Interview with Sonny Hendrixx
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I used to be really heavy into diss tracks and battle rap… I found out on battle rap forums that you could record diss tracks and battle people all over the world, enter in tournaments, get judged by online audiences and stuff, I got hooked. When I was a kid I wanted to be a lawyer, But eventually all I could think about was hip-hop and rap. By 17/18 all the kids I went to school with were talking about there career goals and what they wanted to be after high school and college… I didn’t have a back up plan. all I wanted to do was be a recording artist.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I’m a movie buff, video game nerd, tattoo addict and a car enthusiast. Being predominantly known as a punchline rapper, I’ll take characters from movies and pop culture and create metaphors around them, typically with double entendres. Video games are just to occupy my mind from thinking of music. Tattoos and car customizations I use just to further express myself. I see them as other forms of art where there is no right or wrong, just how you feel.
How long has your band been around?
I’m a solo artist, been recording music since I was 18. But I didn’t start taking music seriously until 2019.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Toronto has always had a deep and engaged hip hop scene. It’s very competitive out here. Hip hop has always been like a sport to me (and most lyricists). You always want to have the best verse, and the biggest reaction from the audience. Once Drake started shinning a light on the talent we have here, it made it easier to reach a more global audience and be taken seriously.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Sonny Hendrixx is broken down into 2 parts. Growing up my folks referred to me as “Sonny Boy.” I’m a huge fan of jimmi Hendrix and have artwork, albums, vinyls, dvds of him all over my studio. During a studio session recording, I was doing a blues guitar styled song called “sucker for love” and a friend said to me “oh so you think your jimmi Hendrix now?” And I replied “Sonny Hendrixx” and it just kinda clicked.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
At an event named T-dot Fest. It was on a huge outdoor stage at Dundas square downtown Toronto. Right after a jays game ended, the arena emptied out into the square just as my time slot started. There must have been 5-10,000 people in the crowd. I was so amped to get on stage to start that as soon as the beat dropped, I swung the microphone up to my face and bashed myself in the lip. I dont think anybody noticed. But I could taste blood for the first chunk of that show.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Nothing beats a huge crowd, but I like smaller venues where I can interact with the crowd, and feed off of their energy. It becomes more about the music than about the production in those scenarios. So my favourite venue would either be knocturnal nightclub in Toronto or the moustache club (now closed) in oshawa. I’d love to do an arena some day, but any major festival would be lit.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I think a dope show would start with M.O.P. to hype up the crowd. Redman & Method man to follow up, schoolboy Q to fuse in some new school, add myself in that mix somewhere, and close out the show with Eminem. That’d be an incredible night.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Network, build relationships with the peers in your field, and provide them with help whenever possible. Your first shows are more than likely going to come from them. So put yourself in the position as someone they’ll want to share their connections or successes with. My advice for myself would be to stay focused and trust the process. It’s not going to happen because you want it, it’s going to happen when you put in the work.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Buy bitcoin. Lots of bitcoin
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I did a song called “so bad” where I basically ripped open every scar I had and put it out for the world. I love the way my cadence came across. The lyrics sit well in the pocket. It’s just a great song that has helped a lot of people know that things can get better in the darkest of times.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I enjoy doing “Damn” with Daxflow a lot. It just has a bounce and tempo to it. I think the most requested is “sucker for love” though.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Usually I’ll just make a bunch of beats. When I get to the studio I’ll throw out a bunch of hook ideas that I think fit the vibe of the beat. If I find myself really vibing with one of the hooks, I usually just take it from there and try and stick to the topic of the hook. I used to write verses first and try to make hooks to tie them altogether. But I think this new approach is a lot more efficient.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
If it’s a song with a deep message, it’s usually to show the world “hey we’re all a little fucked up. We all have our vice’s. These are mine. This is what happened to me from them. This is how I ended up.” and I try to give the listener someone to relate to. If it’s just a hip hop song then the message is usually based around the fact that lyrically, you won’t hear anything close to the level that I’m at.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Being a solo artist I don’t generally have anyone to argue with or disagree on… But there are times when I will take advice from my engineer. Even if I disagree, because I’ve got so much creative control over my sound that sometimes it helps to take advice from others that could take the music in a direction I hadn’t thought of.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I have been releasing music videos every month of the year so far. It’s all leading towards an album “Adeus.” It’s something special. I have a lot of big features on this album. It’s been hard keeping the names a secret, but it’ll be out soon enough. Until then, just keep rocking with me.