G-7L1BQ01JC4 google-site-verification=FcHx71H1bjVosBa3N5PbNSP0lPlz9dKW5Fnb3zbHVBI SonicFluxx is In the Key of Q - Gay Music: In the Key of Q

Episode 9

full
Published on:

10th May 2022

SonicFluxx: NASA, Synths and Mental Illness

Welcome to In the Key of Q the weekly podcast where I chat with inspiring Queer musicians from around the world as they share stories, inspirations and of course their music.

Sonicfluxx was born and raised in Florida in the United States. And in January 2020, his first single Nothing Will Ever Be the Same debuted at number two in the UK's LGBTQ charts. Quickly following this success was the release of his debut EP, Nostalgia.

His premier performance on stage was at only one-month-old playing Jesus - a tough opening act to follow!

Growing up in Melbourne, Florida just a stone's throw from Cocoa Beach and NASA's HQ he grew up seeing launch after launch into space. This was a town where people didn't dream of becoming doctors or lawyers, they aspired to the stars.

The 1980s sound is hugely appealing to Sonicfluxx, even through he was only a nipper during its reign. The simpler synth sounds appeal to him more than today's complex, multi-layered some might say over-produced tracks.

He speaks candidly in the episode about his music helps him manage depression and mental illness, and how very important it is for queer people to see themselves reflected back in art forms. As with many of us, he cites Russell T Davies' Queer As Folk as a fixed point in time of seared identity.

Sonicfluxx's stylish merch store has also launched, and lucky listeners of this podcast get a 20% discount when entering the discount code INTHEKEYOFQ. This deal does not expire and can be used again and again! Shipping is free worldwide.

Additional Material

If you enjoyed this episode why not take a listen to Neyon.

In the Key of Q is a weekly 30-40 minute podcast publishing every Tuesday. I’m your host Dan Hall, and in each episode, I chat candidly with a gay/bi musician about their life and music. 

Access exclusive interview content and support the production of this podcast by heading over to Petreon and making a small donation.

Enjoy the music of previous guests by listening to these playlists with tracks selected by the artists themselves.

Credits

  • The podcast can be reached on email and on social media at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The podcast’s forever home can be found here.
  • Theme tune is by Paul Leonidou.
  • Press & PR by Paul Smith.
  • Many thanks to Kaj and Moray for their continued support.
  • In the Key of Q is presented and produced by Dan Hall and made at Pup Media. Dan has recently produced the landmark BBC film, "Freddie Mercury: The Final Act" (dir. James Rogan) and is the producer of the podcast series Been There Done That. For audio or video production inquiries Dan can be reached here or at Talent Manager.

Would you like to appear on the show? Or have an artist you'd like to recommend, please tell them to get in touch via email.

Transcript

SonicFluxx

The reason why I started writing music, um, ultimately was a way to cope with my mental illness and my depression.

Dan

This is In the Key of Q featuring musicians from around the world who inspire my queer identity. Everybody is welcome to the conversation. Whatever beautiful identity pleases you, music helps us feel connected and know that we are not alone.

This programme is made possible thanks to the financial support of listeners like you over patreon.com/inthekeyofq and remember to join the conversation across socials using the hashtag #QueerMusic.

I'm Dan Hall. Come on in and be heard.

nited States. And in January,:

SonicFluxx

Hello. Hi, how are you?

I was, um born and raised into a Christian family. And I was born in . And December I was in a mass Christmas production where I was literally the star of the show. I was baby Jesus. Um, so music, um, it was huge. Um, Loud music, orchestra, the whole shebang. And I was told that over the years I was the best baby Jesus. I was the most quiet. So, um, I was as early as one month old music was introduced to my life, music and production.

Dan

Oh goodness. Mary, that's quite quite an opening role to have in your professional performance career - Jesus! Where do you go from there?

SonicFluxx

You know, that's, that's a hard lead to follow!

There's so much music that I have listened to over the years. Um, I was introduced to, um, at an early age things such as the Beatles, the Carpenters, um, the Bee Gees truly some great seventies acts, um, were really introduced to me at a very young age. And that kind of spawned my love for music.

Dan

And what was it about that music with hindsight that appealed to you so much?

SonicFluxx

You know carefreeness and the free spiritedness of, um, those acts and a lot of seventies music, um, I really can identify with the emotions that were dumped into it. I feel that seventies music really is very emotional and, um, that I really, I have taken with me throughout my entire life.

