The following feature appears in the March 2017 issue of NYLON.
It’s the week before Trump takes office, and I’ve been kidnapped by a sprite. Her name is Soko, and she’s flitting through early morning Manhattan’s downtown streets like Tinkerbell, but with Doc Martens instead of wings. “Are you ready for an adventure?” she asks with a giggle, not waiting for an answer. She’s wrapped in faux-fur layers the color of Starburst candies. Her wide, darting eyes are rimmed in Lemonhead yellow shadow. She’s tucked her choppy black hair under a Skittle-red hat. And as she loops her arm through mine, she proclaims with sugar-high energy, “I love adventures!” Meanwhile, I love sleep. This might not be an ideal match, but there’s no time to hesitate: We’ve got a boat to catch. Soko wants to go to the Statue of Liberty on this snowy Sunday, five days before the inauguration of the new president, and—spoiler alert—when Soko wants something to happen, it fucking happens.
Here’s where we pause to board the ferry—and unload a requisite cheat sheet on our scintillating subject for those not already in the know: Born Stéphanie Sokolinski in Bordeaux, France, the 31-year-old is a Scorpio, a vegan, and a true Renaissance femme, which means describing her in one breath is a tough job. To indie-rock addicts, she’s a crafty chordsmith whose YouTube hits include “Lovetrap” and “We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow.” For film buffs, she’s an arresting actress from period dramas like Augustine. Fashion acolytes can track her via myriad front-row appearances. (Chanel? Check. Miu Miu? Check. Gucci? Obvs.) And tabloid junkies know her from a brief, flashbulb-flooded romance with megastar Kristen Stewart. But Soko is more direct. “I’m an artist and that’s it. Everything I do is from an impulse to be creative. I have to do it. I would die if I didn’t. Now let’s go!” she says, bounding off the ferry and skipping ahead to Liberty Island. “Forward is the way toward. Or toward is the way forward. Come on!”