The New Music Video-Dynamo: So-Me
By Matt Diehl
Artwork by So-Me, left.
BLACKBOOK: How did it feel to be nominated for an MTV Music Video Award?
SO-ME: I was sure we wouldn’t win because we were in front of big acts like Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½. I wouldn’t know why they would nominate these French boys nobody knows.
BB: When did you first tap into your creative side?
SM: I’ve been drawing since I was born. Not the first week, but maybe the third. I did go to an art school, but only started to do interesting things when I left.
BB: How did you start with Ed Banger?
SM: I met Pedro [“Busy P” Winter, owner of Ed Banger] and he was shown a drawing I did. He told me to come to his office, because he needed someone to work on his website. I wasn’t so sure, though, because everybody at parties is drunk, on drugs, and says, “Let’s have a meeting.”
BB: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
SM: I look back to a time when record covers were more graphic, say, in the ’70s. Stuff like Hipgnosis, Peter Saville, and Raymond Pettibon’s SST label. Covers are important and drive your mind when you listen to the record. My covers can entrance you while you listen.
BB: And what about your video work?
SM: Video came to me because my friends [like Justice] were getting bigger and it was time for them to do a video. It felt natural, really great. I prefer to spend a month on one video piece, than 30 flyers.
BB: How did Kanye’s “Good Life” video happen?
SM: Kanye’s quite open minded. He really liked the video for Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” He wanted to get something cheaper than an American director. I met him and he asked me to do his video five minutes after talking. He called me the next day and said, “When do we shoot?” I never talked to his record label or management. Just him. He’s not a control freak, but he’s really focused. He’s excited about the totality of being an artist. At the beginning he had so many ideas and I had to protect mine, because he was always pushing me in the right way. He was never an annoying pop star.
BB: Where did the name So-Me come from?
SM: My name was the funniest thing. I decided to come up with the most egotistic name I could find. It’s like an artist looking at his work and saying, “That’s so me.” Very funny.
BB: Tell us about Ed Banger’s take on pop music.
SM: We’re playing with format of pop. It’s not commercial pop for the masses, but pop in the way we like to mix everything. We make music. If people want to dance, fine, if they want to fight, cool. We don’t want to be George Michael or Michel Jackson. We have to do it in our own way.