Interview: SHOKO Shows Off Power And Vulnerability In Release ‘SMD’

SHOKO, and her latest single “SMD” showcases fearless lyricism, perspicuous themes of self-acceptance, and defiant self-worth.

Emerging from the Danish music scene, SHOKO has quickly carved out a niche with her distinctive urban-pop sound intertwined with Persian sensuality. With “SMD”, she delivers an empowering message, challenging listeners to embrace their uniqueness and resist any form of disrespect. It’s a potent concoction of her personal journey from a past marred by bullying and identity struggles, transformed into a triumphant celebration of individuality. It’s not merely a hip-hop track; it’s a movement.

This empowering piece of music puts her talent and competency on full display, which can be likened to the audacity of Cher combined with the infectious charm of Doja Cat. Her lyrical content is far from ordinary, it resonates with a wider audience, encouraging them to break free from societal molds and reaffirm their worth. SHOKO’s authenticity, undeniably, shines through her music, making her a formidable force in the industry.

Over her career, SHOKO has proved that she is more than an artist; she’s a performer. Choreographing memorable performances and gracing prominent events such as SMUKFEST and Radio Days, she has left an indelible mark wherever she goes. Her electrifying performances on live television and mesmerizing halftime shows have not only captured audiences but have played a crucial part in her meteoric rise in the music industry.

SHOKO, with her transformative sound and resolute message, is crafting a legacy in the world of hip-hop/rap. As her accolades continue to accumulate, the music industry should brace for a long-lasting and impactful presence. With “SMD”, she reasserts her position, echoing her own words, “Hype yourself up because you are one of a kind”. Stay tuned for more as SHOKO continues her rise, one empowering beat at a time.

SHOKO took the time to chat with us on variety of subjects like bully, her music, and more – see below.

Exclusive Interview

SHOKO, your latest single “SMD” tackles personal challenges and promotes self-worth. Could you share what inspired you to create this powerful anthem?

I kind of wish I had a defining moment that inspired me to write this song, but I don’t. I just have a lot on my heart that I want to share with the world, and some of those parts are what make up SMD… Most of the songs I make… I really do have in mind that I want to create songs for other people I wish were out there for me during my tough times, during times when I just needed encouragement to be myself, and who knows, what if there was music with these types of direct messages when I was growing up? I think my life would have been different, or maybe not. I guess we’ll never know.

As a Danish artist, how have your roots influenced your music? Have they had any impact on your hip-hop/rap style?

That is a very good question. I want to be my most authentic self, and through music, I feel like I truly can be that. I can show sides of me I normally would have a hard time showing when I’m just being me. On that note, I don’t think my roots have influenced my music, but definitely my upbringing. So, in regards to SMD, how that song has been influenced definitely stems from some core memories from my childhood. During my childhood, my big brother introduced me to Eminem’s album “The Eminem Show.” I was just a 9-year-old while he was a mighty 11… But we would turn up Eminem’s tracks. Although looking back, they may not have been the most kid-friendly songs… However, the upcoming songs I am about to drop are heavily inspired by Eminem. They are like a love letter to that genre, a playful homage to that unique sound. It’s also me embracing my big brother’s influence on my upbringing, and also… Eminem’s unapologetic style is still as inspiring as ever, and let’s be real, no one is putting out music like that anymore. Now, I am no Slim Shady, but I am me, I am SHOKO, and I am beyond excited for all of you to experience the energy and passion in my songs in general, and especially my new single SMD.

The struggles with bullying and identity you mention in your music are deeply personal. How does it feel to expose these intimate parts of your life to your audience?

It is always intimidating, putting yourself out there, but at the same time, this music is not only for me. It has a purpose, it serves to help other people, and the thought of the track having a bigger meaning than just me sharing makes it feel like less of me just opening up. The purpose of SMD is me showing that it is okay to embrace yourself, to hype yourself up, there is nothing wrong with that.

I have experienced a lot of bullying, hate, racism, friends who were supposed to be my friends, and this song serves as a reminder that I know who I am, and that I embrace myself, and I don’t give any significance anymore to that type of people, because the sun doesn’t care about who it blinds, so why should I?

In addition to being a music artist, you choreograph your performances. How do you see the relationship between music and movement, and how do these two art forms enhance each other in your work?

Using your body while you communicate is like adding another layer to the emotions you’re trying to express. It helps decode what’s being said, adding depth and energy to the message. You know how when you go to a concert and the singer’s just standing there singing perfectly, but it gets boring because there isn’t any dynamics on stage? Well, that’s where movement comes in. It’s not only about getting the message across better, but also about keeping the audience engaged. Movement makes communication lively, memorable, and way more interesting.

Your performances at events like SMUKFEST and Radio Days have been widely celebrated. Can you tell us about your most memorable performance to date and why it stands out for you?

I have received a lot of kind words regarding those performances, but I think my most memorable performance to date must be Radio Days. A lot of industry people came up to me and told me how they couldn’t take their eyes off of me because I was so entertaining, and those people can be hard to please, lol.

You’ve mentioned that “SMD” is more than a song but a movement. Could you elaborate more on this concept? What do you hope this movement achieves?

Three words… Healing. and. change.

Lastly, what message do you hope listeners take away from “SMD” and your music overall? How do you want to use your platform to impact the hip-hop/rap music scene?

I don’t see how I am going to impact the hip-hop/rap scene, but I do see how I am going to impact people’s lives.

So, let’s start with the first part of the question. I hope that listeners take away from SMD a sense of empowerment to be themselves, and that they will choose to stand up for themselves.

From my music overall: Empowerment, motivation, feeling understood, finding a safe space to grow, to heal, and to dare to be your authentic self.

And I’ll just leave it at that.

Kisses and hugs, SHOKO