For some, music is life. For others, life is music. But, what happens when your life is in different places and your music always in your heart?
Meet soCro: A rap artist proud of his Croatian roots who “combines electronic elements of the European club scene with Southern hip hop.” A Dalmatian and good ol’ Southern boy based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, he has opened for Big Boi of Outkast, plays piano, viola, guitar, and drums and plans to take over the world with his music.
Although he may be relatively new to the scene, soCro has been creating music his entire life. Influenced by the likes of Naughty by Nature, Outkast, Erik Satie, Elvis Presley, Ludacris, Dean Martin, Telepopmusik, Bee Gees, Cherry Ghost, and the list goes on – one can only get excited to hear a soCro track. (Spoiler alert: his new album boasts a single with Croatian and English lyrics!)
To bring that type of influence into mainstream (American) pop culture is revolutionary. soCro is an exquisite powerhouse of talent, soul and values.
But, don’t let that, or his beard, intimidate you. The CNYLA got to sit down with soCro (to his friends he’s better known as Eric) and discuss his inspirations, his Croatian heritage and what growing up ethnic means to him.
Need an awesome rap artist for your next house party? soCro will perform within a 2 hour radius of Chattanooga at a bar, at a party, or in your living room – your choice – so as long as you SUPPORT HIS KICKSTARTER goal to fund his next album.
soCro must complete this project before the ultimate SXSW festival coming this March 11-16, 2014 in Austin. As you read his answers to our questions below, you will see he has great promise as an artist and great love for Croatia.
There are 8 days left to his goal. Let’s support our fellow Croatian-American! Even if just for the fact that he’s just so Cro.
A Few Questions with soCro
1. Describe yourself in three words.
Artist. Hrvation. Dreamer.
2. Who is your personal role model? Who are the inspirations in your life?
My Father. He’s the hardest working man I know and has done everything in his power to better my life. Also, my friends. They come to my shows, listen to my music, and keep pushing me to be better.
3. What part of Croatia are you from? How do you think your culture has influenced your music?
I’m from Kukljica, a village on the Island Ugljan across from Zadar. My culture has a big influence on my music. My music is a reflection of my life – how I was raised, what I eat, how I speak, and how I live my life.
4. If you were stuck on an island, what would be the one book you must have, one artist on your iPod and one food you would need to survive?
Book: Wilderness Survival For Dummies.
Artist: Gloria Gaynor.
5. Would you consider yourself a role model to young Croatians and to young people around the world?
I’m inspired by people who chase their dreams, whatever they may be, and I hope to inspire others to do the same. Hopefully I can hit home a little harder with Croatian-Americans because of our shared heritage.
6. You followed your heart and your dreams. How about a word of advice to young Croatian professionals following their dream out there in the world?
Don’t let anyone knock your dreams. Ignore the people that discourage you and embrace those who encourage you. Negativity strikes harder than positivity does, but do your best to avoid all things negative. Make sure you are productive every day. On days you don’t feel like doing anything, try accomplishing a simpler task – as long as something is getting done, you are moving towards your goal. When it comes to being Croatian, use it to your benefit. You are different, and different is good. Also, other Croatians will always have your back.
7. If you weren’t a rap artist, what would you be doing?
I would move to Croatia and set up a pedalina rental business on the Adriatic somewhere.
8. That being said, what do you want to be when you grow up?
A rapper. That’s it. I’ve got no backup plans.
9. Your tagline: “Eurotrash meets Southern Class.” We can’t help but giggle. It’s so clever! How did you come up with it? What does this mean to you?
It comes from the disparate influences in my life. I’m proud of my Croatian roots and love European culture, but I also love Southern culture – both have equally impacted my life, and therefore, my music. Trashy plus classy, equals redneck fancy.
10. As a Croatian, do you feel Growing Up Ethnic gives you this different view of the world as an American in the United States?
Absolutely. It helps you to see things from different points of view, learn from the best of both cultures, and appreciate other cultures as well.
11. The ladies want to to know — how do you handle that beard? How long did it take to grow?
I don’t. It does what it wants to, like a wild forest. Been growing it since August.
12. In your Kickstarter video, we noticed the flash in the video of “Purebred Croat.” You are obviously very proud of your roots. What it’s like being Croatian in Tennessee? Is the local Croatian community active in your locale?
It’s great! Most people think I’m an Asian, as in Cro-Asian. But hey, that just means I get a better discount at the Chinese buffet. To my knowledge, there are only a few Croats here in Chattanooga, but there is an active Bosnian community here, a few of whom are good friends of mine.
13. We love your name: SoCro. Does it stand for SO CROATIAN or Southern Croatian or a mix of things?
It stands for Southern Croat (Croatian living in the South). I went by that name at first, but one of my friends suggested soCro, which is a lot easier to remember and pronounce, so I went with it.
14. Do you visit Croatia often?
Describe your some key influential experiences back in Croatia. Yes. I spent every summer in Croatia growing up and still do most years. Croatian summers are my idea of paradise – chillin’ by the Adriatic, beautiful women, good food and plenty of beer.
15. Who is your all time dream artist to perform or collaborate with?
I would love to perform alongside Outkast. I would also love to collaborate with Oliver Dragojević. His voice is like butter.
16. Any favorite Croatian artists that you listen to?
Currently, I’ve had General Woo & Nered’s album “Baš Je Lijep Ovaj Svijet” on repeat. But my all-time favorite song is Moj Galebe by Oliver Dragojević.
17. Nice John Deere. Can we hitch a ride sometime?
Just say when and where.