We first met Sonny in 2015 through mutual friends in London after he moved from Australia and was signed with Defected Records. His bouncy personality and love for music and travel meant that we hit it off from the start. After months of touring, we finally got chance to catch up with Sonny and hear what he's been up to!
Your new album ‘Frequently Flying’ is out now. What are the essentials you pack into your carry-on luggage when touring?
Laptop, comfy clothes, a good selection of movies, PS4 with FIFA 2016, sound card, hand sanitiser and mouthwash.
You worked with a lot of vocalists on the album. What’s your writing and recording process when collaborating with singers?
I usually just get in the studio with a vocalist and jam. Sometimes I send some ideas over beforehand, depending on their location. Most of the vocalists on the album are from London, so a lot of the tracks were recorded in my studio in London Fields. Lots of coffee and late nights.
In the album liner notes, you thank Simon Dunmore at your label Defected for persuading you to move to London a few years ago. What have been the best things about the move?
Meeting my amazing partner, doing this album and signing to Defected! I have met so many cool people over here. London is truly my home and I will be raising my children here... My baby is due in 2 months!
You returned to Australia in December on your ‘Frequently Flying’ tour. What do you most look forward to about being back down under?
The beaches, the weather and catching up with family and friends.
What’s your favourite destination – either for holiday or when touring?
What do you prefer to do in your Boardies® – surf, swim or relax by the pool?
Relax by the pool.
Thanks for your time Sonny and congratulations again on starting a family!
*Quick shout out to Blood Brother for the intro and it's their jacket on the album cover.
On this cold February morning in London, with temperatures hovering around just 1 degree Celsius, it feels natural to review our Boardies® trip to Mexico last month, daydreaming of the sumptuous sunshine, epic waves, delicious tacos and tempting tequila!
This marks the first of a new series of blog posts following the travels of Boardies® founder Nick, as he takes the brand around the world, sharing his adventures along the way.
Mexico was an obvious destination for Boardies®, with its year-round sunshine, beautiful coastlines and incredible culture and cuisine. I had an amazing time in Tulum some years ago, but had heard the area has now lost some of its innocence and “off the beaten track” vibe that it once promised. So, in light of that, I was looking for somewhere new and authentic to relax, improve my surfing and celebrate New Year's Eve in style.
Chatting to friends from Central and South America on top of doing some of my own research, steered me in the direction of Sayulita, a vibrant and quirky surf town on the west coast in state of Nayarit which first became popular with travelling surfers in 1960s.
After a quick two-hour flight from Mexico City to the Puerto Vallarta, which served up incredible views over sprawling mountains and countryside, I was eager to get to the beach! The taxi ride took longer than expected from the airport - it should have been around40 minutes - but the driver took me on a scenic route around Sayulita, searching for the hostel which the surf school had organised for me. It was called “The Amazing Hostel” but unfortunately it didn't live up to its name...
First impressions of Sayulita did not disappoint however, and was it exactly the kind of place I was looking for, with heaps of character, authenticity, atmosphere and a real positive energy. On landing in the town, you are instantly greeted by streams of multicoloured holiday decorations stretching across the buildings overhead. Delicious street food is also abundant, with sizzling tacos, quesadias and burritos luring you in. But one of the first things I did was drink a fresh coconut, before putting on a pair of Boardies® prototype in preparation for the beach.
The first beach I visited was packed, mostly with locals and a smattering of tourists. I learned that the holiday season gets pretty busy, but in a couple of days it was set to wind down. There was a real carnival atmosphere on the waterfront, with locals dancing to music, basking in the sunshine and watching the surfers at sea. I couldn't wait to get in the water, so I quickly picked up a board and went to hit some waves. I had surfed a little before, more recently in Portugal and Hawaii, but I was still a bit of a novice. My aim for the trip was to improve my surf skills and get some turns in! After battling through some white water I made it out to the breaks. It felt amazing being back in the water. I stayed away from the packs of other surfers and tried to get my bearings. Surprisingly I caught my first wave pretty quickly, which felt awesome, but after that there were fewer waves and as the afternoon faded away and sun started to set I called it a day. Instead I headed back to the hostel and decided to conserve my energy for the first day of surf camp, which would start early the next day.
Walking back with my board I bumped into an old friend from London, who I used to work with. Small f*cking world, huh?! Samantha had been in Sayulita for a few days already so was able to show me around and introduce me to some cool people that night! Guess my evening of conserving energy was off the cards...
Sayulita has a great nightlife, really eclectic and vibrant. After some delicious Mexican food and cocktails at the “swing bar”, I was ready to hit the sack!