I am a very analytical person. I tend to overanalyze, I think, um, and at a very young age, even as in my teenage years, I would listen to songs on the radio and ask myself, what, why is this song on the radio? What makes it, what it is? I would try to find clues and hints and commonalities between songs and, and really, I, I actually, back in the day when I was a teenager, I would buy an album and look on the back of the CD and listen to the whole album and pick which ones I think are going to be the next singles.

Dan

That's interesting! I used to do exactly the same thing. That's really funny.

SonicFluxx

Yeah. And, um, you know, surprisingly I got scarily accurate. Um, so, you know, I knew at that point, what makes at least not exactly a good song, but what makes a commercial song.

Dan

And it's fascinating. I think when you do notice those patterns, just the other day, I was watching a documentary about the, uh, Swedish movements the Swedish pop movement and who, it seems about a huge people like Max Martin, who had a huge influence making things like Brittany Spears's Hit Me Baby One More Time, Backstreet Boys' I Want It That Way. And the fact that they just sort of stumbled on this pattern it's it's I dunno if you've heard of something called the Eurovision Song Contest but it's one of the reasons I love it is-

Xantheartist

Yes I have.

Dan

Yeah. So much of it is the production is wonderful and it's so melody based and production based and it has to be so disciplined. Cause the songs have to be three minutes long.

SonicFluxx

Absolutely. Two of my favorite songs actually came from Eurovision.. Um, Loreen's Euphoria and, um, Only Teardrops.

Dan

How on earth does an American stumble on Eurovision?. How does it happen?

SonicFluxx

Um, well, when I first came out as gay at about 15, 16 years old, I had, um, um, a group of gay people that were kind of, they put me under their wing. They were like 17, 18, 19. And they were like, here, if you're gay, this is what you should listen to, these are the shops that you should go to. And I was handed my first introduction to quote unquote, dance music and gay music was I was handed an Ian Van Dahl CD Castles in the Sky.. And, um, that just completely blew my mind coming from a smaller town in Melbourne, Florida in America. I did not know that that type of music was somewhere else in the world.

And I'll be honest with you from that point forward I really, I'm only focused on a lot of European music.

Dan

For our American listeners who don't know European pop music. How would you say that it is different from American pop?

SonicFluxx

It's not as serious. I think it's not as serious. I think European pop tends to have fun with their productions a little bit more. They tend to take chances a little bit more with their productions as well. Um, Things can get a little wild. Things, can get a little bit more experimental and, um, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Dan

So you grew up in Florida. Can you tell us a bit what that was like?

SonicFluxx

Rather wonderful. I lived about 10 minutes from the beach. I lived about 30 minutes from NASA and about 45 minutes from Walt Disney World. Um, so it was to be quite honest, it was a great place to live. Um, it was, uh, a lot of people move their families, um, to Melbourne, um, where I was from.

Dan

What was Melbourne like as a small kid? When were you there? What decade?

SonicFluxx

So I was born in 86, so I'm an eighties baby. I was born in the eighties and nineties there. So, uh, it was, you know, it was during the great times of NASA, there was always stuff going off. Um, arguably the best time of Disney, it was during the classic movie times, Bambi, Snow White, you know, um, Alladin.

So I will say again, I, I hate to like say that was amazing, but it was pretty great. Um, you know, to be able to go to the beach and go to Disney, um, quite often as a kid. And, um, there was definitely things to keep you busy as a, as a child in that town, which was, it was very nice. And having, um, again, you know, having NASA right there, it was a huge inspiration for not only me, but pretty much all kids in Melbourne, you know, Melbourne was one of those special towns that kids didn't want to grow up to be doctors or firefighters or anything like that. All of us wanted to grow up to be astronauts. It's just kind of the way of life in Melbourne.

Dan

So what is it like growing up as a kid in a town where space just hangs over you in a, in a beautiful way? Not in a, not in a kind of, oh, high expectations are going to damage me way. But just in this, is it a romantic thing? Is it magical? What's it like?

SonicFluxx

It was a little romantic. It really, as a kid, again, I think there are reasons why I'm such an analytical person now, and that could be why. Um, it could be the reason why is because I grew up looking up to the stars in the sky and, you know, NASA taught us as kids that there's still a lot of questions that need to be answered. And, um, That's those are, those are interesting concepts as a kid to start thinking, thinking about, you know.

