Keeping it simple…that’s what Sohoe DFW/GSA does best! It’s not about fancy fills or over the top backgrounds. For him, it’s more about consistency and cleanliness. He has a style that we’ve seen progress a lot over the past couple years. It’s that progression that allowed him to nail down a signature throw and have a super solid straight letter. Being a consistently active writer in Detroit, I wanted to go behind the scenes and find out a little more about Sohoe. He’s what he had to say:
Let’s get the basics outta the way first…
Is there a story behind the name Sohoe?
My favorite movie growing up was “The Warriors”. There was a Warriors video game when I was kid. And in the game there was a mission in Soho (New York) where your character had to paint a piece. I was drawn to the letters S O H O, and in time I added the “E” for balance. I’ve never been to New York (although I plan on it shortly).
How long have you been writing vs active on the streets?
I’ve been writing for about 11-12 years, but real active in the streets the last 6-7 years.
What drew you to graff?
I come from a somewhat artistic family. I remember as a kid my sister was involved in painting and various arts. Even further back my grandma had always been a painter. I had always seen graffiti in my neighborhood growing up, so I started messing with spray paint.
Was there one writer that inspired your style?
There isn’t any one writer, it’s a combination of several writers in the Midwest.
What would be the best way to describe your current style?
CLEAN…cleanliness is next to Godliness!
Your style has improved quite a bit in the past couple years. How important is progression in your work?
Anything you are passionate about should come with progression. If it doesn’t, you aren’t doing it right. My influence comes from a variety of things; music, colors, advertisements, seeing my friends paint shit, etc
Do you get most of your ideas thru continuous sketching?
I don’t sketch much, mostly doodles for ideas.
Each part of your work (tags, throws, burners) have their own uniqueness. How long did it take for you to really get it down to where you’re happy with them?
Everything comes in time. Nothings easy at first, it’s trial and error. I’ll never be truly satisfied. There’s always room for improvement.
What was one of you most memorable missions and why?
One of the most memorable missions was the night of 2Bucks’ passing. Everyone dropped everything and came together to paint a memorial. Real friends.
When you want to go paint, you are lucky enough to have a girlfriend there to support you. Does she paint as well?
Its tight being with someone who accepts what I do. I’m very appreciative of her. She doesn’t paint but she has different colored streaks she gets up with, lol. She’s a rider regardless.
What other cities/states have you been painted in?
Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Philly, Orange County-LA, West Virginia and Kentucky.
What’s one city you wanna paint in and why there?
I want to go to Memphis. My boy was from there and the part where he lived, he described it as a place that sounded appealing to me. It seems appealing because it had a lot of brick and metal fencing, good weather along with and the overall environment.
How does Detroit compare to those other cities that you’ve sprayed in?
You could get away with anything. Detroit was a place you could see your spots add up. In other cities, your spots only ran for a few weeks and then get buffed.
Right now as a writer in Detroit you face an interesting challenge seeing that the buff has really made their presence known. How are you overcoming this? Did you ever think it would get this crazy?
Detroit used to be a goldmine for graffiti. Detroit opened peoples’ eyes to graffiti. The whole world came here. The buff was just a matter of time. Graffiti is temporary…period.
I’ve had the opportunity to go on a couple missions with you and document your work. How important is it to have your work or graffiti (in general) documented?
I think it’s important to document graffiti. It’s good for the next generation. Without flics a lot of history would never be seen. Toys and buff ruins shit, walls fall apart and paint fades. Having flics allows you to reminisce on memories and moments. A lot of times I’ll forget about some shit until I see a flic.
We see most of your work on the streets, ever think about doin freights?
Freights weren’t as accessible as the streets growing up. I respect freights/freight writers. I just like throw ups on brick. Freights are a whole different world. Shout out to the ones I know doing them and doing them right. Whether interested in streets or freights, we’re all here for the same reason.
Any advice to the future generation of writers?
Do it for the right reason and stay humble.
So next time you’re rolling thru Detroit, be on the lookout for Sohoe. It could be a tag, throw, floater or a nice clean straight letter that hits you in the face. All ways for you to see that he’s an active part of the graff community in Detroit, with no means of stopping.
GRAY LA, Pack, Amo, Yogrt, Dems, and the original DFW Crew since 1993. My brothers Toast, Writs, Nafol, Whas and all of the GSAKrazies, YPDGs, KT, attng3tr, Jay, the ups and downs.
-RIP- Ryan Smith -RIP- 2BUCK
Special thanks to Sohoe for taking the time out to chat with me.
To follow SOHOE head to his instagram
Interview and photos by @_attn_g3tr