Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cuffin Season x MTV2 & Jams

Fabolous - Cuffin Season Ft. Sonaro Prod By. Sonaro  #SoulTapeIII

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sonaro x Hip-Hop-Wired Interview

Sonaro, today's in-house producer for Fabolous, made a life-altering resolution to remain ambitious after his brother and New York rapper Stack Bundles died in 2007. Born Christopher Cook, Sonaro had to lug himself out of a "dark corner" before he could bring light into the studio as a promising beatmaker. The results? His tenacity would later earn him the accolade of having produced anthems like Loso's "Body Ya," "Leaving You," and today's radio smash, "Cuffin' Season." A former resident writer for Needlz, Sonaro turned tragedy into triumph and is now looking to cultivate his own brand, after successfully turning his kinship with Fab into a lucrative relationship. Amongst his many ventures – both in and out of the studio – the burgeoning producer is aiming at a future release of the studio LP Stack never had. But before any posthumous project can come into fruition, Sonaro will first master his skills behind the mixing board. 'Til then, get familiar. Hip-Hop Wired: Who is Stack Bundles to you? Sonaro: My Brother. HHW: Your blood brother? Sonaro: Not my blood brother… my brother. HHW: What are your fondest memories of him, if you don't mind me asking? Sonaro: Just being in the house and going through beat CDs with him. Him acknowledging the skill I had for what I love to do now, and him always pushing me to actually do it. - See more at:

HHW: How did your relationship with Stack develop?

 Sonaro: When I noticed things were [going] so well for him, I took a step back  and played the role of the music guy, ya know? I'd recruit producers and get music for him, and then [that] just started busting my brains to produce music my damn self. I'd have all these ideas, but not know how to put it together exactly. Then I got introduced to a program, which still didn't mean anything ‘til I got around Needlz. 

HHW: What was that like? 

Sonaro: I was an in-house writer for Needlz, did hooks for him and for Stack – unreleased stuff. Being around Needlz and seeing how he was stretching those sounds around, really just inspired me. 

HHW: Speaking of unreleased material, I hear that there is a posthumous album in the works… 

Sonaro: Vibe was reaching. - See more at:

HHW: So no? 

Sonaro: I mean… yea. We're working on something.  But I don't think Stack and I have anything official. Unless I succeed at I what I'm doing. Because when he passed, so many budgets were offered, and so many labels were interested, but it took so long that everybody left the building on the Stack project. So I just feel like if I become successful at what I'm doing, Stack will have exactly what he wants. 

HHW: Describe your relationship with Fabolous. 

Sonaro: That's my family. He watched me since I was young and I watched him walk into the game and go from Sport to Fab; from being outside and listening to the Monday Night Mixtape to listening to his freestyles on the radio, rapping against N.O.R.E., and shit. It was fun listening to Monday Night Mixtape. You know how you girls have your shows on Monday nights? That was our show.  And sometimes, I be buggin' Clue about that, like ‘yo, you gotta bring Monday Night Mixtape back.' He just be ignoring me. 

HHW: Has Fab helped cultivate you as a producer? 

Sonaro: He's always been there. I used to send him beats and he'd take the time out to tell me if he liked something, or if he didn't. But if he said he liked something, it never meant he'd use it. My beats were mediocre then, I was still learning. We all laugh about the beats I used to send [laugh]. I can honestly say he was there when I needed him, when I wasn't important to his situation. 

Hip-Hop Wired: How did Stack's death affect you? 

Sonaro: After Stack died, I went into a dark corner… then I sat myself down and thought about my options, what I really wanted to do with my life. So I just started going hard at beats and that's how “Body Ya” came about. 

HHW: Right. That was your first piece of commercial success. How did that feel? What was your reaction? 

Sonaro: I was still working! I still got up, went to work, I didn't tell nobody that I had a record on the radio. 

HHW: What? You didn't tell your moms? 

Sonaro: Yea, she knew. But anybody I worked with? Nah. I kept it private. I was on some real Superman shit. - See more at:

HHW: You mentioned your beats were mediocre before. Would you say you've mastered your craft? 

Sonaro: Before Stack passed, he always said master one thing and then go to the next and that's exactly what I did. HHW: You sang the hook to “Cuffin' Season” and you were in the video. What was that like? Sonaro: He [Fabolous] had to talk me into doing it. I wasn't ready for it. 

HHW: Really? 

Sonaro: Yea. He had to talk me into doing it. When he texted me and started saying ‘people are going to start expecting you to look a certain way' I was like ‘damn.' He began to explain to me that the TV fame is different from the rest – you gotta live up to some type of lifestyle. I ain't ready for that. You need money for that shit [laughs]. 

HHW: But I respect the fact that you sang your hook and that Fab had you in the video. That's dope. 

Sonaro: Yea man. That's not even a mastered recording. That's the reference that I sent. 

HHW: Wow. 

Sonaro: It was never re-recorded. 

HHW: Do you see yourself doing the whole Drake thing, sing/rap, or just come from behind the scenes? 

Sonaro: My friends are trying to get me to put out a record, but I don't want to. Right now, I don't want to overwhelm the following that I have. I want to continue to make beats. If I get lucky with another hook, I get lucky, but I'm not coming out with a mixtape. Look at Swizz. Swizz didn't rap right away. He did so many records before he started rapping. He waited a long time to start rapping. That's the smart way to go. Let people get used to your voice first. 

HHW: It just goes back to what Stacks was telling you. You have to master one craft before moving on to the next. 

Sonaro: Exactly. - See more at:

HHW: Whose careers have you studied? 

Sonaro: Timbaland, Kanye, Swizz, and a lot of Needlz. But ask around, man, people like to compare me to Timbaland. I put an Instagram picture out with Jay and Timbaland on the top and me and Fab on the bottom, and people accepted it. Even Timbaland liked it. 

HHW: Who's your biggest Inspiration? 

Sonaro: Fab and Stack. When I hear Fab murder a beat… that gets me going. 

HHW: Standout credentials? 

Sonaro: Diddy, Meek Mill, Nipsey Hu$$le, French Montana, Jim Jones… 

HHW: Who would you like to produce a record for, what's a lifelong dream project? 

Sonaro: On the R&B side, Kerry Hilson. On the Hip-Hop side, Jay and Kanye. I got these old beat CDs of Kanye. I would love to just go into the studio with him and play them to see if he recognizes his old joints [laughs]. 

HHW: I would love to be a fly on that wall. 

Sonaro: Haha, definitely. 

HHW: How'd you get your name? 

Sonaro: A mob movie called Bella Mafia. It's about a young boy whose father passes away. People start to call him by his father's name. He takes the image of his father and the lifestyle that he had. 

HHW: Like you and your father? 

Sonaro: My father is locked up. He's been locked up since I was 12. So, instead of calling me by my name, they started calling me by his. 

HHW: Is there a mantra you live by? 

Sonaro: Nah… I just work like I was never given any kind of placement in the game. - See more at:

by  (@_MsEstevez - See more at: