A new indie singer is breaking onto the American scene, and she’s not from Williamsburg or Portland. She’s from Bordeaux, France, where her 2010 Cesar nomination (the Gallic Oscars) commands more attention. Stéphanie Sokolinski spent her teenage years and early 20s acting and singing in French films as the one-named Soko, and now she wants America (but only cool Americans) to know her name.
She’s settled down in Los Angeles for the past two years, but made a special trip to New York this month to celebrate the release of her album I Thought I Was An Alien, a Bright Eyes-type album reminiscent of Conor Oberst’s style. The album has been out for two years in Europe, but it took a little longer to get it picked up stateside.
AfterEllen was in the audience for Soko’s performance at New York City’s McKittrick Hotel earlier this month, and we got to speak with her after the show about her recent trend of lesbian love affairs and her plans for conquering America musically. In our (NSFW) interview, she has some strong words for French homophobes and reveals how she got to kiss her Italian actress idol, Asia Argento.
AfterEllen.com: You play keyboard and bass as well as whale sounds. How do you do it all?
Soko: I play guitar and drums too! I haven’t tonight. OH! I forgot to play my drum song. How do I do it all? I don’t know. It’s just fun.
AE: You’re an actress as well?
Soko: Yea! I do that too, and I direct all my music videos too.
AE: Do you ever want to settle down into one of them?
Soko: No. Why? I mean, I just want to be creative and do whatever I can to be creative. Whatever inspires me, that’s what I want to do. Why put rules and boundaries when the whole world is your fucking playground? We should just explore, and be ecstatic and fun, and just do it! Do it all!
AE: So is America a new frontier for you? You said this album has been out in Europe for a year and half.
Soko: Yea, it just came out here, but I’ve been living here for a while, so I’m just stoked that it’s here now. You know? Finally!