The next morning I couldn't wait to get down to the surf camp and check out some waves. It was early and quiet out, as most revellers were still in bed. The only people I spotted were some travellers, who were camping on the beach, and a local band doing some filming. It felt a million miles away from London and I couldn't hide the smile on my face as I headed down to the camp.
I booked surf lessons with the guys at Wildmex, a really cool family-owned business with a down-to-earth relaxed vibe, but super hospitable and friendly. The surf coach we had was a dude called “Mitch”, a big Aussie with huge dreads and colourful character to match.
The beach break was 30 mins away in Punta Mina, where the other Widmex office was located. It boasted super-chilled vibes with hammocks, an amazing coffee shop and juice bar to boot. It was the perfect place to get ready and relax post-surf.
Mitch spent time showing me how to handle the board - an 8ft 3 Foamie - with tips on how to paddle and pop up correctly. The surf on Day One was pretty big and the two other students were getting up quickly. While I was less experienced, I also managed to catch a few good waves. The feeling was exhilarating and I could feel my technique improve with each set that I hit.
On my second day at camp the surf was really small and inconsistent, but I tried my best to make the most out of it, concentrating on my posture and reading the waves better. Each day I felt like I was picking up something new - even from the wipe outs and mistakes I was making. Gradually, it seemed like it was all coming together.
Day three was probably toughest as I was feeling really rough following a big night on the tiles. There was also a stomach bug going around, which I was struggling with. I let Mitch know that I would play it by ear. At one point, I honestly thought I was gonna barf in the sea! As soon as we paddled out the point break, I could see a nice-looking wave rolling forwards so I went for it and caught probably one of the best waves of the week. The adrenaline was pumping. I managed to start turning on the board and ride a good 20-30 seconds. I couldn’t wait to get straight back out! Remarkably, I hit my second and third waves consecutively straight after, both almost as good as the first. I couldn't believe it, especially given how sick I was feeling. At one point I decided to call it a day, but the waves continued to roll and it quickly became addictive! In the end, I stayed out in the water for the whole session and was completely buzzing when I finally scrubbed up on shore.
The final day, Mitch got me onto an 8ft Hawaiian hard board which felt awesome, as it was so much more responsive and easier to turn than the foamie. It felt great and I took to it well, catching two or three waves quickly. I also did my first “social surf”, which saw me catch the same wave as two other dudes, with us all riding it together.
The whole experience in the water was epic. Everyday I wore a new pair of the Boardies® flat-fronted shorts with a fixed waistband, which were great to surf in, however by putting them to the test, I've seen scope to improve on the designs a little. The experience has inspired me to develop some more performance styles for the collection.
The celebrations for New Year's Eve in Sayulita were very special. The locals came out to party across the town square and of course the beach, where fireworks and lanterns filled the skies. The sound of music and waves crashing in the darkness punctuated the air. I have to say it was a truly magical experience and at midnight, we found ourselves in a really cool club overlooking the square, listening to some wicked mixes from the DJ. The fun crowd was an added bonus.
My experience in Mexico was amazing, with stunning beaches, awesome people and a rich history and culture. It felt so good being away from a capital city, living at a slower pace, appreciating nature and enjoying the simplicity that life offers there.
From Salyulita, I flew back to Mexico City Where I hung out with my mate Daniel - who now lives out there - before heading on to Colombia, where a whole new adventure awaited...
A natural collaboration between long-standing friends with a mutual love of house music, Defected and Boardies® have teamed up to design a limited run of swim shorts – a packing essential for this years’ festivals.
To celebrate, we have teamed up with Shortlist and Mr Hydeto give one lucky winner the chance to win two tickets to Defected Croatia festival in Tisno, 10th - 15th of August 2017. The prize is for two Full Festival Day & Night tickets, including access to the official festival after parties at the world famous Barbarella’s nightclub.
Boardies® are also throwing in a week’s supplyof swim shorts to guarantee that you stay looking fresh through six days of house music hedonism!
For details on how to enter online, specific T&Cs for this competition and the competition question, please click on the below link. The competition closes at midnight on 13th February 2017. The winner will be selected from all entries received before the closing date. Standard T&Cs here.
A doodle pandemic is sweeping the country courtesy of Mr Doodle, art graduate Sam Cox’s imaginative alter ego. Makeshift tunnels, skate parks, walls, chairs, cars and now even apparel... he's everywhere!
His signature black and white strings of characters, objects and patterns, often referred to as 'graffiti spaghetti' come from a place of child-like sincerity, reminding us all that you should never take yourself too seriously - being silly is fun!
To celebrate the launch of the recent collaboration between Boardies® and Mr Doodle, we thought we'd share how this came about.
Tell us about yourself? Who is Mr Doodle and where do you get your inspiration from?
