He's from Australia, he lives in Ibiza and he's signed to a US label - Sonny Fodera is truly a man of the world. His debut album 'Moving Forward' is also out now on Cajmere's Cajual label, featuring guest appearances from the likes of Gene Farris, Walter Phillips, Russoul and Cajmere himself. We sat down to find out about his formative influences, working with the Godfather of House and resisiting the lure of the temptations of the Balearics....
US readers can also catch him our tour now, dates below.
What are you roots getting in house music? Was there much of a scene in Australia?
“I grew up with artists like Jimi Hendrix, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and a lot of '90s hip-hop, like Tribe Called Quest and Jurassic 5. I only discovered house music when I was 20, seeing Derrick Carter play at Electric Circus in Adelaide. I really enjoyed the jazzy/hip-hop crossover element in his DJing and knew I wanted to start producing that kind of music. House music in Australia was huge back in 2005 and is now making a comeback on the deeper side of things, which is really good to see. I love Australia and will always call it home. It can just be so distant from the rest of the world at times, especially with the long flights and time difference.”
When did you decide to make the move abroad?
“I lived in Ibiza for the summer of 2010 after my first US/Canada tour. I loved it so much, but I used to get really overwhelmed by everything going on. I was only 23 when I moved there. I moved back to Melbourne in Australia early 2011 after a cold winter in the UK. Melbourne really let me work on my music and take it to the next level. I decided last year it was time to get back over to Europe, especially after signing a single with Defected, being involved with their parties and doing the album on Cajual. I've been missing Ibiza for so long, the beaches, the clubs, the people, so I'm really excited about being out there for the summer!”
Your debut album is on Cajual. What does it mean to have the support of Cajmere and what advice, if any, has he given you?
“I get on with Cajmere really well. He has helped me so much over the last year, especially with the album. He is really easy to work with, We have been working on a lot of new things! He has taught me stay true to my sound and to work hard and good things will come.”
We hear Frankie Knuckles is also a fan. Have you met him in person and does his interest mean you might be working together?
“Yes, I have seen Frankie has spoken about my productions in interviews. He also just did a remix for my label Beatdown which is doing really well at the moment on Traxsource. I am really flattered as I see Frankie as one of the creators of house music. To get love from such a respected innovator and DJ means a lot. I would love to work on a collaboration with him, only time will tell if we do.”
What's the vibe of your own label Beatdown?
“Beatdown is really all things house. There are some deep, some tech and some jacking tracks on there. I get sent a lot of music these days from artists starting out, I really like to help push new music and new artists. I know from experience it's hard to break into the game. One of the best selling artists on the label Cause & Affect recently just got signed to Dirtybird, so I am really excited to see them doing well. I signed their first record. I have been doing a lot of Beatdown label parties too around the world. We've done them in Melbourne, Auckland, Miami and are about to do one in New York at Sullivan Room on May 10. So lots is happening with the label.
You now live in Ibiza. What are the best and worst things about it?
“Ibiza is an amazing place. It can get really full on at times, you really need to pace yourself and take it easy. The best things is the quality of music on a regular basis and the beaches. Also the food is really good in some areas, there are some really dope tapas spots in Ibiza town. There aren't really many bad things about the island. It is truly an amazing place, very spiritual, but it can get a little too hectic sometimes, so it's good to get a place out of the mayhem, especially when you are living there.”
Sonny Fodera’s ‘Moving Forward’ album is out now on Cajual Records.
Upcoming US tour dates.
3 May - Atlanta @ The Shelter
5 May - San Antonio @ Revolution Room
10 May – Beatdown party, New York @ Sullivan Room
11 May - Milwaukee @ Studio 200
12 May - Philadelphia @ Sundae
25 May - Coinbra, Portugal
1 June - Eidenhoven @ Lakedance
21 June - Dublin @ Kitchen Nightclub
12 July - Estonia @ Prive
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