To be noticed by a huge artist in the music industry is a dream to most, but reality for who we’ve spoken to recently.
Sonna Rele is a London based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist signed to Motown Records by 3x Grammy winner, NE-YO. After discovering Sonna while perusing her captivating and heavily followed ‘Music Monday’ video clips on Facebook, he immediately brought her to the renowned music label. We caught up with her to discuss her single on the ‘Cinderella’ soundtrack and her upcoming performance at the Rays of Sunshine concert this Sunday.
Hi Sonna! For those who are yet to know about you – how would you describe yourself in one sentence?
A musician freak.
You were originally discovered by Ne-Yo! How did that happen?
I started a thing called ‘Music Mondays’ on Facebook about a year and a half ago where I’d just post videos of me playing covers that were requested by friends or anyone really and my social media grew really quickly and it went from like 200 people to 8,000 in a month and I guess Ne-Yo saw one of these videos and wanted to meet me!
He came to London to do a performance and he asked me to perform one of my own songs at his performance and before I got off the stage in front of everybody he offered me a record deal. It was like a huge surprise to me- my manager already knew so I looked at him from across the room like ‘really? Why didn’t you tell me?! I’m looking like a crazy woman right now!’ I said yes and he invited me to play at the O2 Arena a few days later.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s kind of got a UK feel to it. Like a garage, pop and throw back to RnB vibe
What kind of artists influence you?
Oh man, I’d say Stevie Wonder, The Detours, Bob Barley, definitely Brandy!
Your song ‘Strong’ is on the soundtrack for the new live action version of Disney’s Cinderella! What’s the song about?
So the song is about encouraging people to look within and be strong and kindness is a sense of strength whereas a lot of people think kindness is a weakness but this song is about inspiring people to believe that kindness is actually a strength and the more good you do, the more good that happens in your life. To continue being strong and believing in yourself.
What originally made you want to get into the music industry?
I never really thought about wanting to be in the industry as such, I just wanted to do anything that was music related, anything to do with expressing feelings through art. So, that led me into the music industry and from a very young age, when I was 7, the very first son that I learnt was a Cinderella song funnily enough and my dad said “Oh you can sing you should continue doing what you love.”
You’ll be performing at the Rays of Sunshine concert this week where 1,500 very poorly children will have their wish granted – how does that make you feel?
I’m so excited! I’m very much looking forward to being able to perform for them and make this a special night where they feel like they’re at a concert.
Out of the other acts performing at the concert, who are you most excited to meet?
The Rays of Sunshine Wish Choir where lots of kids will be singing! I’m their biggest fan – I can’t wait to meet them.
Where in the world would you love to perform the most one day?
Anywhere at all? Taj Mahal!
What can we expect from you in the next few months?
I have a single coming out this summer which I will be performing at the concert, so look out for that!
Sonna Rele will be performing alongside Little Mix, Ne-Yo. Conor Maynard, Ella Eyre, Union J and Luke Friend, plus other special guests, at The Rays of Sunshine Concert sponsored by Frankie & Benny’s on Sunday 7th June at the Royal Albert Hall, where 1,500 seriously ill children will be in the audience. Also performing at the iconic venue with be The Rays of Sunshine Wish Choir; an amazing group of seriously ill wish children.