Soko (singer)

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Stéphanie Sokolinski Cannes 2009.jpg
Background information
Birth name Stéphanie Sokolinski
Born (1985-10-26) 26 October 1985 (age 30)[1]
Bordeaux, France
  • Singer-songwriter
  • musician
  • actress
  • dancer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
  • drums
  • keyboards[4]
Years active 2002–present
Labels Because Music
Associated acts Ariel Pink, The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Stéphanie Sokolinski (born 26 October 1985),[5] better known by her stage name Soko (stylized as SoKo), is a French singer-songwriter, musician and actress.

Early life[edit]

Sokolinski was born in Bordeaux, France from a Russian-Polish father and a French-Italian mother.[6] She has used the nickname Soko as long as she can remember.[7] Soko left home at 16, quit school and moved to Paris to start acting class with Eva St Paul where she studied for one year; she then resumed her education at several different schools, but quickly became tired of it and dropped out. She later appeared in several French films and began to write songs.[7]

Musical career[edit]

In 2007, Sokolinski achieved a hit single in Denmark with a personal anecdotal song after the radio program The Black Boy Scouts began to promote it.[8] The song reached number one on the chart of the Danish version of the iTunes Store and was the number one song in rotation on radio.[7][8] The song is also a hit in Australia, being played on high rotation on Triple J radio;[9] it later placed number nine in the Triple J Hottest 100 2007 music poll. The song was also popular in Belgium being played by Studio Brussel, Radio 1 and Pure FM, and in The Netherlands, being picked up by 3FM radio station. In October 2007 her music was featured in Stella McCartney’s fashion show in Paris.[10] She toured in the UK in late 2007 supporting M.I.A. on the KALA Tour. Since early 2008 she has also been played in Germany by 1LIVE, first only at night in 1Live Plan B but later, due to high demand, throughout the whole day.

Sokolinski has self-released one EP Not Sokute, and collaborated with The Go! Team and Cornershop, the latter on a song called "Something Makes You Feel Like". She has her own record label called Babycat Records and is signed to Because Music in France.

In 2010, her song "I'll Kill Her", was sampled by Cee Lo Green on his Stray Bullets mixtape under the track of the same name.

In 2011, she wrote a song and featured in the animated short film Mourir Auprès De Toi, which was co-written and directed by Spike Jonze.

Her debut album, I Thought I Was an Alien, was released in February 2012.

In 2014, Soko's song "We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow" was featured in Tatia Pilieva's short video "First Kiss". She was also one of the video's twenty subjects. After "First Kiss" went viral on YouTube, the song debuted at number 9 in the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on Billboard's Streaming Songs chart.[11][12]

In March 2014, Soko appeared in the music video for the song "Jealous" by Canadian electro-funk band Chromeo.[13]

Her second studio album, My Dreams Dictate My Reality was released in March 2015, its first single "Who Wears the Pants??" was released on January 7. The Sonic Seducer wrote that the album was darker than the previous releases and called it a "female version of early The Cure discs."[14]

Soko collaborated with The Brian Jonestown Massacre on a song called "Philadelphie Story" for their album Musique de Film Imaginé, released in April of 2015.

Live performances[edit]

Soko performing at Loppen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Sokolinski has had sold-out concerts in Scandinavia, Britain, and Australia.[7] She performed at the Falls Festival at the end of 2008, the Southbound Festival and the Sunset Sounds Festival at the start of 2009. She has performed in the Los Angeles venues Henry Fonda, Troubadour, Bootleg Theatre, Spaceland, and Echoplex, and has played in support of Peter Doherty, Babyshambles, Kate Nash, Nouvelle Vague, Daniel Johnston, Foster The People, and Johnny Borrell. In San Francisco, she performed at Bottom of the Hill on 15 June 2012.

As a live performer, she is unpredictable and never uses a set list; her backing band consists mostly of different friend-musicians at each show. She sometimes plays up to 3 hours by herself, in intimate and quiet venues.

Musical hiatus[edit]

On 19 January 2009 Sokolinski stated on her MySpace page that she was quitting music and is 'dead', writing that she was scared of the music industry and wanted to return to acting. Despite having recorded a double album in Seattle, she is not willing to release it. In August of the same year, she declared that she was 'reborn' and writing songs such as "I'm So Ready to Be a Good Man" where she writes:

"in my battle with the demons I just had to die coz they're way too evil and I couldn't fight"

She later referred to the pressure of the music industry, before declaring that she was "having a new heart and being ready to be a new man".

