INTERVIEW: Sonal Jogia

Hi Sonal, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been doing alright, thanks! Really excited to be finally releasing my new music!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Alive”?

Well it’s a song that came straight from the heart. It was written in terms of a romantic Love, but really it pertains to any kind of Love. We experience Love in different types of relationships, whether it be a romantic relationship, a friendship, a parent, sibling, child, etc. Maybe people will connect to this song because it will bring someone special to mind…someone they hold close to their heart.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Well, yes…LOVE!! Haha! It’s when Love makes you feel your best because it brings out the best in you. It’s not going to feel like that in every moment, but you use every experience it brings as an opportunity to grow, to open to Love…that’s what it’s all about. A love that opens your heart and mind.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

There will definitely be a video…I’m just brainstorming concepts right now. I’ve narrowed it down to a couple so once I work out the logistics I’ll decide which way to go. So yes, stay tuned for that!!

How was the recording and writing process?

I started to play the acoustic guitar a few years ago, and ALIVE is one of the first songs I wrote with it. It just came out so naturally and effortlessly. It immediately had a lot of feeling. As for the recording, the band was recorded live off the floor at OCL Studio with me in the vocal booth. That in itself was just an awesome idea on my producer’s part because you can’t replicate that shared energy and shared experience of everybody creating and playing music together, not to mention at an incredible and inviting studio. The only thing the musicians had received the night before was a rough demo recorded with acoustic guitar and a lead vocal. So it was really cool to watch everyone vibe off of each other and bring ideas to life. We had an amazing and talented team in there and it was definitely a memorable time.

What was it like to work with Spencer Cheyne and how did that relationship develop?

Working with Spencer has been a real pleasure, not only because of how freakishly talented he is, but also because of what a lovely person he is. We met maybe 10 years ago, give or take. He has been in music for pretty much his entire life, and he took a real liking to what I was doing. He really loved the style…it aligned with the music he was really into at that time. I remember him coming into the studio when I was tracking my first EP to sit in with the producer to watch and learn, as he had wanted to get more onto the production side of things. Well fast forward quite a few years and he is getting to be one of the best in the game! Musician, Producer, Mixer, Master…he excels at everything he does. He now has a platinum single, a gold record and has been nominated for more than 25 awards, as well as topping the charts. I’m telling you…freakishly talented! I love that he believed in this project and decided to take it on. Working together has really brought out the best in these songs and I’ve learned so much from him.

How much did he get to influence the song?

This song started out as having no pre-chorus…it went from the verse straight into the chorus. Spencer actually changed the original structure of this song by taking part of the bridge and using it as a pre-chorus. It’s a small change with a big impact because now it just builds into every chorus better. He also moved one of the chord parts around to enhance the bridge more. What I love is that he’s always very open to trying things and expressing ideas, as well as taking ideas. Being that open makes for a great producer and collaborator.

What role does Calgary play in your writing?

I love being in Calgary for music. Even though I grew up there, whenever I’m back I end up meeting new musicians, singers and writers who are more than happy to collaborate and create together, as well as the people Ive known and connected with for years. There is a lot of talent that exists there and it’s always great to go back and to work with different people. It’s a way to explore different  genres of music, and also different writing styles and techniques. Putting creative minds together can be really special and you can end up with outcomes you wouldn’t have expected. It’s being able to be outside of the box and open to experimenting and learning. It all helps creativity grow. 

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Absolutely. There is an entire EP so you’ll definitely be hearing more from me! It has already been fully tracked…and so now it’s just finishing up with mixing and mastering. I say “just finishing up” like it’s an easy task, but I have sat in with Spencer during many mixing sessions and I know what it entails. What’s left to do to finish the songs is now in his hands…and it’s a lot of detailed and tedious work! But he loves his work, and it is definitely an art in itself. I love watching the master at work…he is truly so good at what he does.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I haven’t set an exact date yet as I’d like to put my focus on the singles I’m releasing for now. For now, it’s looking like it will be towards the end of the year. And as for the title, it was going to be named after one of the songs that was supposed to be the first single. Things have changed since then, and so for now there’s no title…yet…

Will you keep exploring other elements and sounds of the 90s on this new material?

You know, I’ve never really TRIED to write with 90s style elements and sounds. To tell you the truth, I’ve been stuck on 90s RnB/Soul since the 90s, haha! It has always been such an influence that when I write it naturally goes in that direction. Catchy melodies, full harmonies, tight loops…it’s just what I’m into. What can I say? I’m still stuck in the 90s! Tthe production makes the songs sound more current, so it is a nice blend of classic while still keeping it modern.

Any plans to hit the road?

I can’t wait to get on the road with these songs! I’m preparing an acoustic set at the moment and working on playing some shows within Europe. And next Spring…Canada!  I’m excited to share these songs with people…to connect with people. That’s the most beautiful part of music…that heart connection that brings people together. 

What else is happening next in Sonal Jogia’s world?

Well being an independent artist and working on my own, I’m take it one step at a time. So for now I’m going to be focusing on the single releases and and all of the work that goes into each one, as well as organizing some European tour dates. So that’s what I’ll be working on! And I’ll also be songwriting, working on my craft and hopefully will have some collaborations/remixes in the works. I’m also always making sure to put my focus on myself and my growth as a person. Every experience leads towards loving more…accepting more…living more. I’m excited for what’s to come!

Listen here

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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