Star Spot with Sonny King, Sonny King, InterContinental Music Awards and Emmy Award-Winning Music Producer, TV Composer, and Audio Engineer
Musical Journey of Sonny King: Exploring the Challenges, Successes, and Future of Music Production
Welcome to this episode of Star Spot! I’m Merry, and in this series, I interview InterContinental Music Awards winners and insiders, bringing you exclusive insights into the music industry. Today, I’m thrilled to have with me Sonny King, InterContinental Music Awards winner and a prominent figure in the music industry.
Known for his incredible talent and remarkable achievements, Sonny King, also recognized as an Emmy-award-winning TV composer, music producer, songwriter, and professional audio engineer. With an impressive career spanning over fifteen years, Sonny King has worked alongside major recording artists and renowned producers, such as Young Scooter and Grammy winner Fanatic (known for their collaborations with Beyoncé and Diddy). In addition to his accomplishments within the music realm, Sonny King has showcased his versatility as a TV and film composer, lending his exceptional skills to popular productions like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the NBA, and Lizzo’s Amazon TV series, featured on esteemed networks such as Hulu and HBO Max. Sonny King’s international ventures have seen him co-produce, record, and perform with the renowned Italian funk band, Dirotta Su Cuba, as well as make a memorable appearance on the finale of Italy’s reality TV show, “All Together Now,” in Rome.
Let’s dive right into the interview summary and tap into Sonny king’s vast knowledge and experience. The full interview is available on Instagram – click here to check it out.
Can you provide us with a brief biography of yourself?
Absolutely! My name is Tim, but I’m widely known in the music industry as Sonny King. I am a multifaceted musician, actively working as a music producer, songwriter, audio engineer, and TV composer. Music has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. From the tender age of eight, I found myself drawn to playing instruments and performing in bands, including my high school band. As I entered my early 20s, around 19 or 20 years old, I delved into producing music for hip-hop artists, and that’s when my passion took a serious turn. We garnered significant popularity in my hometown of Virginia, eventually embarking on tours. The pinnacle of that journey arrived when I secured a record deal, marking the commencement of my professional career as a writer and musician.
Who were your biggest influences when you were starting your music career?
Oh, man! I had some incredible influences at the beginning of my career. One of the biggest influences for me was Dr. Dre, undoubtedly one of the greatest producers I’ve ever come across. His mastery of music production left a profound impact on me. Another significant influence was Timberland. What’s fascinating is that Timberland hails from the same Virginia area where I grew up. Listening to their music was a constant source of inspiration for me. Timberland and Dr. Dre, both exceptional artists, played a pivotal role in shaping my musical journey.
Can you describe your creative process when starting a new piece of music?
Absolutely! When it comes to my creative process, there are various ways I approach starting a new piece of music. One of the key factors that fuels my creativity is exploring new music and listening to emerging artists. Staying up to date with the latest trends and sounds keeps me inspired and motivated.
Additionally, collaborating with artists plays a significant role in my creative process. For instance, I recently had the pleasure of working with Kristina Murrell, whom you just interviewed. Working with artists like her ignites my passion because their energy and excitement for the project are contagious. Understanding their vision and where they want to take the project allows me to collaborate effectively. We bounce ideas off each other, have meaningful discussions, and craft a collective vision for the music. This collaborative process always gets me excited and fuels my drive to create.
Ultimately, it’s the combination of exploring new music, collaborating with artists, and sharing visions that keeps me motivated and consistently brings me back to the studio, ready to embark on new musical journeys.
In today’s digital age, with the internet and technology shaping the music industry, do you think it’s for the better or worse? Could you provide us with more insight on this matter?
I firmly believe that the advancements in technology and the rise of the internet have ultimately been beneficial for the music industry. It’s a game-changer. The internet and streaming platforms have provided us with unparalleled opportunities to be heard, which is precisely what every artist desires. In the past, it was much more challenging to break into the mainstream and get your music out there. However, with the advent of streaming platforms and the availability of over 150 different platforms to showcase our music, the landscape has transformed.