Mr Doodle is an exaggeration of who I am, which is a person who loves drawing as much as possible on as many things as possible!
I get inspired by looking at blank white spaces, that's when I feel most eager to work!
What other cool projects have you been working on lately?
I've had a few really nice mural projects for people's homes over the last couple of months which has been really fun. Also some bits for drinks brands and doodling on leather bags!
How did your collaboration with Boardies® come about?
The collaboration with Boardies started almost a year ago! When I met Nick in a tunnel I was doodling in Shoreditch.
Whats been your biggest mural to date?
The biggest mural I have created is probably the tunnel I just mentioned- if you were to add up all the space that was doodled in that tunnel and lay it out together then it would probably cover the most room I've ever done.
However I'm currently working on a long roll of doodle that's just reached over 140 metres, I think I'm going to keep going to 1KM, so that may be the longest one.
Nice one Sam, thanks for the insight!
Be sure to check out the special Limited Edition Boardies® x Doodle Man shorts at Selfridges and soon available online.
It's been a crazy, stupid year... and how about we end it with some love. Nothing can be more healing for the body and mind than a spot of sun, so why not give yourself a bit of TLC and loving with an injection of winter sun? Forget the winter chill and think blue skies, white sand, punchy cocktails and stripping off into your Boardies® swimwear. There are dozens of options to choose from but we've selected our top five places on the map to hit for a slice of sunny heaven. Remember, whatever destination you pick, there's a Boardies® print for them all.
You certainly get a sense of island time once you arrive in Hawaii. With eight major islands to choose from America's 50th state will keep you busy. Being the birthplace of Mai Tais and surfing, Hawaii will immediately lull you into a chilled out vibe. Hit the Big Island for a blanket of sublime beaches and volcanic terrain. The town of Hilo has a mix of lively restaurants and a colourful farmers market stocked with coconuts. Over in Honolulu you'll find more swanky, skyscraper-style bars with people ready to party. Boardies® Tropicano Swim Shorts will fit right in on the famed Waikiki beach.
The idyllic Indonesian Island of Bali, where a bottle of beer will set you back less than one pound, has long been tipped as the best-value long-haul winter holiday destination. If you're looking to unwind, the volcanic spot is peppered with surfing, yoga and meditation retreats, especially in the cultural capital of Ubud. The balmy temperatures (Bali has an average of 27 degrees Celcius in December) and drifting smell of incense will help you to find a more relaxed state of mind. Take the opportunity to trek or motorbike among the sacred mountains or brush up on your surf skills down on one of the many white-sand shorelines. Be sure to pack a pair of Boardies® Wooden Sunglasses.
Malta's just a three hour flight away from London, and whilst it might not be piping hot in December temperatures stay in the teens. The capital Valletta has beautiful architecture and there's a pretty colourful party scene if you head over to St Julian's. There you'll find a menagerie of late night spots, plus an ocean-fronting casino. If you're looking for some down time, hire a car and go for a roam around the rugged island of Gozo. Think white sand beaches, piercing blue water and gaping cliff edges. This year the Mediterranean archipelago was named as one of the top places to visit by the New York Times.
You don't need to be a honeymooner to go to the Maldives. You can occasionally snag really amazing flight deals to the capital Male and once you're there there's nothing much else other to do than to relax. Once you've found an island to land on (there are 1,190 to choose from) indulge in some typical desert island activities. The snorkeling is sublime, with shoals of colourful fish, graceful turtles and manta rays sailing by if you're lucky. If you're a surfer, we've been told there's some amazing waves to be had. At the end of a water-filled day, there's nothing better than watching the sunset over the endless ocean with a tropical cocktail to hand.
You can saunter along the beaches in Costa Rica and not see another soul for miles. After landing in the bustling capital of San Jose make your way out to the countryside. Perched by the coast, Montezuma is a great place if traveling solo, as the locals will quickly welcome you into the grove. There's a great mix of ramshackle restaurants and bars. At night the streets come alive with performers - think yoga-sculpted people fire dancing and chanting songs. If you're an adventure junkie, then this Central American country will satisfy your appetite. From surfing to canyoning there are a wealth of activities on offer. The jungle offers the opportunity to spot sloths while pumas and poisonous dart frogs are also native to the country. For yogis, Costa Rica has dozens of retreats and centres to nourish the body and soul.
Ever since we first set foot on the White Isle, its clubs, beaches and laid-back attitude have served as constant inspiration for Boardies®. Whether we’re chilling by the pool soaking up that Balearic sun or hitting up one of the many super clubs, the island’s buzzing vibes are contagious, and that feel-good factor continues long after you’ve landed back on home soil. This week marks the first of a fiercesome fortnight on Ibiza, in which most of the island’s clubs will close their doors for the final time in 2016. Here’s our run down of the parties you’d be mad to miss, and remember, whatever party you choose to descend on, there’s a Boardies® print for them all.
