Photo Credit: Christian Pitschl
S O H N (pronounced sonn) is a London-born, Vienna-based producer. He has recently released the single “The Wheel” from the UK’s newly formed AESOP label this month. “The Wheel” carries paranoiac chopped-up vocal samples throughout the song, as well as filling the hollow space with his hauntingly soulful vocals and humane analogue drum beats. This unique track stirred up a blog sensation, resulting in stepping over 180000 plays.
And you know, that’s kind of phenomenal.
Lights + Music recently spoke to this new talent about his relationship with music, moving between two cities, and his fascination towards synthesized instruments.
Interview: S O H N
For those of our readers who may not know much about your music, please tell us who S O H N is.
Wow, difficult first question… hm, I guess I’m an electronic music producer/singer who is from London but makes a lot of his music in Vienna. My songs are based on spaces between sounds.
What’s your relationship with music? How’d it all start?
I think the best answer to that is music is the tool I have used to express myself, since I was very young. I started learning to play guitar when I was 7, and taught myself everything else.
You spend a lot of time in Vienna, but what brings you back there, and how does it effect your music?
Yeah I actually live in Vienna, it’s a great city with a very high quality of life and I’m very lucky to have found my way here. It’s quite a calm place a lot of the time, and the difference between Vienna and London in that respect frequently finds its way into my music.
What does your music deal with? Lyrically, are there any specific subject matter that you often write about?
Lyrically I wouldn’t say there is a particular theme actually, but musically I’d say that the focus is on isolation and space.
You said in one interview that you happen to love the sound of electronic instruments, but why do you think you are drawn to it?
I’m not really sure to be honest, there’s something about the warmth of certain synthesized instruments which just hit me in the gut more than a lot of organic instruments. There’s a depth to synths which fascinates me, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever quite understand them fully, and that for me gives one a lot of creative freedom.
“Dark” is the word that I often hear people describing your music with, but I feel there are certain elements of “light” in it too. How do you manipulate that balance?
I don’t, the listener does.
Are there any artists , not necessarily musicians, that you take aspirations from?
Many, for different reasons, I am mostly inspired by anyone who appears to be stubbornly forging their own path.
Do you listen to/collect a lot of music outside of your own?
I wouldn’t say a lot, no, though recently I’m buying more records than I can afford – there are some great artists emerging in the last year or so, and quite a few things which I like a lot.
Out of everything that happened this year, what has been the most impressing thing?
For S O H N? That relaxing and allowing your art to come out of you naturally seems to connect with lots of people.
Finally, please recommend us a movie to watch in Autumn.
I just saw a very dark comedy based on being an outcast in the world of Ikea-indentikit life which was very good. It’s a Norwegian film called Bysomme Mannen (The Bothersome Man).