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Interview

The Personages in Jasmine Sokko


Photos: Warren Tey
 

"I drown in your sad blue eyes / And I've kinda lost my way / You said don't worry cause / You're halfway through into the water" — muses singer-producer Jasmine Sokko on her latest single #0000FF. Released under Amsterdam-based electronic music label KnightVision Records, the song is an emotive slow burner which describes one's struggle with mental health.

In September, she released Nº EP — a long-awaited release since her debut single 1057, which saw her rise up as one of the new electronic acts to look out for. Like her music, Jasmine Sokko remains abstruse, almost untraceable outside the world of music. As such, one would compare her approach and mysteriousness to Italian novelist Elena Ferrante. However, unlike Ferrante, Sokko lets her individuality and power shine through masks created after strong, emotional narratives — making the gears her most valuable assets that guide listeners into her world.

The Personages in Jasmine Sokko

by SAND Magazine

October 02, 2017


Would you say you’re an elusive person?
Probably. I pretty much know what I like and dislike, what I do and do not but in a grand scheme of things, I remain a mystery even to myself.

Is Jasmine Sokko your alter ego and how does that help you open up in your music?
Jasmine Sokko is a concept constructed as a resistant against the rigid society. She is the result of an angry teenage girl who couldn't quite fit in the society or partake in the social currency rat race. 

As ironic as it sounds, hiding opens the Jasmine Sokko side of me up. I think shying away from the peripherals of doing what I do allows me to focus on the core which is the music.

In relation to Porcupine—are you particularly moved by human’s fragility, and how so?



As a technology geek, I am intrigued by the singularity and how far science is progressing.

But as much as I am for robots and artificial intelligence, human fragility is something that can't be programmed or it will risk losing its essence.
In that sense, I really embrace being able to feel and experience life so vividly.
 

What are your thoughts about making digestible art—is that something you move towards while keeping your individuality? Where does the line fall between these moves?
Mat Zo once said, you can’t be a businessman and artist both at once and be successful.

But I think it boils down to the intent behind creating the art. Personally, I make art because I want to connect to people in a way I can’t quite in real life. In fact, being able to appeal to the mass doesn’t always diminish the value of the art, neither does it mean compromising your true self. It’s all about finding the right formula in the game.

Do you find that the fluidity of electronic music catches people off guard sometimes?

I love the mystery and infinity in electronic music. You will never know what kind of sound you are capable of creating until you allow accidents to happen.

It’s also fun to pair complementary instruments together to bring out a certain soundscape. It's all very mind-blowing to me—I still get shivers once in a while when I tweak the knobs.

What’s your biggest goal currently? 
Becoming a song machine—which means creating even more music! The rest (of the goals) will follow, somehow and somewhat.

Listen to: #0000FF by Jasmine Sokko (co-produced and mixed by Myrne)

Do you see your art as a realm to expand your own understanding of the world? Is it a way to examine the discrepancies between reality and speculation?
I think it works the opposite for me—my own understanding of the world expands my art. Despite singing and producing, I resonate the most with being a songwriter. A lot of my songs begin as a concept I put together from a series of understandings and realisation. In fact, the best tip to songwriting is to live your life to the fullest (so you’ve got content to work on).



Are the masks a figurative reference to any emotion or belief?
From a macro perspective, it is a statement saying that everybody wears a mask (and it may not even be an upfront or physical one). On a deeper level, all my headgears are different reminders to myself. For instance, the BDSM-like 1057 mask is meant to reflect the quote about how we are but a prisoner of our thoughts. That’s why the aesthetic reflects that of a cage on one's head.



You’re deeply fuelled by fashion, dystopian film cinematography and thriller novels—what has you most hooked onto lately?
Gender-neutral fashion! That means paying less attention to gender binary and wearing clothes that aren’t expected of you. On top of challenging the social norm, I feel a surge of individuality whenever I cruise through the male section of a retail store. I also feel extra resourceful now that my fashion vocabulary has doubled. 



Lastly, what can one expect in Nº EP?                


Hmm, I wonder.
      

 

Stay up to date with Jasmine Sokko here. Listen to Nº EP here

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