Republic Records New Artist, SoMo, Is Ready to Take Listeners For a “Ride”
When an unsigned artist grosses over 40 million views on a Youtube channel, two things are clear: Internet browsers have locked onto and are supporting the next “Best Kept Secret”, and second it is time for the music industry to take notice. The Denison, TX native and newly signed Republic Records artist seems poised to take listeners by storm. His tempting vocals will entice you with low melodies and then excite you every time he slips into falsetto. After achieving Youtube stardom, releasing a widely acclaimed EP, closing a sold out US Tour, it is time you know exactly who SoMo is.
Let’s rewind to the beginning. November of 2011 brought the ever-popular Drake Take Care album to stores and with it a slew of uploaded covers and renditions of its contents to Youtube. Among these came a 6 minute and 40 second rendition from a largely unknown Texas artist named SoMo. What set this video apart from the others is that he did not choose a song, but covered the entire album by cutting and pasting lyrics and melodies from each song on the album; Fast forward to present day and that same video currently stands at 4 million plus views. When asked how he did it SoMo replied, “I had heard the album and called Cody and told him we had to do something to it. When I was working on it I realized that I could fit most of the songs into the same chord progression, so we decided to combine them all”. Since that cover SoMo has unmassed an impressive collection of renditions of popular radio hits ranging from Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” to Rich Homie Quan’s “Type of Way”. His ability to transform popular radio hits by adding his own original lyrics and style into the mix has earned him a solid fan base, a sold out US Tour, and now a record deal with Republic.
Though his covers may have be the reason most people were introduced to SoMo, his original songs are the reason why he is a singular talent. Part of the thanks for the ambient-luring production that SoMo has become known for must go to his friend and co-producer Cody Tarpley. When asked how the partnership came to be, SoMo chuckled remembering life before Cody. “I was trying to do covers using these terrible beats or whatever I could play and my brother introduced us. When he heard my music, he said he would love to help out”, SoMo said and since the duo have worked on pretty much everything together. In 2012, SoMo and his producing partner Cody, released his first mixtape (currently available for download on iTunes) “My Life” for free. With the help of fans who were already in love with his covers, the mixtape got quite a bit of buzz. The mixtape featured what fans could expect from SoMo in the future. It contained 10 original tracks that were heavily influenced by R&B, but managed to maintain their pop crossover sensibility. The EP was so successful that SoMo has since sold 10k tracks and 400+ albums on iTunes (Did I mention he did this with no backing or radio play?).
So, what does an Internet phenom do with his newfound power? Sign to a label? Not yet (when we featured him he was still unsigned). SoMo decided to bring his music to different states across the country with his Show Off Tour. When I asked why he waited to sign to a label, he said “It was important for me to find the right situation and I also did not want to sign to a label until I felt we had done everything we could possibly do on our own”. The ambitious move paid off, as the tour was a sold out success. “There’s nothing quite like watching Internet support turn into a screaming crowd in front of you. I feel blessed”, he said about the touring experience.
But a sold out tour was not the only product that came from his Youtube fame and “My Life” mixtape, but a single called “Ride”. The sexy serenade showcases SoMo at his best, as he details a sultry evening of lovemaking using his signature catchy writing style. It is clear to the listener by the time his voice slips into his goosebump inducing falsetto that the song is a hit. No wonder the equally sexy video has garnered over 3 million views. When asked about his writing style Somo replied, “I love and respect women, so it shows up in my music. I’m also a sexually minded being, so a song like “Ride” came naturally”. His ability to pull from real life events and display them for an audience with a sense of honesty, along with his undeniable appeal to female audiences comes to a climax in “Ride”. Fans who caught onto SoMo early in his career were first introduced to the song on his mixtape, but SoMo revealed that a newly mastered version will be released soon and will be ready to hit the radio.
Home from his sold out tour and signed to Republic Records, SoMo has no intentions of slowing down. Splitting time between Texas and LA, SoMo is currently working his debut album, but for now you can find his music all over the Internet. In order to understand what has got fans excoted about this budding star, you have to listen to his music. Whether you find it on Youtube or iTunes, is of no importance as long as you give this artist a chance to convert you with his vocal range and his honest lyrics.