By: Iman Jackson
I was able to have a conversation with emerging musical powerhouse Sonna Rele of Powerbase Music Management and Empire Records about body image, the impact of social media on the psyche, and parental influences in molding divine gifts. She has a bubbly personality and a refreshing grasp of her purpose in life plus a unique quality in her voice which will make it unmistakable once her debut album drops in 2020. Sonna gained traction as a YouTube star, showcasing her instrumental and vocal talents online but she had many years of training in her formative years. Both parents have a gift for music and passed a love for creating onto Sonna and her siblings at an early age. In jest she compares her father’s rehearsal regime to the Joe Jackson of the world famous Jackson 5.
Sonna is a strong believer in having a sense of self and remaining confident that regardless of how quickly success appears to manifest, possibly the most important life skill. When asked if she ever felt like placing her musical aspirations on the backburner for a sp called regular job Sonna’s response was a firm confident “no”. The songstress stood firm in her conviction that success in music has been her destiny since birth. As chance would have it, Sonna was in the right place at the right time when an opportunity to lend her voice to Disney’s live-action “Cinderella” presented itself.
Propelled by a chance encounter while singing, Sonna’s velvet voice traveled to the adjacent room falling on the ears of someone that was certain he was hearing the voice of Cinderella. The very next day the songstress was recording Strong, a powerful affirmation of believing in oneself and perseverance. Sonna’s voice is both sweet and strong, a true reflection of who she truly is. The lyrics to Strong encourage the listener to “Be the one that saves you” an unusual concept in today’s culture of using personal connections to get a desired result.
Her new release Bad Bitch showcases a remarkable vocal range, has an infectious melody rich with acoustic guitar, and promotes an important message of having a strong sense of self-worth. The tune addresses the impact of social media on body image and the pressures to assimilate to mainstream standards of beauty which are often unattainable. Sonna explained that an encounter with a young fan compelled her to address body image during a casual conversation. The 12 year old fan mentioned to Sonna that her career aspirations were to be Insta-famous even if it meant she would require cosmetic surgery. Dismayed that someone so young was determined to achieve recognition through social media to the extent of permanently altering her body, Sonna penned Bad Bitch.
Bad Bitch and Strong are true to who Sonna Rele is. Finding your tribe, separating yourself from energy that isn’t compatible and not toning yourself down for the sake of fitting in are principles that Sonna has adopted on her journey. The entertainment industry truly needs more creative souls like her that aren’t afraid to stand in their truths.