I’ve known Sona One since he was 12, initially as a friend of my younger brother Iman when Sona was known as a graffiti writer. There was this one occasion when he came to the crib with Iman, saw a graff piece on the wall and offered to do a piece for me. I was hesitant about his skills, so I gave him a piece of paper and told him to tag my name on it. After he finished, I took a photo of it and used it as the wallpaper for my mobile.
A few months later, I met Phyreman, a legend in the graff scene. When he saw Sona’s work on my screen, he said, “This kid is good; I can tell by the fonts.” So I started commissioning Sona to do various graff pieces such as the one in Emcee David’s ‘Feels So Good’ video. That was when Sona started rolling with the Kartel crew.
By that point, Sona and Iman had already begun producing beats; they were constantly submitting beats for Too Phat’s album (Rebirth Into Reality). Through that process, I heard around 20 songs that he had produced for other artists. There was this one song in which a particular rapper really stood out. I asked him who the rapper was and he replied that it was him. That’s when I realised that Sona had real talent and skills. So I invited him to come through to the studio during the entire production of President. And Sona One just took it from there.