SoMo Talks Praise from Ginuwine, Embracing His Sexy Side With ‘Ride’ [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
SoMo is not a sex fiend. He wants to make that very clear. But after watching the video for his new single, ‘Ride,’ viewer becomes voyeur as you watch close-up shots of him getting intimate with his lady friend. The Texas-born singer, who recently signed a label deal with Republic Records, opens up to The Boombox about his sensual side, his upcoming album and getting props from Ginuwine.
“[I'd] definitely [say] country [music] is prevalent in Texas culture, and I grew up on country and still listen to country,” he tells The Boombox. “But R&B for some reason, the soul and the energy of those records … I’m not a pervert or a sexual-minded guy, but that’s really relevant in R&B records. That’s really what I like, and with R&B music, I get to do that.”
And that sexual, romantic side of him comes out in the lyrics of ‘Ride.’ He reveals the song was written during a time when he was really in love. “I was really in love with this girl about three years ago,” he says. “And like I said, I’m very sexual. It’s in my nature, and initially, the song is that I’m gonna ride or die for your love. So initially, that was my concept when I blurted out those words [in the chorus], but it turned into that.”
The 26-year-old feels as if his generation doesn’t appreciate the difference between sex and love, both of which are focal points in his songs. “But I feel like our generation lacks in that sensitivity about love and lovemaking,” SoMo states. “And people want to label our generation as sex fiends who just listen to rap music that’s just degrading to women or whatever. But that song to me is the emotional transcendence of being in love and the physical part, which I don’t think is a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong to be in love and to make love.”
His candid talk mixed with a chill vibe proves why SoMo, born Joseph Somers-Morales, can easily sweep a girl off her feet. A native of Austin and raised in Denison, Texas, SoMo grew up with a genuine love for music — and he really means all music. Aside from learning how to play the piano and guitar, he also writes songs that fall into other genres.
“I grew up listening to R&B, Ginuwine, Boyz II Men, all those artists,” he reminisces. “So that’s been my main passion. Although, I’m a writer as well as an artist and write country songs and some dubstep songs, hardcore. I’ve listened to it all. I went through a hardcore music phase right after high school for six months. I just listened to hardcore like Bring Me the Horizon, Devil Wears Prada, that whole Warped tour scene. At first, I was like ‘Eww.’ But I love music and I wanted to understand it. Then it just sucked me in hard.”
Watch SoMo’s ‘Ride’ Video
Thankfully for us, he has decided to stick to the R&B route and started his musical career by posting covers of his favorite songs on YouTube — those were known to his early fans as ‘SoMo Sunday.’ “I don’t do SoMo Sunday, or record eight videos, in advance,” he explains. “It’s always done, usually on Sunday, the day of. You know how you go week to week, you have a favorite song of the week that’s on repeat? If it’s a new song, and I cover it. It’s probably because it was on repeat. That’s why sometimes I’ll venture over and a country song at random. But I want to do it because that’s what I’m feeling.”
However, SoMo doesn’t only cover what’s on the Top 40 chart; he also likes to pay homage to the throwbacks.
“The throwbacks came when I got stuck and realized there was nothing new I really wanted to do. So then I thought to go back to the old stuff and bring them back, and it worked out. And it’s fun to bring that because the new generation may not know a Boyz II Men song or Ginuwine’s ‘Pony.’ And I did that song ['Pony'] because Rihanna dropped that ‘Jump’ song where she used ‘Pony’ at the pre-hook. I wanted people to think, ‘Wait, that’s the same thing in the Rihanna song so the young Rihanna fans know where it came from.’”
What made his ‘Pony’ cover more memorable was that Ginuwine actually contacted him about it.
“I’ve gotten some feedback even before [I got signed to Republic Records],” he says. I always bring up the Giunwine ‘Pony’ one because it’s one of my favorites, and because he reached out to me on Twitter. And he said, ‘This is the best version of the song that I heard.’ And to me, I thought it was amazing and awesome because you usually think that some artists are too big and egotistical.
“But for him to reach out and say it was cool was amazing because I don’t do these songs to be better than the original. It’s just different. Music is music. I’m not trying to be better than anyone. For me, it’s more of a respect thing that I love that artist’s songs.”
Despite covering songs by many big artists, SoMo decided to record his debut album without the help of a big name and instead put it out there on his own merits. “For me as an artist, I’ve done a lot of covers and sang a lot of other people’s songs,” SoMo shares. “I made it to where I am on my own, and I didn’t want to break into the world as an artist who had someone way bigger than me jump on my song or one of my songs and have me blow up because of that. I’m not saying I never want to collaborated, but I want my debut album to be just me.”
While he didn’t mention the name of his upcoming LP or when it will arrive, it’ll definitely be something to look out for in 2014.