We were, we were, I was taught as a kid, how they go to the bathroom, how they eat food, um, and, and you know, how way of life in space is different. So it really just makes you think a little bit differently um, as a young kid.

Um, a lot of jobs, I have not found fulfilling, and maybe it's because I have grown up, I'm seeing some quite lofty goals quite literally. Um, so when you grow up seeing us going up to the next frontier, what do you do with your life?

There is still to this day, one gay bar in Melbourne. And, um, back when I was growing up, it wasn't a gay bar. It was a quote unquote art alternative bar. Um, so. Uh, queer culture in Melbourne um, and in Brevard county, generally speaking is not that welcoming it's, it's still very much, you'd be surprised, central Florida is actually a lot of, um, trucks, going mudding, um, going to the beach in your truck. It's very, um, it's, it's very country. I'll be honest with you not to say that it's a bad thing. I don't want to say it's bad thing country. But you know, country, small town, you know, and, um, I remember back when I was 18, 19, um, there was a petition to make a gay district turning part of Melbourne into a, like a one street into a gay district, a gay arts district. And it was immediately denied by the city because they just did not want to bring that type of clientele to the city.

Um, I do suffer from absolutely feeling isolated, uh, in my town. There was not too many people that you could really identify with.

Dan

What is is the effect that it has on mental health as a young kid?

SonicFluxx

I found out about five, six years ago that I suffered from depression ever since I was about 13 or 14. I just never been diagnosed with it. Um, and it's gotten to the point, uh, today that I, I have to for the rest of my life rewire my brain to think differently.

So I think I'm still learning how growing up in that type of an environment with very little support or, um, I'm really a huge supporter of the phrase, if you can see them, you can be them. Um, because I think for kids these days, if you can see someone like you, you can be them. And that is so, so important. Um, so important.

I'm finding even more for mental health every single day, how, just how important it is for kids and young people to find someone that they identify with. It gives them hope. It gives them a sense of belonging. It gives them a sense of connection.

Dan

Persistent and permanent and visibility is very toxic.

SonicFluxx

I completely agree. I'm so happy to see TV shows and movies bringing queer culture. Um, we can see them now. You know, one of my, one of my favorite shows growing up at 16 through 18 was Queer as Folk. Um, and I actually watched the British, the British version. And then I watched the American version once it came to America on Showtime.

And, uh, so it was literally the only show that I could feel like the representative gay culture in some way, shape of realistic form back during the early two thousands. So I'm, I'm glad that there are more shows like that now.

Dan

You mentioned earlier Sonic issues of mental health. How did those manifest themselves for you before you sought treatment?

SonicFluxx

They manifested themselves in ways of self isolation. Um, not really much confidence. And I really became a recluse to be honest with you. I, um, I developed also a drinking problem at a very, very young age. Um, and that got me into, I'll be honest with you that got me into a little bit of trouble, um, back in the day.

And I think all of that is stemmed from not getting help for my mental health and trying to self-medicate in any way, shape or form, even if it was alcohol.

There should be no stigma on mental health, just because you have a mental health problem I feel as though people put a stigma on it or there's, it's not okay to say it. I mean, it's not really anyone's fault that you get it. Just, you know what I mean? So why is there a stigma that there's something wrong with you or you did something wrong? Recognize when you see that problem and go out and get help. Don't try to self-medicate and if you're not getting the help, keep looking because there is absolutely the help out there.

Dan

When did you realize that you could no longer manage your mental health issues on your own?,

SonicFluxx

Way too late. Um, way, way too late. I recognized it about six years ago. Uh, so I recognize it six, seven years ago. So I was. 25 26, 27 when I finally recognized it. Things take time things, take your time. You know, this is not something that happened overnight and it's not something that can be fixed overnight.

And, um, but every day is a, is a new day for mental health. And that's so, so much of my music, um, the reason why I started writing music, um, ultimately was a way to cope with my mental illness and my depression. And, um, really kind of words of re real information. If I had a bad day, I could listen. I could read my own lyrics and, um, try to put myself in a good mood. And I thought to myself, you know what, there's gotta be someone else out there that needs to hear this too.

