Growing up Sucks: The Struggles of SonaOne into adulthood

The 27 year old French-Malay rising star, Mikael Adam or better known as SonaOne has recently launched his debut album, Growing Up Sucks. The Fifth Parlour was in Kuala Lumpur to attend the press conference as well as the album launch.

SonaOne showcase his talents well in the entertainment industry in Malaysia by being a versatile individual. He raps, sings, produce beats and is a graffiti artiste by the age of 12. Kartel Records, where he interned for Joe Flizzow, decided to sign SonaOne to the label in 2010. In the same year, he won several prestigious awards in Malaysia.

Credits: Kartel Industries

SonaOne shared that the album was the fruit of his labour since 2010. He even created his own fonts for the album art as well as the limited edition t-shirts, pullovers and shades which was only sold on the day itself. He was the guy who design the green little monsters in his music videos. The album consists of his personal photos when he was still a kid. SonaOne valued the art of branding for his masterpieces.

Growing Up Sucks is the portrayal of his personal thoughts and reflection over the years. The great memories and hardships he had while growing up in Malaysia and France. The title itself is self explanatory. He describes the struggle of emerging into adulthood because of the routines we go through once we start being independent from our parents. He admits having a childish character once in a blue moon.

His clever use of lyrics tells the story of his personal life. He prefers his fans to read between the lines rather than to listen to gossips that lingers around. The album is written majority in English with a few in Malay and French. “Listening to my album is like communicating to me in person. Therefore, the mix of the three languages,” said SonaOne.

Joe Flizzow is the executive producer of GUS. SonaOne was given the freedom to experiment and visualise his own creative direction, Joe supported him with minimum supervision. This includes major decision such as releasing the album in early 2016. Joe not only co-produce the album but decided at the last minute to rap for one of his track in the album.

SonaOne recently released a new single, Firefly which he wrote in 2009 and rearranged to suit the groove of the album. The music video premiered exclusively on MTV Asia in January that featured Akeem Jahat, a Singaporean rapper which he collaborated with. SonaOne is constantly still learning how to rap in Malay, a skill which is envious about Akeem.

SonaOne is heavily influenced by music of the 80s and 90s. The genres which he loves are funk, soul, jazz and R&B. He admits being a big Stevie Wonder fan. He sampled the famous tune from ToploaderDancing in the Moonlight. The song had a significant impact on his childhood. It reminded him of the summer vacations he spent in France. SonaOne kept the tracks in Growing Up Sucks relevant to the 80s and 90s soulful melodic vibe. Hoping to keep the nostalgic generation alive, he stayed true to his malay heritage and Too Phat was his inspiration. He started out mixing beats at his man-made studio and eventually produce Joe Flizzow’s famous track Havoc.

Credits: Kartel Industries

A humble and optimistic entertainer, he uses music to convey his hopes and dreams to future musicians out there. He took six years to perfect his masterpiece after quitting his job in November 2009 to pursue a career in music. He is always hungry for new ideas and materials for his future projects.

SonaOne will be visiting our country soon to promote his debut album in the coming months. Support SonaOne by getting his album on iTunes.

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