things could end any minute, any time.. that’s why I love so fully, and I don’t know any other way. It freaks people out and they always leave me.. so.. I’m always crying over someone basically.
Do you ever get into unhealthy relationships, just so you can have more emotion to write your music with?
Haha ! sounds like something i would do, uh ? well if i do, it’s probably not on purpose, but then maybe i stay in it a little too long, or dwell into the mourning of it a little too long because, yes, heartache IS inspiring...
You’re working on a new album, tell us about it!
I’m working on my 2nd album yup.. Ross Robinson is producing it. He produced The Cure which is one of my favorite band, and his too, and i wanted that 80’s goth and punk sound.. A whole new direction.. i wrote most of the songs on this record on organ or bass.. hardly wrote anything on guitar.. it’s called ” My Dreams Dictate My Reality”.. it’s all about dreams, death, and wanting to be a kid forever and growing to be a better person every single day.
You’re music has evolved since your first album. There seems to be much more of a punk rock vibe, what do you attribute this to?
I guess i use to block out the whole 80’s era before.. maybe coz i’m born in the middle of it.. And then started being a bit more open minded and found some bands that i find absolutely essential to my music collection now, like FELT, Monochrome Set, The Smiths, The Only Ones, The Slits.. I even love Paul Simon’s Graceland now, which used to be my “no-no” album before ! so i guess you’ll be able to hear a lot of these new influences fully embraced in this album.
How much is your style a reflection of your music? Or does your fashion sense and music spring from the same source?
Ha ! i’ve been loving to dress up since i was a kid in my grandma’s attick trying on all of her crazy party dresses.. and my grandpa’s suits too ! So, i guess, that’s still the case.. i love changing style all the time.. and yes i guess that i’ve been dressing like 80’s Robert Smith a lot lately coz i’m trying to embrace his freaking power !
What did you dress up as for Halloween this year and then tell us what happened...
I dressed up as a GIANT HORNY VAGINA.. it’s my best friend Sam Spiegel’s birthday on halloween and he was dressed as a Giant Penis.. And… I guess, as a giant horny vagina, I took my role to heart..I hardly ever drink alcohol and I had a couple of glasses of wine ( a couple too many it seems ! ) and kiss-raped a lot of girls that night.. I think at least 25.. I still have girls that i don’t know walk up to me and say “Hey, do you remember me ?” and i’m like ” uhhhh no ? should i ?” and they’re all ” yes, we met on Halloween” and I go bright red and say ” oh, I’m sorry, did we make out ?”
Have you always been a kissing bandit?
Well, obviously, thats all I do!