There's a new artist in the top 10 this week that you've probably heard, but might not have seen. Her name is Soko and her song "We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow" enters the Hot 100 at No. 9 this week, based largely on the fact that it serves as the soundtrack for the viral video "First Kiss." The black-and-white clip, which shows 10 pairs of strangers kissing, has more than 64 million views since it was posted on March 10.
For the record, the song also has an official video that also features plenty of kissing and more (including some nudity), but, by comparison, it only has 1.3 million views since it was posted in May 2012.
As Paul Grein points out in Chart Watch, the song hasn't received much radio play and only sold 10,000 digital copies, coming in at No. 157 on the Hot Digital Songs chart. But for the last year, Billboard has been including streaming play in the Hot 100. That's how Soko managed to crack the top 10...but she may not be a fluke. Turns out she's already had success elsewhere.
Here are six things that you should know about Soko.
1. This isn't her first brush with success.
She was born Stephanie Sokolinski in Bordeaux, France, but she had her first taste of success in Denmark. Back in 2007, she topped the Danish iTunes Store charts with the song "I'll Kill Her." The popularity of the song later spread to Australia, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
2. She's been linked to other cool artists.
In 2007, she supported M.I.A. on a tour of the U.K. Her D.I.Y. EP "Not Sokute" includes collaborations with the Go! Team and Cornershop. Cee Lo Green sampled "I'll Kill Her" on a song by the same name on his "Stray Bullets" mixtape, and "Monster Love," released last summer, features L.A. psych-rocker Ariel Pink.
3. She's also an actress.
Soko has appeared in more than a dozen French films and TV shows. In 2010, she was nominated for the Cesar Award (the Gallic equivalent of the Oscars) for Most Promising Actress for her performance in a film called "À l'origine." A song of hers was featured in the 2011 animated short film "Mourir Auspres De Toi," which was co-written and directed by Spike Jonze. Apparently, she made a lasting impression on Jonze because he used her again in his 2013 film "Her" as the voice of Isabella.
4. She once quit music.
Despite her early success, Soko became disillusioned with the music industry in early 2009. In a post on her MySpace page, she declared music was "dead" and announced she was quitting because she was afraid the music industry and wanted to return to acting. Eight months later, however, she was back making music and seemingly summed up the episode in the lyrics of her song "I'm Ready to Be a Good Man." It includes the lyrics, "In my battle with the demons I just had to die cuz they're way too evil and I couldn't fight," and later adds, she was "having a new heart and being ready to be a new man."
5. She's a multi-instrumentalist and directs her own videos.
Soko plays keyboards, bass, guitar, and drums and has directed all her own videos.
6. Death is a frequent theme in her music.
She attributes this to the fact that her dad died when she was just five years old. "And then a lot of people died after that, and I was just petrified of dying, too," she said in an interview with After Ellen.
6. She's bisexual, a vegan and straight edge.
She loves Morrissey because he's "vegan and gay, and talks with his heart and soul," and has a girl crush on Asia Argento, she told After Ellen.
You can see Soko get married and kiss another woman in Chromeo's new video, "Jealous (I Ain't With It)."
"I've like girls since I was [expletive] born...I mean I've always been dating girls. For the last year, I've been dating girls, but it doesn't mean I won't date guys again. It just means I like the ladies better," she told After Ellen.