Brighton based newcomer Jona Sul has already made an impression with his ‘Neighbourhood’ EP on Southern Fried Records. Now he’s back on the label with the ‘Full Fat’ EP. Jona Sul is a member of the new wave of acts signed onto Southern Fried for their artistic merit, their will to evolve and their ability to produce music that works well in the club but also takes its cures from a wider sphere of reference.
Whatever style I create it’s very important for me that they retain a mood or spirit in them that I can’t put my finger on but know it’s mine...The young prodigy demonstrated in his first release last year how capable he was at constructing dynamic musical journeys, influenced by his multifaceted musical education, and with years spent producing different kinds of music. We caught up with the Brighton resident to discuss his latest release and what he has planned for his future.
Could you tell us a little bit about your latest release? How did you approach the writing and production on this record?
I usually start writing something with no end point in mind and it often turns out being very different to where it started off. Depending on what samples I use, they often end up dictating the overall vibe of the music, but I like to experiment and ‘jam’ with samples just as I would an instrument.
For example most of the sounds that make up Gulf are snippets from my old band recordings. I guess looking back the tracks represent a stage in my production where I was forcing myself to try new styles. But whatever style I create it’s very important for me that they retain a mood or spirit in them that I can’t put my finger on but know it’s mine.
How does it compare / differ from your last release on Southern Fried?
Well, it’s a lot longer with the remixes giving you more variations on the compositions, so I guess it reveals more of what I’m about.
I like the idea that you are the complete musical director – as well as playing every instrument in the band...How did you get into music initially? I suppose you’ve always been musical but what was it that spurred you to take up electronic music production?
I’ve always enjoyed playing with other people from a young age, but was intrigued by the idea of making music on a computer. I guess it was a matter of experimentation until I knew it was for me. I like the idea that you are the complete musical director – as well as playing every instrument in the band.
Could you name some of your musical influences?
I started to really get into music when my cousin opened the door to ‘alternative’ stuff that wasn’t in the charts etc. From then on I was addicted to finding as much music on my own as possible. Some artists that I always come back to (amongst many) are Herbie Hancock, Bibio and The Beach Boys - I’ve always admired their lack of fear to experiment and evolve. But most of my influence comes down to my friends/musicians - as they constantly inspire me to keep on going.
Did the Brighton scene have a big impact on your output? Have you lived anywhere else that affected what you make?
I tend to ignore what’s going on around me at the time and just make stuff that comes naturally to me. Although, living in Leeds impacted me massively as there’s so much music going on there - but it wasn’t so much because of a scene, more the sheer quantity of stuff that my friends were making around me all the time.
What were some of the highlights for you from 2015?
Releasing my first single was a major highlight of last year. And finally learning how to DJ!
Where do you want to go from here? Are you going to continue working with Southern Fried?
Just to keep evolving and improving my style as much as I can! Yes we’re working on more releases that will be out later this year.
Any more plans for 2016?
Traveling, collecting samples and finding new music!