Sonny – Cozy house infused with the “Scando” sound (interview & mixtape)
Interview by Alexander Julin
Australian Xavier Bacash made his debut last year with an EP called “C.E” on the Danish label Koldt Bord. “C.E” was an enormously organic release which differed from the majority of contemporary electronic music in Denmark due to its incorporation of jazz-elements. On his subsequent release, the EP “Plastic Worlds”, the elements of electronic jazz have been abandoned in favor of a purer house style, which nonetheless still shares several features with his former EP. Following the release of “Plastic Worlds”, P/A has interviewed Bacash about his releases and future plans, and he has made us an accompanying mix, illustrating some of his sources of inspiration.
P/A: When did you begin to produce music yourself? Did you have any projects ahead of Sonny?
Sonny: “I began producing when I was around 17 years old. Since then I have been making a few different styles of music in a few different incarnations. I was in a band for about 8 years that broke up 2 years ago, which was the impetus for starting the Sonny project.”
P/A: When did you write the material for “Plastic Worlds”?
S: “I wrote most of that EP within a one month time period during the winter of last year. I had felt fairly unproductive or was dealing with some writer’s block up until that point, so I went to Berlin to write some music with my good friend Kris Baha. From that trip I wrote 2 songs (“Plastic Worlds” and “Kropssprog”) which was like a kickstarter for the remainder of the EP which were written in the weeks following.”
P/A: What has been the most central source of inspiration for you?
S: “I think I had been going to quite a few parties in København and hearing a lot of my friends play music I had not really come across before. So in a way, I kind of became obsessed with this ‘Scando’ sound that I felt was very specific to here geographically. I wanted to be influenced by it, but at the same time attempt to shape that influence into a different style that I could call my own.”
P/A: How has the musical environment in Copenhagen influenced your own musical style? How would you say that Copenhagen musically differs from Australia, generally speaking?
S: “I would have to say being here has rubbed off on me a lot. In a way, I couldn’t leave København and move back to Melbourne again for a long time, because I feel like I’m being pushed here creatively in more ways than one. There are more ideas floating around in the everyday here than there are back in Australia for me, so I’m a little afraid that stream of inspiration would come to a halt if I wasn’t here. The Danish weather, the people and the lifestyle all have their place in creating a pretty unique landscape to not only make music in but develop as an individual, which I think is important for an artist (hate that word).”
P/A: How would you describe “Plastic Worlds” as opposed to your debut, “C.E.”? How would you say your music have evolved?
S: “I would say Plastic World has more of a ‘Dream House’ sound, referential to the old Italo House and Balearic masters, whereas the “C.E” EP was more of an organic electronic jazz exploration.”
P/A: Why is it important for you to release your music yourself?
S: “I think mainly because I’ve just had too many bad experiences with record deals in the past, so as they say I feel “once bitten twice shy”. It also doesn’t really make any sense these days to sign a deal with all the digital facilities artists have at their disposal to release independently now. I think that’s why we are seeing better artwork, better music, increased vinyl sales and more genuine artists all over again, due to the control they now have over what they are putting out and trying to say aesthetically. Food is never good in big kitchens.”
P/A: Do you have any further plans on releases in the coming future at this point?
S: “Yeah, I’ve just finished recording a third EP as Sonny, which I’ll be mixing in Berlin in the coming month. So that should be out in about 20 years or whenever the vinyl pressing plant decides to deliver our orders.
P/A: How would you describe your mix?
S: The mix is comprised of some tunes I’ve been digging for a while. They haven’t directly had an influence on my music making, but have kept me company on numerous rides around the city. Most of the music is from local Danish artists, for example a few unreleased gems from good friends Kasper Marott and Popmix.
“Plastic Worlds” is out now on Koldt Bord. Sonny plays live at H15 in Copenhagen on September 21 (RSVP).