Last week EDM sauce visited the trance mecca of the world at Insomniac‘s Dreamstate So-Cal and had more then our fair share of uplifting euphoria. One of the most stand out sets of day 2 was easily Hungary's Sunny Lax, who played a host of the latest Anjunabeats masterpieces.
A couple songs in, after dropping “A Thing Called Love”, Sunny had the Timeless Stage overflowing with ravers, crowding beyond the stage encampment. It was over too soon but we were able to meet up with him after to hear about his musical beginnings and what it means to be an Anjuna artist.
Sunny, tell us how you first got into music
I am a geek. I'm really into software and that kinda stuff. My hobby used to be programming when I was 12 or 13 years old.
Yeah coding. I bought some programming books from my pocketbook. It was my hobby. I was reading many computer magazines and I found some music software. It was called ModePlug Tracker. The tracker softwares are the oldschool music softwares. It's kinda similar to programing. You had to program your music, you didn't even see musical notes, you saw codes, you had to type certain codes.
You had to enter commands? Wow, thats crazy, what year was this?
It was 2001..ish, I was 13. I'm 31 now so it was like….jesus christ, i'm old haha.
So from there you branched off into music production?
I started messing around with softwares and made some real shitty tracks. I never learned to play piano or any instruments, which is really bad. It's an important thing cause you need the actual musical background to write proper music, but you don't have to play an instrument to have ideas and you can pretty much learn everything yourself.
If you're messing around with something and you experiment and you can pretty much learn anything. I learned alot about music theory and I kinda just taught myself.
How long did it take before things started to click and the songs started to sound good?
So I started in 2001 and my first release “Puma” was in 2006, so it took me about 5 years. Maybe a little bit less, cause I wrote the track in 2005. So it took me 4 or 5 years to write my first official release, but in those times I wrote music during all my free time. I didn't go out with my friends, I didn't do anything else and just made music. It sucked me in.
Were you already a fan of electronic music before?
I went through a progression. I started with rap music, hip hop, and rock. In time my musical taste changed to the electronic music, like most of those shitty euro-dance music.
Any artists in particular were your early inspirations?
I don't have those names who inspired me in those times. My sister used to work at a CD store and she brought home many, many CDs and thats how I discovered this kind of music. There was a German dance music compilation called Dream Dance. It's still in existence today. It was a bit cheesy but still really interesting dance music.
When did your music start to take that Anjuna sound?
One of my friends showed me that radio show Trance Around the World. I remember the very first track I heard and I thought “Jesus christ, this track is fucking crazy”. Ferry Corsten's remix of Synaesthesia. The reaction I had and the feeling I had about this whole genre, this style they had in the radio show, it was something really different and I loved it from the first minute. I felt it was like my home and I wanted to do this. From then it was my goal to make tracks like this.
By the way, where do you get the name Sunny Lax from?
Where do you think?
I honestly don't know, LAX, the airport?
Yeah, I thought it was so obvious haha. It's so embarrassing. Cause I was young when I had to choose my artist name and I thought probably, or hopefully, i'll be a bit famous and i'll travel alot through LAX. It was like a dream.
How'd you feel when you got your first flight booked out here and you got to be Sunny Lax for real?
It was in 2011 and I got to play for Winterfresh. I remember I took a picture with the LAX sign and posted it to facebook. I was smiling so much for so long cause I had realized my dream had come true. It's an amazing feeling man.
Thats awesome. Well deserved, cause you as well as alot of the Anjuna artists, you stick out alot. It's a really cool hybrid of trance and other groovy sounds.
Yes, these tracks are club music and they must sound really big sonically. Above & Beyond are perfectionists and there's a reason why they are so successful. They realize why it's so important to have sonically really banging tracks that have emotion. Thats probably even more important but they're both important.
Earlier in the night you mentioned how your tracks are slower than most trance music but it hits harder, how would you describe your sound?
Yes, I would call it “power trance”. It's a little bit about physics as well, cause when you have a lower tempo you have more room for your lower frequencies. It's a bit confusing. If you are trying to make a 138 track, there's a reason why they have alot of rolling basslines cause those shorter notes in the bass section, thats the maximum space they have, and if you're doing 128, you have much more room. So I feel you can make much better club music with a lower tempo.
You can definitely hear a difference. It makes the Anjuna family really special. There's like the trance family and then there's the Anjuna fans within the trance family that seems to take it up a notch. Have you noticed this at all?
Yeah absolutely. The Anjunabeats family is really strong and there is a reason. The reason is the perfectionism by Above & Beyond. All three of the members have to agree on a track before they sign. If one of the members is unsure they are not gonna sign. I've also been doing music for about over 15 years and even still I learn new stuff and that's what I notice with them is that they're always looking for something fresh, something unique. I think thats the reason why the Anjuna family is so engaged and so massive.
Yeah, it's definitely a special vibe that everyone seems to feed off of. So to wrap things up, what do you have in store for us next year?
My biggest plan is to start working on my artist album. It's not so easy but I think i've reached that point and it's time.
Are you gonna release it next year?
No, I'm just gonna start it and we'll see what happens.
Is it gonna be all trance or are you going to experiment a bit?
No it's definitely going to be more experimental. More genres. I think that's the point of an artist album is to show a different side and try something new.
We'll be looking forward to it! Thank you so much for your time Sunny!
It's been a pleasure!
Trancers stay tunes for more Sunny Lax and catch up on his best tunes!