After working hard for the last two years, Sonikem has unleashed his latest album Baile de Paris on the world. Inspired by a desire to explore Baile funk and a discussion with a friend in Brazil, the album hits you with rhythms you can’t help but dance to. It also continues his idea that music knows no barriers. We sat down with Sonikem to talk about the album, collaborations, language skills and much more!
OSR: What first drew you to making music?
Sonikem: It all started at college when some friends of mine started rapping and at the same time I started to host student parties. It was very clear to me that music would be a part of me throughout my life.
OSR: Is there a backstory or theme to your latest album Baile de Paris?
Sonikem: The story behind Baile de Paris is a mixture of desires for elsewhere and meetings.
Desires elsewhere because after my first solo album, I realized that I had toured France and that I had to meet other artists if I wanted to be able to continue to evolve. Meetings because this album could not have been done without the precious help of a Brazilian friend living in Paris, himself a rapper, director and producer who through his relations was in contact with many artists in Rio. For 2 year we sent back and forth emails thanks to the magic of the internet and finally managed to get the project out.
OSR: This album took two years to finalise, how happy are you with the finished product?
Sonikem: I’m really happy to have been able to release it because this year has been extremely difficult for everyone in the artistic world. The perseverance and the work allowed us to face all the tests and finally lead to a coherent and quality project. A project supported by all the artists of the project which had a great impact.
OSR: What was the biggest influence for this album?
Sonikem: The biggest influences for this album were the videos sent to me by the artists of the parties in Rio and of course the clubs in which I play in Paris and in Europe. I wanted, when I play these songs, for the audience to really feel the vibe of the Favelas.
OSR: You collaborate with a few artists on the album, how did you connect with them?
Sonikem: There are 10 artists on the album, 3 are Brazilians living in Paris and the 7 others come from Rio and its surroundings. For the artists in Paris, I already knew them and for the Brazilians of Rio, I was put in contact with thanks to Rheyz, one of the artists of the album.
OSR: Are there any songs on the album that were easier or harder for you to create?
Sonikem: Not really because my creative process on the project was simple, I created the music and I offered it to the artists. If they liked it, they would record and send me their voices so that I could mix them properly.
OSR: The album was recorded in both Paris and Rio De Janeiro, how did you handle this process?
Sonikem: Thanks to the magic of the internet and social networks, even if we are on two different continents we were and we are always connected.
OSR: You don’t speak Portuguese, yet the vocals for the album are in this language. What prompted this decision?
Sonikem: Yes, I don’t speak Portuguese but google translation work fine. Above all, I didn’t want to ask them to change anything! I really wanted to make them feel comfortable so that they could sing in their language.
OSR: If people could remember only one thing about your music, what would you like that to be and why?
Sonikem: I would like my music to serve as a soundtrack of the lives of the people who listen to me and that even in 10, 20 or 30 years they will remember that they had a great time listening to me.
OSR: What else can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Sonikem: In the coming year, I have a lot of plans. An album with French artists, an AfroHouse project and title with Japanese artists and of course new songs with friends from Brazil.