In August 2011, Soko announced the release of her first album I Thought I Was an Alien on 6 February 2012, on her website and a 17 August 2012 show at the Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on Facebook. She released her first single on YouTube 1 August 2011 entitled "No More Home, No More Love". Two other singles were released "I Thought I Was An Alien" and "First Love Never Die".

Acting career[edit]

Soko during the Césars Awards

In February 2010, Soko was nominated for a César Award for Most Promising Actress for her role in À l'origine (English title In the Beginning), directed by Xavier Giannoli.


French films
  • 2003: L'escalier by Frédéric Mermoud
  • 2006: Les Irréductibles by Renaud Bertrand: Lucie
  • 2006: Girlfriends by Sylvie Aymé: Manon
  • 2006: Madame Irma by Didier Bourdon: la jeune lycéenne
  • 2007: Ma place au soleil by Éric de Montalier: Sabine
  • 2007: Dans les cordes by Magaly Richard-Serrano: Sandra
  • 2007: Ma vie n'est pas une comédie romantique by Marc Gibaja: Lisa
  • 2009: In the Beginning (French: À l'origine) by Xavier Giannoli
  • 2012: Augustine by Alice Winocour: Augustine
  • 2012: Bye Bye Blondie by Virginie Despentes: Gloria (young)
  • 2013: Her by Spike Jonze Voice of Isabella (voice)
  • 2016: The Dancer: Loie Fuller
  • 2002: Clara, cet été là by Patrick Grandperret: Zoé
  • 2006: Louis Page (season 8): Lydia
  • 2006: Commissaire Valence (season 4): Camille Valence
  • 2007: Les Diablesses by Harry Cleven: Éliane/Denise

Personal life[edit]

Soko is a vegan. This may be connected with the fact that she became straight edge when she was 18.[15] Soko also refers to herself as a "white goth".[4]



Year Album FR
2012 I Thought I Was an Alien 53 74 76 35
2015 My Dreams Dictate My Reality 75 68


Year Album FR
2007 Not Sokute


Year Song FR
2007 "I'll Kill Her" 2[18] 3[19] 54* Not Sokute
2011 "I Thought I Was an Alien" I Thought I Was an Alien
2012 "First Love Never Die" 130 66*
"We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow" 61 51 72 39 145 9

*Did not appear in the official Belgian Ultratop 50 charts, but rather in the bubbling under Ultratip charts. Added 50 positions to actual Ultratip position.


  1. ^ "Rookie". Rookie. 
  2. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "Soko". Allmusic. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Roberts, Randall (28 February 2015). "Soko mines '80s new wave on 'My Dreams Dictate My Reality'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Soko and Lime the acid sweet indie singer talks singing acting and kissing Asia Argento, Afterellen
  5. ^ "SOKO - Musician - Angelique Max". Angelique Max. 
  6. ^ "Les démons de Soko" (in French). Les Inrockuptibles . 13 March 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d Nir, Sarah Maslin (5 July 2007). "Soko: sweet tunes with dangerous lyrics". The Times (UK). Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  8. ^ a b Meesenburg, Thomas (2 May 2007). "Soko kommer til Danmark" (in Danish). Soundvenue. Archived from the original on 15 January 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  9. ^ Mathewson, Catriona (5 September 2007). "Down Under MySpace hit for French singer". The Courier Mail. 
  10. ^ Trebay, Guy (5 October 2007). "Why It All Looks So Easy, and Why It Isn’t". New York Times. Retrieved 17 December 2007. 
  11. ^ Video, Youtube
  12. ^ Viral first kiss video, Billboard
  13. ^ Jealous, Huhmagazine
  14. ^ Pilgrim, Thomas (2015). "SoKo: My Dreams Dictate My Reality". Sonic Seducer (in German). No. 3. pp. 101–2. 
  15. ^ "Facebook". 
  16. ^ a b c Soko discography
  17. ^
  18. ^ Tracklisten week 18 2007
  19. ^ "I'll Kill Her" at

External links[edit]