Welcome to SoDak Music


Music has been the only constant, the only sure thing throughout my life.

I LOVE, ADORE, and CHERISH music, no matter the kind.

My parents always had music playing at home. Typically, it was gospel, country, or a combination of the two. My mother was obsessed with Elvis, but the first real pop record she played for me was, wait for it… Donnie Osmond’s “Puppy Love.” I know. It wasn’t until I was in my early teens, digging through the attic, that I found the real stash: Bob Dylan’s “Blonde On Blonde” and “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced” and “Electric Ladyland,” all the Zepplin you can imagine, Bowie, Queen, Floyd, Supertramp, Muddy Waters, The Who, The Animals, Deep Purple, and the list goes on. This is undeniably where my music education began. I was in love.

Being born to an in-between generation, I’ve been lucky to know 8-tracks, vinyl, cassettes, CDs, digital and vinyl… again. This bitch had memberships to both Columbia House and BMG, lying about my age, as we all did, to get said memberships. For the youngsters reading this, Columbia House and BMG were music subscription services for CDs. Physical versions of Spotify and iTunes, if you will. Through this I expanded my musical repertoire to include early and mid-1990s hip hop, think Salt n’ Pepa, TLC, Biggie and others. Around this time, I also got a Rolling Stone subscription that I had to hide from my father. He did not appreciate the “heathen” music I enjoyed. But that magazine allowed me to dream bigger.

Growing up in a small Wisconsin town, I often imagined moving to New York City where I’d become the perfect hybrid of Annie Leibovitz and Hunter S. Thompson, hanging out with bands and writing about who they really are as humans behind the scenes. I’d be a gonzo in writing and photography. But things don’t always happen as we plan.

I did move to NYC, but not to be a rock photographer/journalist. I floundered there. Lost. But that move out East ultimately lead me back to the Midwest.

That’s where South Dakota comes in.

My husband, Thomas, and I have been here for three years now, and we can’t imagine living anywhere else. With no connections here other than Thomas’ job when we initially relocated, we didn’t know what to expect. South Dakota has been kind to us. People help each other here. People care. The people we’ve met and the friends we’ve made have accepted us in a way nowhere else has, and we love you. This community of artists is like none other, and you should be proud.

I want to tell your stories. I want the world to see how special you are, and I hope I do you justice.

Much love,

Sonja O.

Editor-in-Chief of SoDak Music Magazine

Support SoDak Music

Like what you see in our magazine? Help us keep the lights on with a few bucks. We’re boot-strapping this biz.


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