Sonna Rele always makes a connection with her songs. That’s why she turned a weekly social media ritual, “Music Mondays,” into a phenomenon and a major deal with NE-YO’s own Compound Entertainment and the iconic Motown Records. In 2013, the London-born and bred pop R&B songstress began uploading a performance video typically accompanied by just an acoustic guitar to her Facebook each Monday like clockwork. The dedication and consistency paid off in a big way.
“I was connecting with thousands of people and building a fan base,” she recalls. “It was about the music first for me, and I’ve always stuck true to that. In the thick of this journey, NE-YO saw one of my videos and reached out. I did a show at Under The Bridge in London, and he surprised me with a record contract on stage.”
Armed with a deal, she continued delivering music directly to her burgeoning audience, which would exceed 511K Facebook “likes” and 224K Instagram “followers” by 2016. Soon, she found herself performing live alongside the likes of John Legend and Maxi Priest and collaborating with Wyclef Jean, Michael Franti, John Mayer, and NE-YO in the studio. In 2015, she holed up in a Los Angeles studio with producers The Movement [Justin Bieber] and architected her first proper musical statement, the Wildhearts EP.
“The goal was to say what I want to say in terms of my feelings and break boundaries musically,” she goes on. “It’s about letting that inner free spirit come out and enabling others to do the same.”
Initially uploaded to her Soundcloud, the fan favorite “Popular Lie” fuses an energetic groove with a big vocal run and even bigger hook that’s impossible to shake. It also carries an empowering message.
“I have loads of conversations regarding the insecurities we have,” she sighs. “People will want to change their entire physique through surgery or whatever because they’re not really happy with themselves. Media and society constantly bombard us and say we’re not good enough. It dissects the celebrity life and the dangers that come with it.”
With its honest lyrics and raw delivery, “In Too Deep” shows another side of her dynamic style. “It’s my feelings towards the music industry,” admits Sonna. “I always say, ‘I love music, but not necessarily the industry because there are so many politics that go on.’”
Then, there’s “Love sick” which pairs her emotional and impassioned delivery with a lush musical backdrop. “That one’s pretty much self-explanatory,” she smiles. “You’re so into someone that you can’t control yourself and be normal because this person takes over every aspect of your life.”
Sonna proudly declares that music is her life. It’s been that way since she first began playing the piano at just four-years-old. Raised in an Indian family with a Bollywood singer mom, accordion player dad, music producer grandmother, and film director grandfather, creativity most courses through her DNA. She can vividly recall harmonizing anywhere possible with her brother as they sang together. Sharing that musical bond, he would be her first collaborator.
Now, she paves a path of her own with everything she does.
“I just hope my music connects,” she leaves off. “Sometimes, it can even speak for others. I’ve been told I don’t fit in and there’s no place for me, and I’ve disproven that. I want to empower people to do more. I want everybody to know barriers can be broken and you can do what you love to do and be successful at it.”
Visit Sonna Rele:
Watch Sonna Rele:
Marshall Arts Talent represents
Sonna Rele in the UK & Europe
+44 (0)2074 835 738