It’s a bizarre time for politics, which incidentally gives music and the arts a role more important than ever before. Soto Voce don’t need to be told this twice. The LA-based group is comprised of transgender artist Kenny Soto, originally from Oakland, CA, and Miguel de Vivo, who fled his native Colombia as notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar ruled the streets – so if anyone is able to interpret such complex political messages through their music, it’s these two.
Their debut track ‘Better’ is carried by the power of Kenny Soto’s voice, which punctuates the 80s-inspired electronic stylings. A bold first outing in its own right, the song has been strengthened with the new video, directed by Tyler Oliver. “And I’m hoping that it makes a better me,” Soto sings on repeat as she gazes towards projected images of violence and terror. While the introduction is sombre and refined, the explosive final third of the song coincides perfectly with the visuals, fittingly chaotic at a time where injustices in all their forms are running rife.
“In the video, I’m visualising some really dark images, or maybe they’re being broadcasted to me,” said Kenny Soto of the film. “It depends on your perception. I’m watching people being desecrated and killed, crosses being burned. There comes a point when the car stops and Miguel steps out to open the door. I’m handcuffed, and he pushes me into a grave, and I come out on the other side another version of myself. For us the Black Lives Matter stuff, of course that’s something that becomes relevant [now], and it wasn’t necessarily made for that in any way. But it obviously is relevant to the current, and culture in general. Then the gender stuff as well, and both of those things kind of tie in and maybe being seen as worthless.”
‘Better’ is a standout debut for Soto Voce – we can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for their upcoming EP, due out later this year.
Download ‘Better’ here, out now on Oskar Recordings.