soukey emerging swiss artist
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October 5, 2022
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Soukey on perfectionism, creation as catharsis, and being an emerging artist in Switzerland

As the descending sun was marking the end of the Fête du Slip festival in Lausanne, we met with up-and-comer Soukey, a Swiss-German singer with a lot to offer. Bubbly, friendly, and lively, Soukey sat with us post-performance on the concrete parapet, between bird chirpings and subway throbbing.

Comfortable in their black baggy jeans, Soukey sat rolling a cigarette, still enlivened by their just finished performance. It was their first time performing in Lausanne, and their second time in French-speaking Switzerland. The Bern-based singer and songwriter was confronted by an audience who, for the most part, didn’t understand a word of their songs. Yet this didn’t prevent them from putting on an amazing show and bounding with the audience, with a stage presence surprising for their age.

At only 19, Soukey has already quite a few singles under their belt, and a lot more still waiting to be published. On tour with fellow Swiss-German artist Stereo Luchs, with whom they collaborated on a song, Geng, they had to face the difficulties of performing for an alien audience. “It was hard to know that all the people there were waiting for him as I was going on stage. You have to perform in front of a huge crowd that doesn’t want you.” If it was challenging, it didn’t stop the singer, who managed to conquer the audience by dint of work.

Being an emerging artist is hard, and Soukey sometimes bears the bunt of it. When talking about the music scene in Bern, they deplored the strong hierarchy reigning in the field, and the difficulty to carve out a niche for yourself. The condescendence new artists are often met with and the pressure to always produce in order to stay hyped is a lot to put up with, and Soukey doesn’t shy away from the topic. Very open about their struggles, Soukey discussed the weight of pressure, from others but mostly from themselves, which stays there despite the achievements.

A huge perfectionist, Soukey spends a lot of time working on their songs. “When working on a piece of art, you’re never really done. There is no point where you can say, “it’s truly finished”.”. Having a hard time letting out their songs, which they consider to be their babies, Soukey still put together their first EP, which is coming very soon. Its first single, BIBÄ, was released on the first day of July.

A word for this first EP? Ambivalence. Growing up in Fribourg with a musician father, Soukey always found music to be a way to connect and let out your emotions. The EP will be an emotional dive, going through all the feelings.

My favorite part of creating is working with other people. It’s discussing, going deep into thoughts and feelings together, and the inspiration emerges from that. You let it all out, all the emotions, and there is no pressure of finishing. It’s only about creating something new, a means of catharsis.”

Excited by the EP, which they spent a year putting together, Soukey has a lot more in stock. They plan to release a new song every couple of months, to keep their audience satiated. Awarded with the “Demo of the year 2022” at the M4Music Festival in Zurich this spring, Soukey’s talent is progressively getting recognized. Keep yourself updated to not miss out on their new EP, and stream BIBÄ!

Interview & article by Chloé Bruère-Dawson
Images credit goes to Soukey

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