Furthermore, various techniques and social media platforms have empowered artists to build their own audiences. Even with a relatively modest audience of ten thousand loyal fans, artists can carve out successful careers. This shift has opened up new doors and leveled the playing field, allowing artists to thrive independently.
While I’m optimistic about the direction we’re heading in, there are some crucial issues that need to be addressed. One significant concern is the payment structure from streaming platforms. The current compensation for artists does not adequately reflect the immense effort and creativity put into crafting albums and songs. It’s a topic that deserves serious discussion and consideration.
What are your thoughts on the future of the music industry? How do you envision your role within it?
I believe that the future of the music industry holds tremendous potential, particularly with the emergence of AI (Artificial Intelligence). AI technology is set to revolutionize music production, opening new opportunities for producers and engineers. It’s a development that I find incredibly intriguing, and I’m eager to be a part of it. I envision myself contributing to this technological advancement, helping to feed the AI machine with my expertise and creativity.
However, amidst this exciting progress, it’s crucial to prioritize the protection of artists. As a member of the Recording Academy, I actively engage in discussions aimed at passing laws and collaborating with Congress to safeguard the rights and interests of artists. It’s a matter close to my heart. While AI offers incredible possibilities, there needs to be a balance. We must ensure that artists’ voices are respected, and their permission is sought before incorporating their work into AI-generated music. Implementing appropriate rules and regulations is vital in maintaining ethical practices within this evolving landscape.
Throughout your career, have there been any particularly memorable moments that stand out? Could you share one of those moments with us?
Absolutely! I’ve been incredibly fortunate and grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. One moment that truly stands out for me is the experience surrounding the Emmy Awards. It happened last year, in 2021, and it was a defining moment in my career.
It all began when I recorded a song with a talented hip-hop artist that was gaining traction. To our surprise, even before we had invested heavily in marketing the song, it started gaining momentum organically. But the real turning point came when the song was featured on Lizzo’s TV show, “Watch Out for the Big Girl.” That was a monumental moment for us.
To my delight, the show itself was nominated for an Emmy, and I had the privilege of producing the song for that episode. Additionally, I had the opportunity to compose music for three other episodes of the show. The excitement reached its peak when the show not only won three Emmys in different categories but also received the overall Emmy for Best Competition Program. It was an absolute thrill.
Watching Lizzo take the stage to accept the Emmy, witnessing her genuine excitement, and being a part of that success was truly a remarkable moment in my career. It’s something I am immensely grateful for and will cherish always. I can’t help but feel excited about what lies ahead, hoping that there are many more such incredible moments waiting for me in the future.
Do you have any collaboration plans in the works? Can you give us a glimpse of what we can expect in the future?
I’m thrilled to share that I have some exciting collaborations in the pipeline. One of the prominent artists I’m working closely with is Kristina Murrell. We have built a fantastic working relationship over the past two years, and we’ve already released two albums together. Currently, we’re focusing on releasing several singles as a prelude to an upcoming project. As part of my recent venture into the music industry, I established my own record label called I.T.Y Music, and Kristina Murrell is signed with us. As a producer and songwriter, I’m excited to contribute to her musical journey, and we have some incredible music in store for her fans.
Furthermore, I’m collaborating with Alicia Moore, a talented gospel artist from North Carolina. She’s already made a name for herself and has a couple of projects out. Together, we’re working on new music that showcases her exceptional talent and spreads a powerful message of faith.
Another artist I’m thrilled to collaborate with is Darnell Isaac, an incredibly soulful artist. We’re currently working on multiple projects that will captivate listeners with his heartfelt music and soul-stirring performances. I can’t wait for you to hear what we’ve been creating.
In addition to these exciting collaborations, I’m also working with other talented artists, including Vanity Wise, who is another award-winning artist. We have some projects in the works that will undoubtedly resonate with music lovers.
So, keep an eye out for all these collaborations and upcoming releases. There’s a lot of fantastic music on the horizon, and I’m grateful to be part of these incredible journeys with these talented artists. Stay tuned for more updates and prepare to be amazed!
