Track By Track: Simo Soo
On his second album, ?People are Animals?, Sydney producer/rapper SIMO SOO tackles bigotry, misogyny and prejudice. And on a lighter note, ALF eating Garfield.
Originally this album was going to be a concept album about the similarities between people and animals (as in non-human animals), but somewhere along the line I got stuck on thinking about all the ways people interact with each other (mostly negatively) and pouring out bad experiences in my life for the first time ever in music. Since I’ve done this I’ve never really been about the negative stuff just the partying and good times, but I think it was really nice to get a whole bunch of stuff off my chest in a TMI kinda way into other people’s ears.
I’m obsessive about Bj’rk. I own about a hundred Bj’rk CDs, DVDs, singles and vinyl. Bj’rk stuff is the only thing I collect. This sample is from a [Sugarcubes DVD] http://www.youtube.com/watch’v=4d4rdat3HdA) where she pulls apart a TV and shows everything inside it and tells a story about a poet warning her not to watch TV. I feel like it sums up a lot of things about being open to new experiences and things but also questioning everything, which is basically the point of the album (plus it’s so fucking cute).
?Weed + Pizza? (feat. HTML Flowers)
I feel like my music can be pretty polarising at times. Like a lot of the time people really get into me or just don’t get me altogether. I wanted the first proper track on this to be just as crazy as possible of a Simo Soo track and people could get down with me or just go about their day. I rap about the evils of prejudice and cultural appropriation and the goods of unicorns and Justin Bieber.
There’s two guests on this I’d never met before we collaborated, one being HTML Flowers (the other being Fingertips). I’d heard HTML’s album [Melting Ceramic Swans & Slow Motioned Ponies](http://htmlflowers.bandcamp.com/) and really really liked it. I emailed him, not even realising I was a fan of his prior musical projects, and he wrote right back and a week or so later sent his amazing verse. HTML Flowers is a total sweetheart and a genius rapper/producer.
?Animals? (feat. Rainbow Chan)
This was the first track I wrote for the album. So the animal/human themes lay pretty thick on it. There’s a line about ALF eating Garfield in there. Lyrics I recorded and cut out before release were about how dolphins have names for their children (true story) and if I had a dolphin child I’d call it Blue Ivy.
Most of the track is quite serious though. I wrote it about being shy and awkward in social situations and freaking out about appearing rude or snobby towards people. There’s a lot about depression in there as well.
When I sent this to Rainbow it was the roughest noisiest demo, just trap drums, one verse and a sound that goes eerrrrreerrhhhererrrr. She somehow found this beautiful melody within it with lyrics that perfectly fit the song. I was so blown away. Rainbow is incredibly talented. She’s great!
The noise parts throughout the song were originally the most chill choir sample that I messed with for an hour until that sound came out.
?Brunch? (feat. Big Dumb Kid)
Big Dumb Kid and I did a track on my [last album](http://simosoo.bandcamp.com/album/simo-soo-lp) called ?Breakfast?. This is the sequel. The [sample](http://www.youtube.com/watch’v=MikXJT2N9Gw) that runs throughout is from one of my favourite bands, called [The Make-Up](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Make-Up).
Dude, I hate misogyny: it fucking sucks, it’s stupid. I wanted to write a track to call out [cismen](http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cisman) to be better people to women (and also to be better to people who aren’t cismen in general). The chorus is mostly made of things I overheard dudes say in the street or on public transport.
We wrote and recorded the vocals to this track in my bedroom in a couple of hours one day. Oh also, I play a guitar solo on this track.
?Never Be Afraid?
Sidechained saxophone FTW etc. ?Garbage Pail Kids? foreshadowing.
About the time in my life when I first started properly playing solo rap music and was all of sudden DJing every weekend and partying all the time, trying to work out what to do with my life. Having just broken up with a band and a partner, being kinda lost and going kinda crazy. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making out with everybody unless it’s to escape problems you haven’t dealt with, though sometimes I guess that could sort out the problem for some people. I guess just do what’s best for you if you have personal probs going on.
Milwaukee rapper [Juiceboxxx](http://www.juiceboxxx.com) does a shout-out at the end of the track. Juiceboxxx is so great.
Kinda rap boast track, kinda rap self-reassurance track. Australia is rad and full of really rad people and it’s relatively safe and chill. But it’s also really far away from everything and really hard to make ?underground? music in and tour and not have to work a job you don’t particularly like to fund the whole thing. I’ve had heaps of support for this album since it’s come out and I’m really really appreciative of it. It’s really easy to lose confidence within small scenes about what you’re doing creatively, but just keep keep keep going and don’t ever give up. The more you do things, the better you get at it; that’s just how it works.
?Ice-T OG NCIS?
Religious Girls album foreshadowing.
?Garbage Pail Kids?
When I was a kid I always dug under my family’s fence in the backyard so me and my dog could get out and we could run away to the woods and hang out. I also ate a snail out of the garden once, which is horrifying to my now longtime vegan self.
I was deep in a J Dilla re-obsession when I made the instrumental for this. That dude was a genius. I guess the lyrics are about all the things you did as a kid that were seen as weird and how those things stay with you and are actually just part of your personality and outlook on the world. They just kinda morph into the ?adult? version of whatever that thing is.
Also, the instrumental part is almost as long as the part with vocals.
?People? (feat. Fingertips, Maatzi, Deadbeat and Religious Girls)
So this whole album gets kinda heavy, at least lyrically. Talking about bigotry, self-loathing and other horrible unhealthy hobbies some members of the human race engage in. So I thought it should end in a party posse jam with some of my favourite Sydney rappers and my buddies Religious Girls from Oakland. I may have stolen a couple lines from [the remix](http://soundcloud.com/simo-soo/buzz-kull-bloom-simo-soo-remix) I did for Buzz Kull.
Originally I sent everybody this really dark reverb-drenched beat to rap over. Then I scrapped that and remixed it to a whole new beat I made. Everyone kills it on this. Fingertips saying ?bye? at the end seemed like a really nice end to the album, like ?Hey buddy thanks for coming!?.
This is my favourite release I’ve ever put out.
##?People are Animals? is out now as a name-your-price purchase at [Bandcamp](http://simosoo.bandcamp.com). Upcoming gigs below.
Thurs, March 28 – Proper Music Social @ Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW [w/Luchi]
Thurs, May 2 – Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC [w/Brothers Hand Mirror, Keith! Party + B. Deep]