Having come up through the ranks at a startling rate, Australian Sonny Fodera is now leading from the front. Over the last couple of years, the man originally turned on to the dance by Derrick Carter has fomented his own groove driven, emotive brand of house that now resonates around the world. Turning heads right from the off were his compilations on Deep Down and Defected, which found Sonny adding his remix flair to a bunch of classics, and after that came sophomore effort After Parties & Aeroplanes. Again a collaborative affair featuring the likes of Doorly, Gene Farris and Cajmere, it was a more jacking, sharp-edged treat designed for maximum dance floor impact, but was also stuffed with unforgettable vocals that agin saw Sonny stepping up his game.
Along with an array of tour dates this summer, including his Redlight residency at Sankeys Ibiza, plus standout performances at Hideout, Creamfields and EDC Las Vegas, Sonny Fodera’s amazing journey continues with the release of his highly-anticipated artist album ‘Frequently Flying’ on Defected Records.
With the release of the album we asked Sonny to walk us through each of the tracks on album on how they come about, how the collaborations came about and stories behind the tracks.
You & I –
This track was written 2 years ago; the vocal was actually recorded by Janai over my track “Lets Go”. I was in Miloco studios based in Hoxton, London, with MK… We were just having a jam and I played him the vocal, he was down with it so we ended up playing some keys over it. We went on to mess around with some beats and a bassline, and it just worked! Definitely one of my favourites on the album.
Caught Up –
This track is actually a remake of a track from my first album “Moving Forward” called “Putting It Down”. Simon Dunmore really liked this track and asked me to get it re-sung by Yasmeen Sulliman, a NYC based vocalist/ songwriter. I was in on tour last March in the states, and booked a studio session with her in NYC. There we got the vocal laid down and I finished the track in London.
Never Lies –
I wrote this track last year in London, I actually did the beat and piano drop to a completely different vocal, but that didn’t work out so Defected found Juliana to sing some verses and hook it up. I used Spectrasonics Trilian for the bassline, and the piano is actually from an old Korg keyboard I have called the Micro Korg.
To Love –
Two years ago I was in the studio in London Fields with Shannon Saunders. I played her the piano line and she wrote the vocal which she finished by the end of that day. The vibe just flowed and this is the result, a more song based track. This is not so much something I would play in the club, but more of an everyday kind of track to vibe to.
I had a studio session with Bo Hendrix and Jermaine Riley one day, and we were just on a really bluesy vibe. I laid down a guitar riff and we all started writing this track. The concept was to call it wasted, where it’s more open for interpretation… Like being high off of a person. I had Ricky Ahir come in to lay the extra guitar afterwards. Definitely something different from me.
Roll With Me –
Another bluesy vibe. Nicholas Biela one of the owners of Blood Brother hooked me up with this vocalist called Kwame. We got in the studio in Netil House, East London. We started to vibe on this funky beat and came up with “Roll With Me”. I love the hook, “You should roll with me if you know what’s right, you’re gonna’ be with me by end of the night” … straight gangster.
Always Gonna Be –
I wanted to work with Alex Mills since she did the vocals on ‘Something Special’ with Miguel Campbell. I really loved the track. About 3 years ago my manager hooked us up, she wrote a top line over this beat I had (Always Gonna Be). She then came into my studio and we recorded the vocal. We have been working quite a lot together since, so look out for some more releases.
All The Reasons –
James Shoji is a really good friend of mine from Australia. He called me up saying he had a new idea for a track. He sent me the session in Ableton, the keys he laid were dope so we reworked it with a new patch. I hit Janai up and got her in the studio to lay down a vocal. We wrote the topline together and ‘All The Reasons’ was the result. This is my favourite track on the album.
Feeling U –
I actually made this track with Secondcity when I first moved to London about 2 years ago. He had an acapella by Yasmin that he recorded years ago with Route94… We were hanging out in my studio one day, and he brought it over. I made a beat and bassline to it and it worked really well. I obviously had to re-record the vocal with Yasmin to get it tight, and we also added an extra verse. This track has done so well and the response has been amazing!
Over This –
On the same day we recorded ‘To Love’, I had this loop going and started just jamming this lyric with Shannon, “I’m over this, over this”. We looped it up and then worked out some verses, it really came together quite quickly. I used a Moog Mintaur for the bassline and a Korg m1 for the keys.
Time With You –
I made this back in 2014. I started working with Kate Elsworth because my agent at the time was booking her also. Kate sent me a few acapellas, I really loved this one (time with you), which was actually called ‘Dress For Her’. Playing around with the vocal, I really liked the phrase ‘Time With You’, so I decided to loop that up a bit and make that the main hook of the track. I laid down the music and beats, using Rob Papen Predator for the bass and grand piano samples for the piano. I also sampled some orchestral strings to give it a good dynamic range.
Defected have been sending me a lot of a acapellas over the last year, this track was done by Oxford vocalist Richard Walters. He actually sang it over the instrumental of ‘Never Lies’, but when I heard the depth and emotion in the vocal, I knew I had to write something fresh and new to it. I sampled some string sounds and went for a really deep house vibe. I actually made the track on a flight from London to Los Angeles earlier in the year, but finished it in my studio a few months ago. This is one of the most recent tracks on the album.
Every Second –
I wrote this track in my hotel room in Singapore. I was on tour for Defected in Asia, and had a week off in Singapore. The weather was so crazy at the time, intense thunderstorms so I couldn’t go outside. I just chilled at the hotel writing music, I did this in 2 days and played it at Club Kyo that weekend. The reaction was crazy! It got an amazing response.
This is something totally different, a new style for me. The time when I made this I was really into SBTRKT, listening to a lot of this kind of music. I was playing potential tracks for the album in my studio to Simon Dunmore & Andy Daniell, they loved the record thought it would be a really good addition to the album. We found vocalist Jade Leigh to lay down a hook which really fit the track. I used a lot of 808 kits in this one.
Sonny Fodera ‘Frequently Flying’ is out on Defected Records Now! Grab a copy here