Can you share some of the personal challenges you’ve faced throughout your musical career? What have been the ups and downs?
my musical journey has had its fair share of challenges. One of the main hurdles I encountered, especially as a music producer, was breaking through the competition and making a name for myself in the industry. The music landscape is highly competitive, with countless aspiring artists vying for recognition.
Early on in my career, I had an opportunity to work with a renowned rap artist named Young Jeezy. I was eager to contribute songs to his album, but the A&R team delivered some constructive feedback. They appreciated my music but advised me to work on enhancing my sound and production quality. Although it was disheartening at the time, this experience became a turning point for me.
Instead of dwelling on the disappointment, I used it as motivation to elevate my production game. I invested time and effort into acquiring top-notch sounds and refining my drum collection. This setback taught me an invaluable lesson: to view challenges as opportunities for growth. I shifted my perspective and embraced failures as valuable lessons that propel me forward.
Since that moment, I have achieved numerous placements and opportunities, all stemming from the determination to learn from setbacks. I consider every obstacle as a chance to improve and evolve. My advice to others facing challenges is to approach them as lessons rather than failures. It’s through these moments of adversity that we gain insights and push ourselves to new heights.
Remember, success doesn’t always offer the same level of growth as failures do. Embrace setbacks, analyze them, and let them serve as steppingstones towards your ultimate success.
How do you find and maintain inspiration in your work, especially when collaborating with young artists?
For me, inspiration is an essential driving force in my creative process. When working with young artists, their energy and passion serve as a constant source of inspiration. It takes me back to the early days of my own journey and reignites that fire within me. Witnessing their aspirations and hearing their vision for their projects truly motivates me.
I am deeply passionate about music, and that passion keeps me inspired. One of the ways I stay inspired is by actively listening to new artists and exploring the latest music releases. I make it a point to stay connected and in tune with what’s happening in the industry. This not only keeps me up to date but also exposes me to fresh sounds and innovative ideas.
Engaging with the emerging talent and immersing myself in their artistic expressions fuels my own creativity. It’s a symbiotic relationship where their enthusiasm and drive rejuvenate me, and in turn, I can contribute my expertise and experience to help them realize their musical vision.
Let’s discuss the challenges faced by independent artists nowadays. Do you have any advice for them?
Certainly! One of the significant challenges independent artists face today, which can be both a gift and a curse, is the ease of releasing music on various platforms. Platforms like Spotify alone witness the release of over a hundred thousand singles every day. The biggest struggle, therefore, is getting heard amidst this sea of music. To overcome this challenge, it’s crucial for independent artists to be multi-talented. Not only should they excel as artists, but they also need to ensure their marketing efforts are top-notch.
This brings me to my advice for independent artists. Firstly, work on your marketing skills. It’s not enough to create great music; you need to effectively promote it as well. Secondly, stay consistently active on social media. Building a strong online presence and engaging with your audience can go a long way in gaining visibility. Lastly, focus on building your core audience. Cultivate a dedicated fan base that supports your music and stick with them. Developing a loyal following can help you navigate through the vast ocean of artists out there.
Do you have any final words you’d like to share with your fans and our viewers?
I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all my fans and viewers who have supported me throughout my musical journey. Your love and encouragement mean the world to me.
I also want to introduce you to an incredible artist I’ve had the privilege of working with, Kristina Murrell. Hailing from Barbados, she possesses an extraordinary talent and has released some amazing music that I believe you’ll thoroughly enjoy. I highly recommend checking out her singles “So Good” and “No Days Without You” which are already available.
But that’s not all! We have so much more in store for you. Stay tuned and keep your ears open because there’s a wealth of great music and exciting projects on the horizon. I’m truly thrilled about what’s to come, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.
Thank you once again for your unwavering support. It means everything to me, and I look forward to continuing this incredible musical journey together.
Sonny King Contact Info:
- Website: https://www.yourpersonalmusicproducer.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musicbykinginc/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YourPersonalMusicProducer/
Click here to watch Sonny King ‘s full interview on Instagram
InterContinental Music Awards Team