Sonny Phono is a product of his environment. A true mix of skateboarding, DJing and California culture. One of the most genuine folks you'll meet and always bringing the good vibes. Get him on a Mic in front of a crowd with a fully loaded set list and and he's guaranteed rock the party. He's been killing it from San Diego to San Francisco and beyond for close to two decades. Sonny recently launched his "Been Doin' This" podcast. We recently had a chance to catch up with him.

What have you been occupying your time with now that performing live is on ice for the time being due to Covid? 
When I had multiple gigs cancel that first week I immediately went to the back yard and started digging out a garden which has exploded into a full on yard farm. Then that night I went to the desk and launched a Patreon Page and and made a content schedule and branding for the projects I’d release there. 
A lot of cats started live streaming that first weekend but I’ve only done that a few times, I decided to focus more on production. 

Where do you go to source new music?
I have a top secret record pool and I love LOVE to go to Bandcamp and find Indy artists and dj edits and remixes and buy them directly from the artists. All the mixes I’ve put out since Shelter In Place have music releases the week (some even the day) I put that mix up. That’s been really fun and challenging.

Top 3 most listened artists currently in your rotation?
I'm so open format these days and I play a lot of soul and remixed stuff so I'm going to say:
Stevie Wonder, Sade and edits by DJ B Cause make it into pretty much every mixtape and gig, I love how he does it so I wanna give a public thank you here. 

Favorite skate video soundtrack?
Paying in Pain "Big Gun Underdogs". Honorable mention to "Chomp On This"  

Do you think young DJ's have it easy now in light of all the available technology that can help them mix, beat match, etc? 
Yes. Does that mean they do it? No. I don't know if beat matching and blending is as valued as it once was. I've evolved my views on technology over the years but I will say that if I see you on a gig using a controller when there are perfectly working turntables and like a Pioneer S9, I'm judging you. 

I still feel like before DJs are getting paid they should be basically complete sound engineers. Know how to hook up any type of sound system, trouble shoot and able to work on any equipment laid in front of them in any situation. Some cats are able to bypass that experience but the ass is always shown. 

I'm enjoying seeing people get into it on any level though and the technology advancing is always exciting and sometimes hard to keep up with.

What do you think the future of events will look like in light of everything that's going on in the world?
Hopefully we will be able to go back to some sort of normal but honestly, either way I think that Virtual Reality is going to be how the industry and music scene is going to advance. All the DJs have now become broadcasters and you have the "battle" format of VERZUZ that Timbaland and Swizz Beats have going on getting a BILLION impressions, D Nice is streaming to 24K nightly. It won't be long before that's all platformed and people are paying $1 covers to see top DJs in a virtual venue. 

I wish I had some VC and developer team cause I would have been on that platform/app development before April started. 

What prompted you to start your Podcast? And how has it been going?
 
I have a radio background,  before I was a DJ or a live sound engineer I wanted to do, and went to school for radio. I had produced and co hosted a show called "Weird and Wonderful with Broke-Ass Stuart." that ran for 35 episodes and helped me cut my teeth in production. When I went to school for radio I was still cutting tape! Now I have a much stronger handle on editing etc so I'm more confident with the product. 

"Been Doin' This" had been rolling around in my head for a couple years, the name, the concept of talking to people that just keep on doin' things. It's been GREAT so far. Some people are very specialized and focused on their one thing, others have spoons in a lot of pots so that spectrum has been fun to explore. At the baseline everyone I've had on has had a base line in common, SURVIVE. It's been a very inspiring project so far. 


Where can people go to learn more about your projects and how can they get involved or support?
I'm open to have anyone on the show, I'm in the first 10 when this posts so I've been asking close friends and people I admire a lot to come on but I am open to have anyone on that's listened at gets it! 

The best way to support would be to join the Patreon ( patreon.com/sonnyphono ) where you get exclusive mixtapes, early access to "Been Doin' This" and it's the only place to see my father daughter web series "The Beat and Papa Show" that I make with my 13 year old, Beatrice. 

Shout outs?
From Diego to tha Bay and beyond, everyone who's booked, rocked with, talked with or touched me. THANK YOU. To my Patreon subscribers and all my crews I'm affiliated with: RMOB, Fam Royal, First Power and always Spike and the whole staff past and present at my home venue Madrone Art Bar in San Francisco, I miss you all. Thanks to Tim at Artform for the Qz! 

For More Info:
Follow Sonny Phono:  https://www.instagram.com/sonnyphono/
Listen to the Been Doin This Podcast here:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/weird-and-wonderful-with-broke-ass-stuart/id1196160241?mt=2
Follow Been Doin This Podcast here:  https://www.instagram.com/beendointhispod/

Listen to Sonny Phono interview ArtformTim here:
Thanks!
TM-
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