Singer from Denison releases debut album - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Singer from Denison releases debut album

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DENISON -- Today is the debut of a new album by an artist from Denison.

He's now touring the country to promote.

Fans know SoMo from his music. Dylan Castle is a friend.

"We were really close, actually, I think he might even owe mean some gas money still," Castle said.

Castle met SoMo in the seventh grade.

The two played football for Denison High School where they graduated in 2006.

His senior year, SoMo -- better known to many as Joseph Somers-Morales -- auditioned for a new musical theater class at DHS.

"I remember he was a little timid, a little scared, but he did a great job and it was obvious that he had talent," theater director Amy Jordan said.

Somo got the part of "Roger" in the musical, Grease.

Not long after graduating, he began uploading his versions of hit songs to YouTube that got millions of views.

SoMo is now signed with Republic Records which released his self-titled debut album Tuesday with original work.

KTEN spoke with SoMo by phone from New York.

"It's crazy, I mean, just coming from Denison I never really expected myself to be at this level and it's just an incredible experience," SoMo said.

What people passing by SoMo's billboard on Morton Street in Denison may not realize it was put there because he used to work at the animal clinic it's in front of.

While he may not be a household name just yet, Ashley Palmore, who owns Southern Bling Boutique in Denison, is the person who gave it to him. She wrote it on a note in the seventh grade.

"Joseph Somers-Morales is obviously a really long name and I was like, 'We need to come up with something shorter for you.' So originally I said 'Joe SoMo.' But then I said, 'Let's just shorten it to SoMo,' and it's all downhill from there," Palmore said.

SoMo's first single "Ride" has already gone gold. Tuesday, his album shot to #1 on iTunes.

He's also appearing on national television and has sold out shows on tour for months.

Friends say his success is surreal.

"It's strange. I mean, it's really, really hard to comprehend a guy that I've ran around this town with for years, all the sudden, he's #1 on the charts. So it's definitely hard to wrap your head around," Castle said.

Sarah Somers, director of Grayson County Office of Emergency Management, is SoMo's mother.

She was unavailable Tuesday but sent us a message saying, "It's a beautiful thing when your child's dreams can come true by combining God-given talent and hard work. We are so grateful to everyone in Texoma who have supported him and the blessings each day brings our family. Keep listening!"