In the late 1880s, two settlers, Ida and David, arrived in the sleepy town of Denison, Texas by way of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railway. While Ida looked after the children, David took work with the railroad as an engine wiper. During their time in Denison they had a son, born in an unassuming white two-story home. That son's name was Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would eventually become the 34th President of the United States.
If you ask residents of Denison today who their most notable citizen is, the majority would point to the man responsible for the creation of the Interstate Highway System. However, an artist who also calls Denison home is systematically lighting the internet on fire. His name is Joseph Somers-Morales, aka Joseph SoMo, and his music is reaching more people than the MKT railway ever transported.
On November 15, 2011, the same day Drake's sophomore album Take Care hit stores, Joseph SoMo released a daunting "Take Care Medley" that combined select cuts from Drake's album in an effortless succession of continuous covers. Whether shrewd marketing or happenstance, SoMo's cover amassed more than 1.2 million views, a mere 49 times the current population of Denison, according to the 2009 census.
Behind every great artist is an even greater producer. It seems SoMo found that in Cody Tarpley, who's been playing the piano since he was three years old. Featured in his renditions of The Weeknd's "The Morning" and J. Cole's "Work Out," Tarpley operates Evenyre Studios in Allen, where he's rumored to "bring the magic" on a daily basis.
In fact, just last week they captured the magic, as SoMo released his highly anticipated "Kings & Queens (Throw It Up)" single. Produced by Tarpley, the piano-driven single details his pursuit of the most beautiful girl in the room, set against the backdrop of your typical rambunctious college social.
He melodically raps, "My eyes met hers/I wanted those curves/Walked up to her /Said a few little words /She just smiled and we just danced / While all them other guys just said damn."
SoMo's forthcoming debut mixtape is currently slated for release this summer. I had an opportunity to catch up with him via e-mail, to ask what he thought about people wearing sunglasses at night, whether it was better to be feared or loved, and what he wanted the world to know about him.
How do you start your day? I usually wake up happy then realize I have to go to work and cuss out loud! Then I usually go about the normal "getting ready for the day" routine.
If you could listen to someone's conversation anywhere in the world, who would it be and why? That would probably be a conversation between my dog and himself. I really want to know what the hell he's thinking. Does that count as someone? I consider him a somebody.
Is it okay to wear sunglasses at night? Yeah, but only if you're cool... or Corey Hart.
Is there a song, other than your own, that you know all the words to? I've been jammin' 2 Chainz and Drake's "No Lie": "She think I'm the realest out/And I say damn that makes two of us!"
Is it better to be feared or loved? Both. Without fear you are powerless and without love you are nothing.
What do you want the world to know about Joseph SoMo? That I really love sunflower seeds and salad, and all I want to do in this life is make music people can move to, love to and, most of all, sing to.