Carl Cox’s Music is Revolution the Final Chapter at Space, Tuesday 20 September
The big man will see out his final, spectacular year at Space with an all night session in the Disctoeca - the dance floor that’s become like a second home in Ibiza since he first descended on it 15 years ago. When Space announced it’d be closing its doors for the final time this summer, Coxy vowed to bow out along with them - so this night will be a celebration mixed with a tinge of sadness - you can bet that when he drops his last tune, there won’t be a dry eye in the house. Joining him for one final, raucous ride will be Nic Fanciulli, DJ Sneak and tINI.
Glitterbox at Space, Friday 23 September
The big dons over at Defected have taken over at Space every Friday this summer with Glitterbox, a classic fusion of house & disco that oozes more glitz than a tinsel-strewn Christmas tree. Music will come from house legends Todd Terry, Joey Negro and Dimitri from Paris; the good times will come from everywhere you look. Real men aren’t afraid to twirl. Look out for the Defected x Boardies® Limited Edition HOUSE print shorts coming out next season!
elrow at Space, Saturday 24 September
This Barcelona-based party is a beacon of madness in an otherwise straight-laced world, and that’s saying something when you’re referring to Ibiza. Expect confetti by the bucketload, inflatable props flying through the air and the kind of relentless, tech house monsters that’ll keep you bouncing till the sun comes up. Art Department, Ilario Alicante, Andrea Oliva and De La Swing have all signed up for what’s sure to be an outrageously farcical bonanza.
Zoo Project at Benimussa Park, Saturday 24 September
Because basically, who doesn’t like getting dressed up as an animal? Only a man without the vision to pull off a tail and you should never trust one of those. Plus, Benimussa Park is a maze of al fresco wandering, and the surprise unannounced Zoo Project guests are always top notch - Ricardo Villalobos and Stacey Pullen both made appearances this summer, and that’s nothing to sniff at.
Paradise at DC-10, Wednesday 28 September
In just a few short years, Paradise has become one of the island’s most popular parties, and when you consider the closing line-up, you’d be a bogan not to see why. The roster boasts everyone from the party’s main man, Jamie Jones, to KiNK, who’ll be laying it down live, to Hot Creations favourite, Hot Since 82. Last year’s fiesta resulted in a blistering b2b closing set between Jones and Joseph Capriati - that’s the one to beat.
ABODE at Sankeys, Friday 30 September
London’s biggest Sunday party export, ABODE, will says farewell to its first year at Sankeys with the same swagger that’s seen it march through an entire summer. On Friday 30 September, the Playa d’en Bossa club will play host to Yousef, Franky Rizardo, ANOTR, Ellie Cox and more, so don’t expect to be slipping out of there unscathed.
Ushuaïa closing party, Saturday 1 October
As close to an open-air festival vibe as you’ll get anywhere on Ibiza, Ushuaïa is most well-known for hosting EDM superstars like David Guetta and Avicii. At the closing party, however, they like to switch things up a little - as can be seen from the line-up that includes no less than four DC-10 regulars. Seth Troxler, the Martinez Brothers, Black Coffee and Damian Lazarus will be there to blast away the fluff, so prepare for a pounding.
Space closing party, Sunday 2 October
The big daddy of all closings parties, Space is the one you categorically cannot miss. The island’s most loved club will close its doors for the final time at the end of this summer, after giving us 27 years of momentous clubbing memories. With a line-up as long as a tube platform and a slew of new legends added to the roster seemingly every day, you know you’re going to be in for a big one. This party will go down in history - mark our words.
Cocoon at Amnesia, Monday 3 October
Papa Sven brings Cocoon’s seventeenth year on the island to a close, in what’s guaranteed to be a goosebump-inducing joy ride. He’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with Adam Beyer, Nina Kraviz and Ilario Alicante to mark the occasion, so make sure you’ve dusted off your dancing shoes and get ready to see the dawn of a new day on the terrace while listening to what can only be described as techno perfection.
Mosaic by Maceo at Pacha, Tuesday 4 October
If we’ve learnt anything this summer, it’s that Maceo Plex never sleeps - the dude’s got the kind of stamina that’d put Mo Farah to shame. First, he played at 10 Ibiza venues in 24 hours. Then, he unleashed a series of after parties that saw his Tuesday night party continue well into Thursday morning. Kudos. In October, he’ll wave goodbye to his first year of residency on the White Isle alongside DJ Koze, Pachanga Boys and Agents of Time.
Heading out? Make sure you get there the right way with our Boardies® venue map.