One of the finest new producers around with quite simply, amazing production skills. Labels flying after him, his own super cool club night and, all in all, someone we are going to be hearing about for a very long time to come…
An amazing twelve months for you Sonny, with tracks out on the likes of Size, Toolroom, Spiinin’, Skint, Defected and Positiva as well as running the super cool Whartone Records label and club night. Tell the DMC world all about your first big break that led to all of this success…
“It’s been a long old slog but my first break was a while back when I won a DJMag competition with the prize to play for Renaissance at Amnesia – and things kind of snowballed from there really. More recently I knuckled down to learn to produce and make music rather than just playing it which is something I’m absolutely loving right now.”
How did it feel to suddenly having Mixmag quote you as one of their ‘Future Heroes’ alongside the likes of Nic Fancuilli and Gareth Emery?
“It was all a bit surreal to be honest getting props in such a prominent magazine and it’s really interesting to see how everyone involved in the original ‘Future Heroes’ has evolved and progressed since.”
What music were you into as a kid?
“I grew up listening to all sorts of stuff. Mainly influenced by what my parents would play with anything from Bob Dylan or The Beatles to Michael Jackson or The Mama’s & Papa’s.”
What were the first clubs you started to party at and who were your favourite DJs?
“I grew up in mid Wales and there weren’t that many clubs really. We had a few small club nights called The Rockit and Delicious where the likes of Tony De Vit would guest and the residents were people like Matthew and Leon Roberts (who became King Unique, UBU etc.) and these were the first places I used to go to frequently along with a lot of free parties.”
What’s the biggest crowd you have ever played to?
“Collectively, I suppose the Berlin Love Parade which was around 1 million people.“
What’s the best thing your parents taught you?
“Always respect other people.”
What are your current 10 tunes you are spinning right now?
1. Trisco – Muzak (Sonny Wharton & Paul Thomas 2011 Remix)
10.Tom Novy & Danny Freakazoid – Underground People (D-Nox & Beckers Remix)
If we came back to yours after a club, what are the 10 ‘Back To Mine’ tunes you play us? 1. Leftfield – Swords 2. The Roots – Meltin’ Pot 3. Nu Yorican Soul – Black Gold Of The Sun 4. Jurassic 5 – Concrete Schoolyard 5. Bent – Always 6. Zero 7 – This World 7. Brand New Heavies – Sometimes (Dimitri From Paris Mix) 8. Sia – Breathe Me 9. MJ Cole – Sincere 10.Jamie Cullum – Frontin’
Not a lot of people know this, but I am very good at…
What is coming next from the Sonny studio?
“Remixes for Fatboy Slim, Trisco and Frankie Knuckles along with collabs with X-Press 2, Joel Edwards and K-Klass.”
What profession did you want to follow when you were a child?
“After quickly realising that being a JCB driver probably wasn’t the strongest of career paths, I switched to wanting to be a graphic designer or teacher.”
What is your guilty pleasure song?
“Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby.”
What is your greatest weakness?
“Saying no – I’ve got a annoying habit of taking on way more than I can realistically achieve.“
Best club in the world you have ever played at why?
“I’ve been lucky to play some amazing clubs like Space in Ibiza and Pacha Sao Paolo but on a purely personal level, I think it’s got to be Renaissance at The Cross in London (RIP) – the atmosphere in that place was something else!!!”
What has been your proudest date in life so far?
“Seeing my younger brother’s first film premier at Bafta’s in London.”
Tell us about your club night‘Sound Of Whartone’?
“It just started out as an excuse to throw a party to be honest – somewhere where people we all speak to day in day out predominantly online can all get together and have a fun night out without talking shop. I thought it would also be a great platform to showcase some of the artists from the label in an environment where people appreciate good music. It’s all pretty informal and focussed heavily on having fun more than anything.”
What is the current song you can’t get out of your head?
“Jay Z & Kanye West – ‘Otis’
Tell us about the Ortofon and Ecler deal?
“I’ve been involved with them for couple of years now after first showcasing the Ecler NUO5 mixer at Plaza and this lead to hooking up with Henley Pro who distribute them here in UK. Recently I’ve been getting more involved with the development side of things as well as focussing heavily on pushing the new EVO mixers.”
What has been your best production to date?
“Probably my remix of X-Press 2 ‘Opulence’ on Skint.”
And finally, it’s your birthday – money no object, what 3 DJs and 1 live artist do you book?
“For sheer performance value I’d choose Carl Cox, Danny Tenaglia and Zane Lowe to DJ and as the live artist, Adele.”