In August 2019, as the summer festival season wound down, Sonny Fodera and Dom Dolla revealed their plans to advance the party well into the fall. Their co-headlining tour proved fruitful, as the string of shows reinvigorated the otherwise serene autumnal nights.
From San Diego to Boston, the Australian duo commanded their audiences as they presented their distinct take on house music. Armed with recent bangers like Dom Dolla's "San Frandisco" and those from Sonny Fodera's latest album, Rise, their partnership proved to be a success.
Their alliance behind the decks was so robust, the two announced a second endeavor across America. Locking down bigger venues to accommodate demand, the Aussie producers have managed to sell out famed locales, including The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
It was during their stop in the city of angels where we caught up with Sonny and Dom. Prior to their takeover at The Shrine, the Australian duo candidly spoke on their friendship, their flourishing solo projects, and their upcoming collaboration.
EDM.com: The co-headlining tour that you are both currently on comes on the heels of a successful fall 2019 tour. What made you guys decide to do it a second time?
Dom Dolla: We had so much fun the first time.
Sonny Fodera: Yeah, we started at 1015 Folsom, that was sick. We knew then that we needed to go somewhere bigger.
How are these strings of shows different that the fall tour?
SF: These shows are gonna feel more like a proper show, like a concert or a festival vibe.
DD: It's like an indoor festival.
SF: Yeah, an indoor festival. Around 5,000 people.
The popularity of the shows is evident in the fact that you guys sold out The Shrine Auditorium here in Los Angeles. How are you guys feeling about performing at the famed venue?
DD: It's pretty exciting. It's sort of like it's been a bucket list for me for a long time and I'm sure for Sonny as well. And The Shrine is just so iconic.
SF: Yeah, definitely a legendary spot.
You guys also managed to play to a sold-out crowd in San Francisco. We gotta ask, did you find the disco?
SF: That went crazy. Oh my god, that was mental.
DD: I was like, yeah I'll let them sing this one acapella. It blew my head off. It was awesome.
Dom, now that you've had a few months to relish in its success, how are you looking back at the reception you've gotten from "San Frandisco"?
DD: It's exceeded my expectations about tenfold. I put that track out as just a sort of a club record that I was going to play in my sets. And I sort of hoped that a few people would get around to it. And it's not only big in San Francisco but all over The States and even back home in Australia. People love that record.
The reaction I get from playing it is probably the biggest reaction I get in my set. And the videos I get tagged in are of people dancing to it every weekend and other DJs playing it. It's pretty unbelievable.
So many other artists have remixed the track. Do you have a favorite remix of "San Frandisco"?
SF: Can I tell you what my favorite is?
DD: Yeah, which one?
SF: Walker & Royce.
That's a good one! What do you think of their take on it?
DD: The stabs, man! Yeah, when I heard that I was like, holy shit. Yeah, I think they finished that remix for me about the time they finished their single "Word" that went number one. They've just like really come into their sound and developed a really cool audio aesthetic. That track bangs!
The Eli Brown remix as well is amazing. The Illyus & Barrientos remix is great too, they sort of gave it a more underground spin.
Speaking of remixes, you recently remixed one of the biggest dance hits out there, "Don't Start Now" by Dua Lipa. How did you manage to rework the track and make it your own?
DD: It was actually a difficult one to remix because it was written in a major key and it was like super, super happy. I was trying to find a way to make it a bit more moody and I figured, like, no, I'm just gonna write something.
So I made it sort of poolside, made it sound cruise-y and it seemed to work really, really well. I'm not sure if her audience fully understands house music and the way that it was interpreted, but the house crowd is enjoying it.
Sonny, you managed to produce a very dance-friendly album in early 2019. What was the creative process behind Rise?
SF: I think it's a dance-friendly album because it's house music. I love making house music. That's pretty much what it is, I don't really put out stuff I'm not into.
One of the big tracks for you last year was "One Night" featuring MK and Raphaella. How did you and MK end up teaming up on that one?
SF: I wrote that song a couple of years ago and then MK kind of took it over. I sent it to him as a demo and he immediately jumped on it. You can obviously hear his influence on the track.
You're following up that track with a new record. Can you talk to us about the collaboration with AlunaGeorge and King Henry in "Before U"?
SF: AlunaGeorge was our special guest at The Shrine, she came to sing our new track with King Henry. He actually just sent me a vocal and it just worked. And yeah, that just came about so naturally.
You guys are both Australian, however, you're not from the same city. How did you guys meet and how have you managed to keep the camaraderie?
SF: We only met like a year ago. I've actually been living in London for eight years and in Ibiza before that. But we actually apparently met before.
DD: Yeah, we actually did meet before. We met at a club called Chinese Laundry in Sydney.
SF: Wasn't it World Bar?
DD: Oh yeah, it was. I know I was reminded by someone, they were like, you guys have met before.
I was pretty young back then, but looking back I was like, holy fuck that was Sonny. Yeah, of course neither of us really had any recollection of it. But then Green Velvet reintroduced us.
SF: Yeah, we played back-to-back at the Miami pool party.
DD: Yeah, it was La La Land.
SF: Yeah, that was sick.
DD: And then from that point on we've just been good mates.
SF: And now we've got a track coming out. When we were on tour in New York we did a little collab.
A collaboration between Sonny Fodera and Dom Dolla? Can you elaborate for us?
DD: Yeah, it's called "Moving Blind." We haven't figured out exactly when the release date is gonna be yet.
SF: Yeah, but it is coming. We've been playing it in our shows and testing it out. Dom's vocal is sick. It's kinda chuggy. I kinda' had like a beat and a bass line.
Try to keep it light-hearted, but since you guys are touring together, is there anything that annoys you of the other person?
DD: I take way too long to send Sonny emails. He's always like, bro, bro, I asked you three days ago!
SF: I'll ask him to send me a track and it just takes ages. But it's all good.
DD: Hmm, let me think...Sonny losing his Australian accent!
SF: Oh yeah! This is quite funny. It's kind of like a hybrid between English and Australian. But when I hang out with you, it goes back to Australian. I speak to my wife on the phone and she's like, you sound really Australian!
DD: I love accents though and my dad's absolutely incredible at accents. I find myself walking around just trying to imitate them, seeing if I can make my voice sound like someone else. Every time I see Sonny, I say "What you sayin', bro. What's going on?"
SF: You're actually getting alright, mate. He watches a lot of Top Boy, that's why.
DD: Yeah, I do love that show.
You are both going to continue touring together throughout the spring. I think eventually, you guys might just start your own project.
SF: That would be cool, actually. What can we call it? Someone said it the other night, they were like "Dom Sonny."
DD: Oh yeah, I can't remember it. But it would be cool.
Finally, Sonny, what do you think of Dom's mustache?
SF: You know what? It's quite um... I like it.
DD: It's growing on him.
SF: I'm a bit jealous, to be honest. It's a nice 'stache.
Sonny Fodera and Dom Dolla's joint tour is drawing to a close in April. For remaining dates and tickets click here.