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Jakk’d & $on-$hine Unite on New Single “Luven Me” [Interview]



Breakout electronic acts Jakk’d and $on-$hine have joined forces for the release of their latest collaboration, “Luven Me.” Encapsulating elements of past, present, and future house music, “Luven Me” serves up a taste of the old-school house vibe while offering a nostalgic yet fresh approach. The new tune draws inspiration from the unique style of each of the artists involved — and together they create a light, romantic, and warm soundscape that’s accompanied by an R&B-fused vocal. “Luven Me” will give you a serotonin boost that will spark a fuse within each listener because the end result of this collab feels alive and exudes an eased, vibrant energy.

Jakk’d, an electronic dance music (EDM) duo composed of Vjay Seminiano and Max Dean, have been setting the scene ablaze for nearly a decade. Their distinctive sound which is a blend of house, trap, hip hop, and R&B, has been supported by Martin Garrix on SiriusXM, Vindata at Ultra Music Festival, and Two Friends Radio show.

$on-$hine, born Sonny Vilardo, brings nine years of drumming experience to the table, which seamlessly translates into his production. Hailing from the SoCal area, he’s gearing up to introduce the world to his brand of funk house tracks. The Nocturnal Times sat down with $on-$hine to discuss the new track and plenty more in this brand-new Q&A interview, below.

The Nocturnal Times: What is the message you hope that people will take away from “Luven Me,” what’s the overall end theme that’s embedded here?

$on-$hine: “Luven Me” was simply named that because who truly hates being loved? The message I hope people takeaway is that you should always feel loved. Whether it  comes from your own self love or outside source of love. 

The Nocturnal Times: Where does the name $on-$hine come from and how did you land on it?

$on-$hine: It’s been a nickname I’ve had since my teenage/highschool years. My real name is Santini and most people call me my American nickname Sonny. So it always became Sonny Sonshine or Sonshine. Most of my close friends and family will tell you it is just in my personality as well. My purpose regardless of what I do in this life is to be a bright light in a dark world. The dollar signs as the S’s in the name are also because so many people are focused on making money that they forget to experience the true meaning of life. It’s basically an Antiphrasis or just supposed to be ironic. 

The Nocturnal Times: Do you have an all time favorite event or festival that you have played?

$on-$hine: Hands down favorite festivals/events are DiscoTrip, Desert Hearts, DayTrip, Blindtiger, and also one show that really stuck out was a late night show at Spotlite in Detroit seeing the legend Kevin Saunderson play a 4 hour Disco/Funk house set back in the middle spring earlier this year. I have yet to see someone do what he did that night. A core memory for me that will last forever. 

The Nocturnal Times: What’s the core vision for $on-$hine and how do you see it being brought to life?

$on-$hine: The vision is very simple. Funk, Disco, Old school flips, and just keeping it Groovy. To give back to this music what it gave to me. Give people the same feelings it did for myself during such a crazy time in my life. This music saved my life and made me experience something I never knew was inside. If I can make just a handful of people feel the same way I did…Then I am winning in my eyes. 

The Nocturnal Times: Who were a few key inspirations that got you producing and thus pursuing a full-blown career in electronic music?

$on-$hine: Honestly, I have to give it to my boys in Jakkd. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here. They gave me confidence and showed me the way. As far as music period…I played drums for 9 years and toured in hardcore bands back in the day. The moment I fell back in love with house/electronic music was seeing Benny Benassi 2 years ago. Feeling that energy and just seeing how amazing the vibes were I knew I found a home in this music. As far as my influences for my own sound…I would say people like Scruscru, Oliver Heldens, Dombresky, Ken@work, and Angelo Ferrari just to name a few. 

The Nocturnal Times: Do you have a technique to flair up creativity internally to help you get out the music that means the most to you and that best represents you?

$on-$hine: I wouldn’t say there is a specific technique. I would say there is more of a specific vibe. When writing/producing I kind of already know what kind of sound I’m going to go for before I even start making the track. I guess you could say that is the drummer/percussionist in me. When I pick samples, beats, and parts of music I want to incorporate into my own…It’s gotta have a particular groove or sound. I want people to just have the urge to get down and groove. Funk music for me is timeless. I also have a couple of particular filters/things I do in structuring songs that I would say make my sound more of my own. You’ll hear that as tracks continue to come out. This is only the start and I have plenty more cooking before the end of this year. 

The Nocturnal Times: At this moment, does the future seem optimistic or scary to you?

$on-$hine: I would say way more optimistic than scary. But I do think there is always a little fear in all of us. But fear to me has 2 meanings…Forget Everything and Run or Face Everything and Rise. I like to choose option number 2 every time. For me I just want at least a good portfolio of songs before I start playing my first shows. So I would say that’s the scary part…But consistency is something I don’t lack. The optimism of all new music outweighs the scary parts of it all. I’m not in this for fame or the accolades. I’m in it for the music, community, love, and amazing vibes.