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YouTube success SoMo to perform at The Rave

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SoMo returns to Milwaukee on September 26 for his upcoming concert at The Rave

SoMo returns to Milwaukee on September 26 for his upcoming concert at The Rave

Photo by Photo courtesy of Alexa Svensson

Photo by Photo courtesy of Alexa Svensson

SoMo returns to Milwaukee on September 26 for his upcoming concert at The Rave

Sarah Schlaefke, Music Beat Reporter

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From YouTube to headlining Summerfest, R&B artist SoMo is coming back to Milwaukee this weekend to take on The Rave with the debut of his brand new mix tape “My Life II.”

SoMo, a 28-year-old born Joseph Somers-Morales, will be performing Sept. 26, bringing an up-tempo show packed with new music, covers and fan-favorites. Famous for his hit breakout single “Ride,” SoMo said that he is excited to introduce his fans to a whole new chapter of his life in the tour “Falling Up,” featuring his fresh new mix tape.

The Texas native grew up exposed to music from his father, a musician, but never knew that it would be his profession one day.

“I have always been a natural musician my whole life, but I didn’t actually understand music until about five years ago when I started writing and really trying to understand how it works,” SoMo said.

With humble beginnings, he started making cover song videos, posting them on YouTube to gain followers. His first mixed tape went viral when it was released in 2012.

“I didn’t actually plan on pursuing music,” SoMo said. “The YouTube thing was a really great tool that came out of nowhere.”

If you haven’t noticed, stories of finding success via YouTube are common. But it does take talent. SoMo strives to create his new music in the same, old-fashioned, garage-band way he used to produce it, just as he created the original “My Life.”

“Becoming a YouTube star in a sense, I think it’s cool,” SoMo said. “I think we’re at the front of a new generation and a new established way that people will find their new favorite artist. I think people are starting to realize that (YouTube) is something to take seriously. It’s where people are coming from now.”

He titled his most recent mix tape “My Life II,” a sequel to his heartfelt and vulnerable debut project.

“I think that ‘My Life’ was a very vulnerable mix tape,” he said. “It started my career off with a bang. I free-styled a lot on that. And there was just magic there. I kind of just recreated the process and told the story again (in ‘My Life II’), just three years later in my life.”

For inspiration, SoMo reaches within himself to capture what he is feeling in the sound of his music. He sees his music as a reflection of himself and his emotions.

“It’s honestly really personal,” he said, “I just kind of let my music sound how I feel, like sexy or sensual words come with it. If I feel sad, then it takes me to that place… I think we all have moments in our lives to pull from and that’s just what I do.”

Due to his music being a raw portrayal of himself, he stayed true to his roots in his production of “My Life II.” He said that the only difference was that his equipment was updated.

“It’s like home production meets major label mixed tape quality,” he said. “We used the same method to create ‘My Life II’ as we did to make ‘My Life,’ which we did all in a bedroom. This time we had the big tools in our hands but we still used that same magical process of just writing and having fun, eating lots of junk food and, you know, enjoying it.”

He admires other artists who have stayed true to the traditional making of music. SoMo hopes that the homemade, handmade quality of his music shines through his tracks.

“It’s obvious when people are creating (music) themselves,” SoMo said, “I think I’ve held on to that in a way that my fans still believe that I’m being real.”

He noted that he still has followers on his YouTube channel from back in the day when he was posting covers and little piano ditties. Comments still show up on his videos mentioning that they have been fans since he posted his first cover five years ago, “Crawl,” a song by Chris Brown.

Now SoMo is bringing his latest work to Milwaukee, where he anticipates another exciting show. He hopes to emulate his biggest sets, which he performed to over 15,000 people at Summerfest. Joining him is up and coming artist Jordan Bratton, who also performs a soulful R&B set that will perfectly set the stage for SoMo’s show.

Named after the closing song of the mix tape, the “Falling Up” Tour was titled to represent where SoMo feels he is at in his life with music. He explained that the term falling up is his way of describing staying positive even when life can get rough.

“I’m not falling down, I’m falling up,” he said to explain his optimistic spin on life struggles.

Milwaukee can anticipate a passionate night of music when SoMo is in town this weekend. He aims to bring the whole city along for the ride.

“If you know the words to my songs, come ready to sing along.”

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