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Soko and That "First Kiss" Song: 6 Things You Need to Know

Craig Rosen
The New Now
March 20, 2014

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" has become a huge hit thanks to a certain viral video.

The tune enters the Hot 100 at No. 9 this week, thanks to it being the soundtrack for "First Kiss." The black-and-white clip, which shows 10 pairs of strangers kissing, has racked up more than 64 million views since it was posted on March 10.

For the record, Soko did her own official video for "We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow" that also features plenty of kissing and more (including some nudity), but, by comparison, it only has 1.3 million views since being posted in May 2012.

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 its Hot 100 rankings and that's how Soko managed to crack the Top 10. But she may not be a one-hit fluke. Turns out she's already had success elsewhere.

Here are the half-dozen factoids you need to 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. Soko's DIY 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," which Soko 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 César 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. She made a lasting impression on Jonze, who used her again in his Oscar-winning 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 2009. In a post on her MySpace page, she declared music was "dead" and announced she was quitting to focus on acting. Eight months later, however, she was back making music and addressed her feelings in the lyrics of her song "I'm Ready to Be a Good Man." It includes the lines: "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 multitasker.

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," she told After Ellen. "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."

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