Music is healing first and foremost, music is very healing and the world needs to be healed right now. Um, and, um, that's always mentally, if anything that I can ask out of my music, if I heal one person or make one person's day better with my music, I've, I've done my job.

Dan

So I'm a:

What, what is it about the eighties feel that you love so much?

SonicFluxx

Um, uh, I love the synths I love the claps. I love everything about production, about the eighties. I love how simple things were. I love my Maxim Martin. I love my Red One. I love David Guetta. I love my modern day production, um, engineers. But sometimes it can be a little too much and too messy and too much going on. And what I love about eighties, um, beats is literally sometimes there's a synth a clap, a drum beat, and that's it. And, um, and it can just, it's so simplistic, but just so magical that, um, that, that is truly what I love about eighties. Not to mention all the culture, all the colors

The future looking towards the future than any other, the seventies and eighties and the eighties, particularly, we were looking at the future more so than maybe even we are now, um, we're just kind of handed new technology now and we expect the next iPhone model or, you know, et cetera. Whereas in the eighties we were, everyone was excited about uh, you know, what's going to be the next thing, you know, what's going to be the new technology and people were thinking and inventing and coming up with stuff.

So I think generally speaking, it was a very exciting era and that, um, that translated to the music.

Dan

Do you feel that your love of eighties music then is kind of connected to your love of NASA and you're growing up in a world of NASA that there was this futuristic, this looking to the future, feel about both of them?

SonicFluxx

I think you've figured out my schtick yes. Um, yeah. That's, that's exact you're yeah. You're, you're exactly on point. Um, my whole, my whole thing is connected and really eighties. The fascination with the future, the fascination with technology, the fascination of looking forward. I think we need more, um, exciting, happy, positive music right now. And that's what I'm really trying to channel.

Dan

Now then Sonic, once we finish this discussion, I pull our conversation into the edit and I chop us down a little bit and make us sound fantastic and clever and gorgeous and entertaining. Except I'm not going to do that for the next two minutes or so. I'm going to give you a platform and say to you, you can speak without any editing without me shaping anything.

This is your space to talk about whatever you want. And the timestamps whenever you do.

SonicFluxx

Well, I would like to talk about, and maybe showcase my, um, store Sonicfluxx.com/store. I have, uh, I spent. I really don't care to admit how many hours designing and setting up the store. There's over 600 variations of products, um, ranging from clothing to tote bags, to, um, actually artwork that I personally designed myself, uh, for the store.

Um, and I really personally love each and every single product on my store. Um, every product is handmade, so nothing is stored and it's very eco-friendly. Um, and I really love a lot of the products on the store. I'm actually going to be coming out. I'm designing a few more products and I think I'm going to be doing a, um, a sale for you guys. I am going to be generating a sale for 20% off with code INTHEKEYOFQ. Now that's the highest per sale that I've ever done, but I wanted to provide it to all of the fans of In the Key of Q.. So if you do go on my store, Sonicfluxx.com/store and you place an order, make sure to put in the code INTHEKEYOFQ all capitalized to get your 20% off your entire order and free shipping worldwide. I don't charge anyone for shipping. Um, I think that's stupid. So I hope you do go on the store and check out the products and please, if you do purchase something, please share them with me on socials. I love to see when people wear my stuff and see what kind of outfits they can come up with and stuff like that. Um, so. Please do check it out sonicfluxx.com/store.

Dan

That's wonderful and Sonic, thank you very much for your generosity that providing a discount code for our listeners. That's, that's very kind of you.

SonicFluxx

Oh, not a problem. And it never expires. So feel free to use it whenever you want. And whenever you're ready.

Dan

Even better!

Now then Sonic, what do you think your 15 year old self would make of you and the music that you're making now?

SonicFluxx

I've thought about this a lot, the last couple of weeks, um, growing up in small town, Melbourne, I'll be honest with you. I didn't think that I'd actually make it here in LA. This is a, this is a goal that I didn't think that I was actually going to be able to achieve.

I would hope that my 15 year old self would look at me now and at least be pretty darn proud that I got out of Melbourne. Um, it is a small town. It's not very welcoming of gay people. It's not what I wanted in life. And, um, I'm really hope that he looks at me and at least sees a good person, you know, because all I really wanted to do is be the best person that I could be and try to do the best that I can in life, you know? And, uh, I think that's all that anyone can really ask for

Dan

Sonic, do you think he'd recognize himself? Do you think he'd see a natural adults extension of who he was, or do you think it'll be like, who is this guy?

