We had the pleasure speaking with two Dutch legends from the electronic music industry. DJ's Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano are celebrating the 5th anniversary of their record label SONO and will tell us about new music coming up and their event during ADE.

In September you released your latest single 'Without Ya,' where did you get the inspiration for this track?

Ryan:"The baseline."

Sunnery:"And the message, corona taught us that you have to rely on yourself. It's a metaphor, during the lockdown I realized how much we rely on our cell phones and that you can live your life without them. There is a constant stream of information coming to you and you keep wanting more and more. That creates the fear of missing out, and that is something we keep telling ourselves. You feel better without it and can live life to the fullest. You can also turn the metaphor from cell phones to relationships, you can fill it in for yourself, how you feel. 

Ryan:"We were "flirting" for a while with the baseline, after that we added the melodies. When Olivia started singing, it all came together, we were sold. After that, we had a track and we barely had to do anything."

You're releasing your first album at the beginning of 2022; can you give us a little sneak peek of what we can expect?

Sunnery:"We started producing without a purpose or direction, we just did what we liked. Normally when you produce an album, it feels like a kind of rat race. In some way, you're kind of restricting yourself. We just started writing and producing from the heart. We can secretly tell you something about the album, we produced a track with QG, an R&B artist from the UK. We just went to the studio with him to see if we would match, and in the end, we produced a dance-like R&B track. We also produced a track with a talented artist from Leeuwarden, her name is Ginge. Remember that name because you're definitely going to hear more from her. Just like with QG, we went to the studio and produced a track, and it is one of my favorites." 

Ryan:"That's why we collaborated with them because we believe in them, a 1000%. The biggest surprise on our album is that we have an R&B track on it."

Sunnery:"We went above and beyond with this album to get out of our comfort zone. We forgot about the 'rules' and we made something that we like. The hardest part now is to choose which tracks are going to be on the album. The selection is going to be hard, but luckily we still have time."

Your label, SONO, is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year, how do you look back at the past 5 years?

Sunnery:"5 years went by so quickly; it still feels like we started our label last week. At the moment we already released about 100 tracks. We started SONO at a time that a lot of young authentic artists didn't get a chance, because back then you had to produce tracks that were 'hot.' There were talents that wanted to do something else, house tracks for example and they didn't get a chance to sign somewhere. That's how it started. And if we look at those artists now, they have huge careers. Not mainly because of us, but because we gave them a chance. For me, it feels like we just started. For the past two years, we've been starting to get more attention and that's where we're building towards. Our goal is to give more young artists a good start in the music industry, to help them get a career." 

Ryan:"SONO started as something on the side, but now it's getting bigger, and we are going to focus more on that and get more serious."

And you're having a big celebration during ADE with the SONO event on Saturday, what can your fans expect?

Sunnery:"First of all, a lot of new music. I think that this show we will really perform from the heart. We don't feel pressure, we don't feel like there is something we have to do, we are just going to perform from the heart and our feelings. Most of the times when we have a great time in the booth, it flows over to the audience, so we are hoping that that's going to happen again."

Ryan:"It is the best thing that when you play something completely new, that everyone is like 'wow,' and goes completely out of their minds."

How do you see the future for SONO, is is there something you really want to achieve?

Sunnery:"For the past two years, we finally got the time to focus more on SONO. As a touring artist you barely have time to do things yourself, you just tell people what to do. Now we are in the middle of running a business. We get great ideas, and we are more in touch with the young artists at our label. We are going to work more in the coming years to find new talent to help and give them a chance. At SONO we want to create a vibe that you can do anything here, not just the music that is hot at that moment. You can do your own thing here, from techno, to hip hop, it doesn't matter. And we don't want to just help them to eventually sign them, we want to create a starting off point for young artists." 

Ryan:"Now at the 5th anniversary it is a good time to look back at everything we have achieved and our SONO label night at Escape on Saturday is a big milestone. We went to escape when we were old enough to go out, for us it started there, and now we are hosting our own event."

What is your best memory of ADE?

Sunnery:"Sexy By Nature in AFAS, four years ago. Everything came together that evening. We had a lot of stress because we just came back from touring, it was a busy week, the ticket sale wasn't going so well. But then in the last week, we sold 2000 tickets and were suddenly sold out. The evening went perfect, Rudy Sanchez was performing before us, and he really is a legend for us. We really looked up to him when we were young. His set was amazing, our set went also amazing and until the venue was packed until the last second we were playing. This is my best ADE memory ever."

Ryan:"I can't beat this one, it really was a great night."

Where did you go this ADE?

Sunnery:"On Saturday I'm went to Sébastian Léger, he was doing a set at noon, maybe Nicky Romero on Thursday, but I didn't really plan anything." 

Ryan:"It's hard to plan anything during ADE, you never know where you end up and you always run into people."

Sunnery:"We have a lot of things we have to do for ourselves. On Saturday we had our own event and on Friday we  performed live at Q-Music as part of their new Saturday night programming with the best of Tomorrowland." 

The next show of Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – Sexy By Nature will be taking place at AFAS Live, December 11th 2021

Jael Niesink