Houston’s Stoo Gogo is a self-described amalgamation of Grace Jones, technology, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
As a queer-femme artist, Gogo is unbridaled by constraints that bind other musicians—and the results are proof that the approach is working.
“I am unapologetically a pop artist,” Gogo says, “but I do get people tilting their heads because my music tends to encompass various genres. Pop music is seen as ‘cheesy’ or ‘overrated,’ but I see it as a universal art medium—and my way of painting on a canvas.”
Gogo’s first EP was a collaboration with Luis Cerda, called Costume. The album was released on SoundCloud last year and received critical praise, including for Gogo’s unique vocals—which can be a wonderfully androgynous coo at times. Although the music is unmistakably pop-influenced, there is a softness to it that is enchanting.
Costume was recorded entirely on an iPhone,—a surprising revelation, given the high quality of the EP. “Luis and I recorded on iPhone because we did not have the funds for booking a studio, and we learned about other artists doing the same,” Gogo says. “Of course, we would get nervous about not following ‘the rules,’ but we really wanted to make and release music. Making Costume helped us see our light as musicians, and I’m glad to have shared that time with one of my best friends. It might seem like a cliché, but you have to trust the universe for things to happen.”
Gogo is currently in a 31-day writing process for a new solo album. Fans can follow that process on Gogo’s Instagram and Tumblr. Gogo regularly posts inspirational images, mood boards, videos, and journal snapshots. The creative process is Gogo’s favorite part of a project.
Gogo’s outward appearance aligns with the artist’s approach to music. Gogo leaves pronouns open-ended. “It feels good when people ask, though, because it’s nice to know the queer and trans communities are gaining respect.”
Gogo has always been “out” as an artist. “I couldn’t hide it even if I tried,” the artist says. The queerness seeps into every aspect Gogo’s work, from outward appearances to the cool sound. “I recently finished Fabulous: Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric by Madison Moore, and it has inspired me to push forward in showcasing fabulosity as my armor [as I create new] work. Queerness and fabulousness are on the same wavelength to me.”
Like other emerging queer artists, Gogo finds a great deal of value and inspiration in living authentically. It enhances rather than hinders Gogo’s craft. “I’m always going to be a work in progress, but living my truth as an artist is super-important for me, to show how magical queerness/otherness can make the world colorful.”
You can stream and download Costume on Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, and SoundCloud. Gogo plans to release new music this fall.
Listen to more of Stoo Gogo’s tracks at soundcloud.com/blingst.
This article appears in the August 2018 edition of OutSmart magazine.