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September 19, 2018

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Q+A: R&B-rooted SoMo is ready to explore ‘the pop world a little more’

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Texas R&B singer-songwriter SoMo, birth name Joseph Anthony Somers-Morales.

SoMo

Texas R&B singer-songwriter SoMo, birth name Joseph Anthony Somers-Morales. Launch slideshow »
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Texas R&B singer-songwriter SoMo, birth name Joseph Anthony Somers-Morales.

SoMo Ride

After gaining millions of hits on his YouTube cover videos, which range from artists including Drake and Justin Bieber to Keith Sweat and The Beatles, SoMo is embarking on the “SoMo Spring Tour” to perform his own original music.

Although the Texas singer hasn’t released an album since his debut and self-titled album "SoMo” in 2014, he reassures fans that his second full-length project will be out this year. He says he will stay true to his R&B roots in the upcoming album, but he also wants to venture into pop music.

“My music is definitely rooted in R&B, which is where I come from, but I’ll be exploring the pop world a little more on this project,” he said.

While traveling on a tour bus from Tulsa, Okla., back to the West Coast, SoMo chatted ahead of his tour stop tonight at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas in the Linq Promenade about the evolution of his music, his upcoming album and more.

You’ve been on multiple headlining tours. Will this weekend be your first tour stop in Las Vegas?

Yes, this is one of my first times performing in Las Vegas besides nightclubs. I’m excited to bring the whole production and band to Las Vegas.

How has the tour been so far?

It’s been crazy. We’re coming from Tulsa last night, which was a sold-out show and a lot of fun. I’m ready to take that energy on to the next show.

What can fans expect from your upcoming show? How do you want people to feel when they leave your shows?

I like to say that I’m not like a rapper or anything, but I like to turn up (laughs). I like to romantically rage, so be prepared for that. I like to make people feel like they got a really good show.

Talk about the inspiration behind your latest single, “Control.” Any visuals coming out for that song soon?

Really it’s kind of a personal conversation of me in my head talking to a girl and me realizing that I don’t always have to lose control. Not sure about visuals yet. I’m kind of lining up what I really want to do video wise.

You started out making covers on YouTube, which gained a lot of hits, then you were signed in 2013 to Republic Records. How do you think you’ve evolved as an artist?

I’ve really just been writing and singing. The growth has just been production wise, and I’ve been enjoying where my music is going. I’m excited about the direction of my production. I really just want to make some fun songs.

You’re currently working on your second album. What can fans expect from it, and is there a release date yet?

Yeah, we’re working on that. I’m a writer, so it takes a second, but I feel like we’re really close. I’m on tour, so it’s hard to find time. Really there’s nothing more to expect but the evolution of SoMo, my R&B roots and also exploring pop culture a little bit.

My music is definitely rooted in R&B, which is where I come from, but I’ll be exploring the pop world a little more on this project.

Your first album, “SoMo,” debuted at No. 6 on Billboard’s Top 200 and No. 1 on iTunes in 2014. Are there high expectations for your second album?

Yes. I mean as an artist I want to always be improving and see growth, so I definitely want to outperform my last album. But I really want to make good music, so I don’t think it takes initial high numbers. I’m focused on making quality music that I think fans will enjoy, and I think the benefits will come from that.

You’ve mentioned several times that Musiq Soulchild is one of your favorite artists. He hasn’t put out any new music for a while, so I was wondering if you’ve heard his latest album, “Life on Earth”? If so, what did you think of it?

No, I haven’t gotten the chance to listen to it yet because I’ve been on tour. I want to sit down and listen to it. I’m behind on a lot of music right now.

What is it about his music that inspires you?

Really it’s just the soul in his voice, the control in his runs. … I grew up singing along to his music, and I think it helped me vocally growing up. I just attribute that to him.

You’ve been doing SoMo Sundays for several years now where you cover a song, make it your own, then post it on YouTube every Sunday. You’re probably busier than ever now, so why do you think it’s important to continue making these videos?

I really think for me it’s a way to connect to my fans and to give them something to listen to and enjoy while I work on the album. It’s just fun. There are always new songs to perform.

Do you incorporate cover songs in your performances?

I definitely throw a few in there and make it a part of the show.

Your shows seem very engaging as you interact a lot with your fans. How did you develop your stage presence?

I honestly think it’s just in my blood. I didn’t really grow up going to shows minus the fact that my dad was a musician. But I stayed around small acts in Austin (Texas). ... I don’t know. I don’t really practice. I just have fun and sing.

You’ll be performing at Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer along with several other popular artists. Is this your first festival performance, and how do you feel about the opportunity?

It’s not my first festival performance. I did Summer Fest a couple years back, and it was crazy. But festivals are crazy, so I’m excited about the opportunity. I am happy to be a part of it.

Any last comments for your Las Vegas fans?

Thank you for your continued support — and always less stress, more love.

SoMo headlines Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas at the Linq Promenade tonight. Doors open at 7.

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