SonicFluxx

You know, that is a good question. I think in certain ways I would recognize myself, but in certain ways I would not.

Um, I think that my personality is not what I thought it was going to be. Um, and that might have to do with, you know, my mental health. Um, I, you know, I, uh, I still am the same person, but I feel as though my outlooks in life and my mentality has gotten definitely more introspective. I used to be more the life of the party, my 15 year old self whereas now I'm more like the sponge that soaks it all in. And, um, I think that would probably be the most surprising thing that my 15 year old self would see.

What queer music are you listening

Dan

to at the moment and maybe who do you think I should get on as a guest in future episodes?

SonicFluxx

Wow. Okay. So I'm really excited for Charli XCX's new album. I'm absolutely in love with, um, Good Ones, her new single Good Ones.

I really, you know, he's a local, he's a local of mine. And, um, he was he's in central Florida when I was in central Florida. I believe he still do, uh, go and really strong in central Florida. But, um, And Billy Mick, he is a great artist and a great queer artist. He's been doing a lot of great things in Orlando. Um, and I've been really-

Dan

You won't believe this Sonic, I am recording Billy Mick's episode tomorrow!

SonicFluxx

We both kind of started doing this on a serious level about, at the same time, and I've been really happy to see him and his career taking off. I can't say enough good things about him. He's a really great guy.

Dan

Now Sonic where can we find you online?

SonicFluxx

You can find me online, everywhere. Www.sonicfluxx.com. Uh, I have Twitter. I have Facebook. I have YouTube. I have Instagram and, uh, very, very soon I'll be getting on the TikTok. So, um, you just Google search me or, um, you know, go on the socials and search Sonicfluxx and you will find me. I'm the one with the pink hair.

Dan

You know I can't produce TikTokK content at all. The app makes my head explode, but I love consuming it. And all my algorithm ever seems to give me now is bare chested, hairy man, and grandmothers who say "fuck" a lot.

SonicFluxx

Oh, that's wonderful!

Dan

I should sell my algorithm to the highest bidder!

SonicFluxx

Yeah.

Dan

Now then Sonic we've been listening to your music all the way through this episode, but we've saved the best until last. This is where I like to ask my guests to present their gateway song. And this is a track that they feel would act as a perfect introduction to their catalog past, present, and future.

What would your gateway song be and why?

SonicFluxx

My Gateway Song would be Remedy and that is because Remedy was one of the first tracks that I actually, uh, wrote and released, I believe is actually the second one that I released after Nothing Will Be the Same

Remedy was on the LGBTQ UK charts for over a year. It hit number one.

Uh, That song took me a grand total of 10 minutes to write. Um, I loved that song to death and, um, truthfully the inspiration behind that song was, um, writing it for the fans. It was a love letter to the, my fans of my promise that what I would, what type of artists that I would always be, um, that I'm doing this for them. I'm putting my heart literally in every single. Beet and every word, and that is something that will never change. And if you ever need a, remedy a pick me up, think of me. And that's, that's what that song is about. So I believe overall that is a great Gateway Song to what my music is all about and what I stand for.

Dan

Sonic, thank you so much for coming onto In the Key of Q and being so open and honest about your mental health issues and sharing your stories and of course your music with us, it's been lovely to have you.

SonicFluxx

Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

Dan

Thanks for listening to this episode. You can support In the Key of Q via Patreon - the link is in the show notes. Theme music is by Paul Leonidou at unstoppablemonsters.com with press and PR by Paul Smith. Help others discover new queer musicians by writing and reviewing In the Key of Q wherever

Thanks to Kaj and Moray for the continued support and to you for subscribing.

The show was made at Pup Media, I'm Dan Hall. Go listen to some music and I'll see you next Tuesday.

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About the Podcast

Gay Music: In the Key of Q
Queer chat. Queer music.
Music-loving gay podcast. The best bi and gay music from around the world featuring insightful and inspiring conversations with Queer musicians.

Episodes drop weekly and are 30-40 minutes in length, celebrating LGBTQ identity, tunes and stories.

Presented by Dan Hall (producer, BBC’s Freddie Mercury: The Final Act) and produced by Pup Media.
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