It’s a chaotic era for politics right now and in the lead-up to the Presidential election there couldn’t have been a more fitting time for electronic duo, Soto Voce to release their debut single, ‘Better’.
Since appearing out of the SoundCloud ether in July, the single has racked up 33 thousand listens – an unsurprising hype due to a bold and compelling introduction of Soto Voce’s stellar mystique.
Kenny Soto and Miguel De Vivo make up the California-based duo and met just two years ago after discovering a mutual love for music and a similarity in their respective experiences as outsiders. Whilst transgender woman, Kenny was being taunted and beaten for ‘being like a girl’, Miguel was fleeing his native country of Colombia as drug lord, Pablo Escobar ruled the streets. It is in ‘Better’ that the pair have channelled their experiences into their song writing and production skills, their past ultimately moulding their identity as striking artists of today.
‘Better’ punctuates 80’s inspired electronic styling’s and hypnotic vocals that ooze a haunting air; a perfect accompaniment to it’s politically charged music video. With visuals from WW2, KKK ceremonies and lynching’s in Southern America, the duo don’t shy away from the cold hard reality of humanity’s injustices through a cunning and artful production.
In light of the video’s release, we caught up with Kenny for a chat about Soto Voce’s majestic soundscape, inspo and future fantasies (and yes, popping Molly’s with Miley in NYC is included).
Welcome to Outlet Mag! For those just discovering you, can you describe your sound and project in one sentence?
Our sound is reminiscent of a debaucherous night on DMT and quaaludes in 80s London listening with Prince & Michael performing The Cure & Depeche Mode fully nude.
How did you both come together as artists and what inspired your name?
We came together over white lines and dark liquor in a shady Hollywood hotel. The name was inspired by a trist I had with an Italian Mafioso 2 summers ago.
Congratulations on the release of your debut single ‘Better’! How long have you been working on it and what is it like to finally have it out?
Thank you so much. De Vivo and I actually came up with that riff while sampling guitar rhythms. Once the track was laid melodies were instant. As for the lyrics… I like to give a day or two-gestation period so I could really pin point the message.
I have to say the video for ‘Better’ is absolutely stunning and extremely moving. The inclusion of those political visuals really sets in motion the darkness of humanity. Can you tell us a bit about how it all came together?
It was inspired by the contrast of love in modern humanity. It was a gruelling day with a burial and a baptism.
There is noticeably a lack of social and political context in the music industry right now. How do you feel about this and do you think that artists should step up and confront such issues in their art?
I think each individual artist has no one to answer to but herself. In regards to the social and political climate or climax we have all been anxiously awaiting will come in due time and art will follow. But in times like these we need an escape, magic and illusion that only the magician/musician/creator/her can construct.
Although ‘Better’ wasn’t specifically made as a comment about Transgender rights and the Black Lives Matter movement do you think it reflects the current tension surrounding these issues?
I believe anyone watching our video that has eyes can see what we’re serving in that video. It’s a story the world has been replaying for quite a while. It’s as American as apple pie and as memorable as the alphabet…nothing at all new or evolved in anyway. The fact that it’s seen as so thought provoking actually leaves me a bit disgusted and disappointed. But I guess we do what we must to be relevant in a backwards society. To be honest, I would have been happier as one of the girls shaking my ass in a rap video. It would have been a lot more fun and just about as relevant.
How have your personal backgrounds and experiences influenced Soto Voce’s persona and sound?
Our struggles, darkness and pain…our DNA strands are in our music.
What is your creation process like? Do you go into recording with a plan or do you let your tunes come organically?
We have worked both ways. Organic is always preferred when it comes to food, music and sex.
How did this all begin for you and how did you both know that music was what you wanted to pursue?
This all began in 16th century BC when Miguel and I originally met under the guise of Solomon and Sheeba…unfortunately our true story is too long and complex for most on this planet to comprehend. We were sent here to advance society from behind the curtain of sound with dark electronic frequencies. Those frequencies match our vibrations… those vibrations in which we enjoy long walks in the park and intense orgasms…
You’ve mentioned that you aren’t that active on social media, yet ‘Better’ gained over 22 thousand hits in just under three weeks! Why have you taken this approach and do you think that social media plays an important role in the music industry nowadays?
We aren’t really concerned with nowadays as much as today…. we love the internet but its social platforms are just as effective at killing a new artist career and fan base as it has been at helping them #overexposure. Soto Voce believes in moderation, nowadays our goal would be to keep our tweets short and our Instagram visually compelling and our music content noteworthy. Everything else is irrelevant.
You have a hauntingly beautiful 80’s pop vibe to your sound. Do you both listen to similar genres or find inspiration from any artists in particular?
Yes we listen to everything!!! However, this project is deeply rooted in 80$ new wave 90$ industrial. Miguel can produce anything, I can sing, so the sky is the limit with us in regards to inspiration and creation.
You have a self-titled EP just around the corner! What can we expect?
You can expect allot of darker new wave Indie/Alternative inspired dance tracks and ballads.
What are 4 things that you hope to achieve by the end of 2016?
- To pop Molly’s with Madonna and Miley on top of the New York City Time Square JumboTron during the 2017 New Year ball drop.
- I’m looking to catch an A list trick on Santa Monica in vine who has the pockets to take this two bit duo off the chitlin circuit and into the big leagues.
- To be casted as the lead action starlet in Quentin Tarentino first exploitation movie musical.
- To go on a date with Keanu Reeves as Neo from Matrix.
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