Sonny is an eclectic artist with a foot in film-making, photography and music.
Formerly known as Sonny Shotz, this talented rapper was a part of well-known national touring act "The Dean's List".
This group encountered the praise of both fans and critics, with well over a million of plays on Youtube and a full length album behind their belt. Following the departure of band member Mik Beats who left the band for artistic differences, the outfit reinvented themselves as 'Kings Dead', also changing their approach to songwriting in order to achieve a more mature sound and feature other topics.
We caught up with Sonny at his local supermarket where he had engaged in a conversation about whether Coke was better than Pepsi, we interrupted the debate, introduced ourselves and unleashed some questions on him, here's how it went....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
I’m Aziz Bouraima artistically known as Sonny Shotz, and I make hip-hop electronic indie soul music.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
My uncle told me there are 3 types of people in the world…Those who watch history being made, those who fight against it, and those who make history.
Being a member of the Dean’s list and then Kings Dead, how has that experience aided your debut solo album?
\It’s helped become the artist I am today. All those long nights in the studio writing and rewriting chorus’s and verses, all the ups and downs and politics of the music industry, the hectic tour life, it all took part in shaping who I am.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
I’ve recently been listening to a lot of “Michael Kiwankua”, I think he’s really talented and his song writing takes me back to the late 60’s or early 70’s. Way before my time lol.
How and when did you decide that you wanted to be in a band/performer?
It sort of just happened. I was always writing, which turned into writing poetry, which later turned into writing songs. Me and my best friend just started making music in his moms basement for fun and it all snowballed from there.
What does music mean you you?
I look at Music as a platform and vehicle of expression. I guess I look at it as what do I bring to the table or what do I mean to music. I try to put as much truth and me into what I make.
What message are you offering to the world?
I’m offering the world a look at ourselves through a different lens.
Life in the Garden of Eden is a powerful tune, can you describe the story behind the song?
It’s basically me diving into my beliefs as a muslim-christian and talking about sexual orientation, marriage, and love. I think people tend to shy away from topics that are controversial because they want to please to either a specific type of person or to everyone, where as I just look to inform and create.
What is the Daniel Exodus Project Fund?
Through the release of all my projects I want to help really impact people’s lives with the music. The Danel Exodus Project Fund basically takes the donations from people who support the music and I use that money and donate it to the less fortunate or I use it to promote my music in a way that helps someone in need.
Who has been your musical influence?
Bob Dylan, he’s the only artist I can truly say I admire.
How has social media aided your music?
It’s allowed for people all over the world to hear my art, and it’s also accelerated the rate at which word of mouth spreads about my music. So i’m thankful for that.
You spend time in West Bengal, what was your experience of being there?
I actually didn’t spend time there, though I plan to. I donated some money to a school of kids in a small village and in return for my donation they helped promote my album. Just one of those things where I try to use my music to make a real impact.
Who designed the artwork for your Album cover?
An italian artist by the name of Christian Marra. I came across his work, and he liked the music so we decided to work together on the cover.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Captain Planet lol he was a man of the people.
What are your plans for 2014?
I’m releasing another project late spring or early summer entitled ”American Summer”. Looking to shoot some music videos, maybe a documentary in the works we’ll see, as long as I’m creating I’m happy.
Sonny was getting nowhere with the Coke vs Pepsi debate, we thought that a nice can of Club Soda would calm the tension, whilst he was having a well earned break, we unleashed some quick fire questions....
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Drum machine or the real deal? The real deal
Mac or PC? Mac
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Lemmy
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl
Car or Motorbike? Car
Acoustic or electric? Acoustic
Shower or Bath? Shower
Tattoos or Piercings? Neither
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino? Al Pacino every day
There you have it folks, loads of information about Sonny, please take a few more minutes to check out his social media pages, they're all listed below for your convenience.
Musicmuso would like to thank Sonny for sparing the time to answer our questions and we wish his every success in the future.